Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fall, storms, gunk cleaning recipe

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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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A look at Ayurveda

Most of you know I am somewhat of a rebel, following the rules are not always my thing. When I was 18 and newly married, I met a man who had been a doctor of medicine, but gave it up because he did not like what western medicines did to his patients. For the most part, this type of medicine masks symptoms but does not cure. Ayurveda however looks for the cause and heals the problem. Case in point, Dad had tinnitus for years, and a few years back it became part of my life. I follow a Guru called Yogi Cameron, he said to fix the problem, put 3 or 4 drops of sesame oil into each ear, letting it soak in for 10 or 15 minutes , doing it one side at a time. It took over a month, but the ringing left. Not only that, but soon huge chunks of ear was floated up into my ear, and I could just pick them out and dispose of them. The man I met when I was 18, told me how to avoid the horrific crippling arthritis my mom and dad both had suffered, and also prevent cancer and a host of inflammatory problems. As simple as taking a capsule of turmeric and one of ginger root every day. I have done that ever since. I have no joint pain or aches, no knarly hands, and so far no big health problems. A cheap, simple thing I wish every one could know and start doing young, it would stop so many problems later in life. So turmeric is an Ayurvedic herb, and used in many ways, I also keep a big jar of organic spice turmeric on my cupboard, and add it to all my soups and stews and most everything I cook. The 2nd herb I use is Ashwaganda.IT'S ALSO ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANTI-CANCER and enhances your immune cells. It's a sleep aid, a stress reducer and more. Ayurveda is a natural way of supporting your good health. Yoga and meditation are also a part of the practice. Lots of good information is available on line, and if you have not subscribed to Mother Earth Living, you really should, so much good information there. Are you getting ready for some fall cleaning? Have a recipe or two to share. To make an all purpose dis-infecting cleaner, and make your house smell amazing, combine 2 cups of water, 1 cup of white vineagr and 25 drops of essential rosemary oil. Pour into a large spray bottle and use to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces. To make a scrub, for sinks, toilets etc, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/3 of a cup of castile soap(liquid)and 10 drops of rosemary essential oil, mix we.. apply a small amount to a cloth and use to scour surface. Rinse well. To brighten and strengthen your hair, heat 1 cup apple cider vinegar to almost boiling, pour over 2 T fresh rosemary and add 10 drops of lavender oil. To use, add 2 T to 1 cup of water adn massage your hair after shampooing. Rinse well. School has begun in all of our area, and most other places too now, hope we still have a good amount of at least warm weather before it gets cold again. Be happy, be healthy, eat real food. See you next time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Eventful Summer, 2017

I love looking out my kitchen window while I sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the beauty of this mountain. Early spring, March, is yellow time. Forsythias, daffodils, are abundant. Soon they are replaced with Dogwoods and Red Buds, creating a pink and white scene. Around the first of June, the Mimosa's are in bloom. And by later June, the Crepe Myrtles are giving us a brilliant showing of pinks, lavenders, reds and whites. We are just beginning to loose these now, the rain last night seems to have started the flowers falling off the trees. Every season has a color, always something to marvel at. Earlier this spring, my starter in the car gave out, requiring replacement. That was followed by needing new tires, and a few days later, the brakes failed. Spent a lot on repairs, some of which I ma still paying off. Somewhere in this time frame, my daughter Laurie and her son Paul came to visit. Paul designed a great website for my products. Thanks Paul The first of July, my son Brian and his little gals, Erin and Samantha came to visit. We had a wonderful time. Went to Grill 73 for lunch the first day, and after that we went to Bybee, then Dandridge to lunch at a new restaurant there, then Pigeon Forge to the Pottery Barn, their food was good and we watched pottery being made. Went to White Pine to the Burger Bar, and then the next day to Hot Springs N C to the Iron Horse. Whew. One afternoon late into the visit we came home to a backed up septic system. Total yuck, nasty thing to share with guests. Thank goodness my plumber is fast and reasonable, he came and got the tank pumped, but sadly had to take out the pear trees that had grown roots into the system. I have been making pear butter, and pear sauce and canning those pears for a good many years. No more. I am grateful for Brian's help with the clean up and disinfecting, we had a real mess. And the kids kicked in to help me pay the damages, now I am paying them back and grateful for their help. Just 2 days after the Nebraska kids went home, I was canning dill pickles and someone knocked on the door, by gosh, it was Dave and Kim, my son and wife from S. C. What a treat, I rarely get to see them. It's a little cooler today, we finally got some much needed rain. I am also pleased with the orders I am getting from Etsy, and my website, joyfulbodycreations. Each order helps me pay of some of the debt. Will be glad to get it all square again. School has started in some areas around us, and by the end of next week, most of the kids will be back at it. Summer sure flew by. Hope you had a good one too. Take care, stay well, enjoy the beauty around you. Til next time, stay well.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Do it Yourself

Finally, more people are waking up to the dangers of our food, water, cosmetics and what we are doing to ourselves and our environment. I started my journey about 8 years ago when I began to wonder why the tomatoes grown around us were being sprayed with deadly poison all summer. I began a journey through the world of herbs, which I now grow a good many of, and my son has more in his area that I can latch on to. Guess most of you know that a great many drugs that are handed out do not heal anything, just mask symptoms and give side effects. Way back when, the Indians and our grandparents knew much more about healing with herbs that were abundant around them. Feverfew and Willowbark are great ones for headaches, if you ever watched Dr Quinn, she used willowbark for migraines. I have been making salves from pine trees and plantain and comfrey for sometime now. My next venture is into soaps, the first being one that repels insects when you are working outside. The molds I ordered arrived yesterday so will be trying my hand with them in the next few days. I also love my Mother Earth Living magazine, always has so many new things in it. Well worth subscribing to if you are interested in healthy living. Did you know for abdominal cramping and pain, you can put 3 or so drops of peppermint oil into into a teaspoon of organic oil, like sunflower or olive, mix and rub into your belly? The yarrow I grow is good for skin, heals wounds and can be added to facial products to help create a lovely complexion. If you want to make a great toner, boil a cup of water, add 2 teaspoons of yarrow, steep for 15 minutes, strain and add 1 Tablespoon of witch hazel. Apply to your face with a clean cotton ball. If your hair needs a little TLC, boil a quart o water, add 3 6 inch sprigs of fresh Rosemary, steep for 20 minutes, cool, strain and keep in frig. Spritz a little on your hair daily to improve condition. For achy joints, use 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, olive, what you have, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 10 drops rosemary essential oil, use as a rub to achy places. If you have age spots, use fresh lemon juice several times a day. See, getting natural is easy. The Crepe Myrtle trees are starting to bloom, soon the mountain side will be filled with purples, pinks,reds, and white. Most of the time something lovely is blooming here. I love the delicate Mimosas, tho Iam told they are a "weed" tree, they are still beautiful. Despite the very warm days, summer is my favorite time, not fond of cold weather. I tend to head out and do my gardining and outside work very early when its the most refreshing time of the day. Something about gardening is just good for the body and soul, there is an old saying, One's nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth. If you haven;t, please visit my website on Etsy, joyfulbodycreations, I will be adding things as I learn more. Enjoy a safe Fourth of July, hard to believe we are already this late in the summer. And the eclipse coming up in August. Have a great week.

Friday, June 16, 2017

What's in your personal products

It really bugs me when people say they only live once and will eat/drink/use what they want because life dis short. Having been the caregiver at the end of life for several of my family, I can not imagine wanting someone to have to fee, diaper, clean, bathe, dress me etc. It takes so little to make the changes that make your life healthy. I make a good share of the things i use, all my face creams, medicines and salves. But there are some things that just work better when you buy them. Last week I found a wonderful volumnizing shampoo. It's made by Nature's Gate, and has Holy Basil, ginger and Awapuni in it. After the first use, my hair was so much thicker and nicer I could not believe it. I also found a wonderful deodorant, all natural that smells like almonds. It's a roll on so no earth damaging spray . And of course the one thing I had the most problems with was a sensitive tooth paste. I just could not come up with a recipe that really worked. Tom's of Maine makes great organic toothpaste, including my sensitive. And I like Healthy Mouth mouthwash, tho that can be made with distilled water, clove and cinnamon oils. I just started a whitening routine that you might like. I mixed a teaspoon of turmeric with 2 T of salt and 2 T of organic baking soda, mix well, keep in an airtight jar. Also mix a bottle of half water and half hydrogen peroxide. Dip a damp toothbrush into the powder, an brush away for 5 minutes, then rinse for one minute with the water/peroxide rinse. After that, rinse your mouth well with straight water or your fave mouthwash. My teeth feel like I have been to a dentist, so smooth and slick, wow. Not sure if it will whiten but hopeful, I drink too much coffee and it stains. I am also using an immune boosting oil at night on the bottom of my feet, hoping to get my grand daughters to try it and maybe avoid so many ear infections and bouts of flu next fall. Once you start the study of staying healthy, there is so much good information on line, I spend a lot of time reading and learning about taking better care of me, and others. Since I am 80 and have no health problems, it must work. I did get lucky and leaned young(18) that you can alter what your parents had and avoid the same ills. I do avoid doctors, and will not take meds, they all have dire side effects. My vitamins and organic diet do well to keep me feeling good. I have been eating flat bread sandwiches lately with tomato, lettuce, avocado and onions, all but the avocado from my deck plants. Tasty. If you want organic laundry products, try a line called Meyers. I use their hand soap(liquid) and now am trying their dryer sheets. Love the Lemon Verbena scent, but they have many. All these and so much more can be found at Swanson Vitamins, and are sent right to your door in a few days. I still make my own laundry soap, so easy and effective, a big box of borax, a big box of baking or washing soda and a bar of grated Fels Naptha, enough for over a year for pennies a load. My stain spray is half dawn and half hydrogen peroxide, let sit over night then wash as usual, takes out even old stains. I do hope you will start looking at healthy alternatives, and keep your kids, grandkids and yourselves well and pain free. I have a line of products at joyfulbodycreations on Etsy, and will be adding eczema cream some scrubs and other things shortly, have them brewing now. Have a healthy summer, see you soon.