Friday, December 30, 2011

Home Made Laundry Soap, Happy New Year, Natural Living

 Happy New Year to all, can't believe the year has come and gone, seems like it passed very quickly, maybe just cause I am getting to be old as dirt.
  I am thinking today of a couple of my pet peeves, they don't make me too crazy but I do ponder them often. We live in a beautiful area, mountains, and the roads are twisty, and very scenic. Each turn brings a new vista. All along the way, the roads are littered with empty drink cups, food bags, pop cans and just plain trash. Come on, didn't your parents teach you to pick up after yourselves?  Seems such a crime to spoil the beauty with all the trash. How much trouble could it be to keep it in the car til you get home, then put it in a trash can? The other thing that makes me crazy, we have posted speed limits. I follow them, because there are crosses all along the roads where idiots have gotten in a hurry and missed a curve, hit a tree or post, and ended their lives just for being in a rush. I very much dislike having someone get on my tail and ride the bumper. Back off, give me breathing room, I would do that for you. And if you are in such a rush you can't enjoy the scenery, too bad. You may not reach your destination anyway. In a driving rainstorm coming down a mountain road a few years ago, some guy beeped and carried on behind me, it was very hard to see anyway and I didn't speed up, so he passed me and as he got in front of me, we went around a curve, bingo, he was over the edge and in a deep ravine.  I didn't stop. Others did, and we saw he was okay, but gee,  hurry up and hurt yourself.
  Remember when our grandmas used Fels Naptha Soap? Here are a couple of recipes to try.
   Powdered Laundry Soap
1 bar of Fels Naptha finely grated
1 and 1/2 cups of borax
2 and 1/2 cups of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
 Grate soap, then run through food processor til very small piece. Mix all together and store in tightly sealed continer. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

    Liquid Laundry Soap
1 bar Fels Naptha grated finely
1 cup Arm and Hammer  Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
  Boil 4 cups of water, add grated soap stirring til melted . Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot water. Add melted soap to bucket, and stir in the soda and borax. Fill bucket the rest of the way. Mix well, and store in empty  detergent bottles,clorox jugs etc. Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. This is going to last a long time.
  Wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthty, and prosperous New Year

Friday, December 23, 2011

neti pot danger, bubble bath, and Holiday Greetings

  Happy Holidays to all! Hard to believe it has come so quickly. This morning's news was about tornados in GA and AL, snow storms in the Texas area, gee, we are lucky here. Some rain but fairly warm for this time of year.
  Before I get to rambling on, I am giving you a website, seems neti pots have a real danger if tap water is used, you are okay if you boil the water. But if you think about it, you are drinking and bathing in this same water, scary. Here is the link:
  Ran out of bubble bath this week, so brewed up a new batch, its so easy. Do you not have a bottle of shampoo tucked away that you didn't like for your hair? Well, here is how to use it. 
 Mix 1/2 cup of shampoo with
        3/4 cup of water. I added 1 Tablespoon of glycerin, its a softening agent, but you can skip that if you want. After blending, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir til it thickens slightly. Put in container, thats it. I use Himalayan Pink salt, but its what I have used for years now.
  If you have any infections brewing, I have had  something on my finger, brew some sage tea and soak several times a day, it draws out the infection. After the first few days, I switched to epsom salts, and seem to have gotten rid of the problem.
  Also did a little research on fungus problems, there sure are a lot of viewpoints on that. Most are similar, use vinegar, either white or cider, and soak as long as possible. One site said to use 1/3 cup of apple cider, 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/3 cup of water, mixed, and soak for 20 minutes. Some opposing views think that fungus is caused by excess moisture to begin with, thus soaking is not the way to go, they think just dabbing a few drops of white vinegar on affected nail twice a day is better. I have been trying out a recipe I got from Dr OZ on a toe I dropped a milk bottle on way back when, thought it was funny from the injury, but by pumice stoning it and filing it, and applying a mix of 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, 2 smashed cloves of garlic and 3 drops of Tea Tree oil, mixed together, twice a day, I have a pretty normal looking nail again.
  Dr Oz also told us how to get rid  of an ingrown toenail, and this really worked well. Cut the nail down straight across, and stuff cotton, thin shreds, under the edges of the nail. Pack it in good with a manicure implement,and keep pushing it down. Change after shower or bath each day. It took about 4 months to see a change, and when I quit, it started to grow back so  I just keep the cotton tucked in now, and it works fine.
  Lastly, Goat milk soap is good for eczema. The only thing you may want to watch is, it contains coconut oil, and for some reason I have a really bad allergic reaction to that, internally or externally. If it doesn't bother you, go for it.
  Hope you have family and friends to spend the holidays with, and the coming year is good to you in every way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Glowing skin, great cookies

 I used to use a face peel once  week, but have n't done so for a very long time. When shopping this week, I spent a long time checking the cosmetic area for the tube I used to get, but no luck. So I did what I should have in the first place, checked on line for natural recipes. So easy! Brew  a half cup of water and a green tea bag,or if you use loose tea, an egg full, for 10 minutes. While still warm, sprinkle an envelope of unflavored gelatin on top and stir well.  Put in frig til set. Smear on face and let harden. This should take 5 minutes or more. Then peel off and rinse with warm water. It will work better if you have washed your face with warm water and dried ahead of the mask.
 If you are adventerous, you can make this mask with fruit juice, apple, raspberry,  pear, papaya, even lemon if you dilute lemon with water. For these you need to sprinkle the gelatin on top of the juice and microwave til melted, cool and proceed as before.

  I found a quick cookie recipe I want to share with you, very easy and my neighbor loves them, me too.
 60 crushed vanilla wafers mixed with 3 tablespoons Cafe Vienna(Inter-national Coffee) and 1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese. Roll into 36 balls and freeze. Melt semisweet chocolate or bark,  I like the  vanilla,and dip cookie balls, sprinkle with your choice of fancy sprinkles. I put mine in tiny candy paper cups, then into a box.
 If you want to vary the cookies, you can  use a 16 oz package of chocolate sandwich cookies, or lemon sandwich cookies, or gingersnaps,  you get the idea, but one thing I learned, you can't substitute peanut butter, it won't hold the crumbs together.
  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Winter Wonderland

 Odd day for me to be blogging, but today has been such a different day. Got up early, dressed for church, too dark to see outside, but the temperature on my computer said 19 degrees. Opened the back door and reached down to feel the wood porch, yep, icy. When it got light, I could see everything was heavily frosted.  Did some thinking and decided on a plan. Found a couple of my throw rugs that have a grippy backing.  For most folk, the trip down a north facing ramp, with a turn and then down the east side, would not be a big deal. But I use a walker, and have no sense of balance. I fear falling, don't want to be dependant on someone if I break something. So caution is my big concern.  Well, by flopping down a rug, stepping on it, then flopping down another, reach back and grab the first, I got to the car. Also covered with heavy frost. Funny, when you are married, you just depend on the man to get the engine running, car warmed up , and the windows de-iced.  Different when you are doing it.  Well, anyway, I was soon heading down the mountain to church. WOW! Every tree, every stick, bush, fence, all coated with white. Not snow, just a heavy frost, but it made  pictures worthy of Hallmark cards, just breathtakingly beautiful. Wish I had taken my camera with me.  Looking up the sides of the mountains, tree after tree painted with white.  Glad I didn't decide to play it safe and stay home.
  Church was wonderful as usual, we have the worlds greatest preacher, his message is always inspirational. At the end of the choir number, one of our ladies fell coming down, she says she is okay, I hope tomorrow she still feels that way. Would hate to see her stiff and sore. And another church person fro m the second congegation, had a heart attack, and needed an ambulance. So it has been truly an unusual Sunday morning. The sun is out, the trees are no longer white, but the pictures will linger in my mind this week, something special for the holidays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Home made Goodies

  Can you believe, it's only three weeks til the Christmas Holidays are here, then quickly gone. I have the radio going with all the lovely music playing most of the time.  To me it's one of the best things about the season. I hope we are all taking time to think about the true meaning of this blessed event,and what it means to all of us.
  In case you are looking for a few last minute stocking stuffers, bath items are always favorites. There is nothing like sinking into  tub of hot water at the end of a long day and letting the cares of the day just melt away.
  Bath Salts are a  great relaxer and so easy. Save up empty containers during the year that you can decorate, and as one of my sons pointed out, hang a scoop on the container. For this recipe you will need:
  1 cup epsom salts
  1/4 cup baking soda
  20 drops of essential oil. I like lavender because it's so relaxing, but for a guy you might lke eucalyptus.  Rose is nice too, whatever you like. Just mix all together well, put in your container with a bow and a scoop.  A sugar scrub is  good for both men and ladies. For this I have found a coarse brown sugar in  plastic container that works well.
  1 cup of the coarse brown sugar
  1/2 cup of regular sugar
  1/2 cup of sunflower, or olive, or safflower oil
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla -the real stuff.
 Mix well, store in air tight jars. I bought some plastic freezer containers, figured I might drop a glass jar, which would not be wonderful so opted for something safe enough for klutzy me. Same thing here, decorate the container with pretty decals and bows.
  This year I found a new bath pleasure, a bomb. Don't be mislead, it won't blow up. The only thing I am struggling with is a mold. It suggests something round but I a using cupcake pans lined with foil. Try this:
  Epsom salts, water and essential oil are all you need. For each cup of salts, add enough water to make  a wet sand consistancy, mix in a few drops of oil, again I would go for the lavender, then pack into your molds and let harden for 3 days.  Wrap each ball in saran wrap and tie with a bow.
 One last thought, if you are having guests for the holiday, you may need to spruce up your carpets, so here is a quick, easy  carpet cleaner, I really like this one, the scent lingers for days:
 1/2 cup corn starch
 2 cups baking soda
 1 tablespoon ground cloves
 2 crushed bay leaves.
 Mix all together and put in a shaker can, sprinkle over rugs and let set 1 hour, then vacuum. A word to the wise, be sure your shaker can is secure, my lid fell off first thing and I had to clean up and start over.
 Happy Holidays, peace and love to all.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Juice, Chickens, Bees and Witches

 In September, Dr Oz ran a segment about arsenic in apple juice. The juice companys got very mad at him, and threatened law suits. Well,  some independant labs got in on the act and released their findings this week. On Wednesday Oz ran a new bit, with the results, seems he was right, juice is tainted with arsenic. And not just apple, grape came under fire too.  And while they were testing, they also found unacceptable levels of lead. His website has a complete list and what to do. Its recommended that, by age, your child or you only drink so much per day to keep harm to a minimum.
  I got a most interesting article in the mail this week from a good friend in Baltimore. When I first started this blog, she commented that in a previous time, I might have been burned at the stake as a witch.  She 's most likely right but a funny thing is happening. We are going back in time. The article is by  Emily Matchar.  It appeared in the Washington Post.  Seems we are learning to knit, sew, can, and do things our Grandmothers did, not our mothers so much, they were baby boomers and "liberated.  But now, the career women are coming home and learning new tricks. Making our own, cleansers, growing our own food and preserving it, so we know what we are eating. No PBA's for us!  We are no longer trusting the FDA to keep us safe, learning this after many  cases of ecoli and bottulism from foods we have purchased at the store. 
  From 850,000 women who stayed home and did the home maker thing in the past,  "career girls gone Green Acres" have risen to 1.5 million in 2010. We are now looked at as virtuous, and frugal. Beekeeping and chicken raising, gardening, canning, home schooling have all become an important part of life. I have a niece with 19 children, 5 of her own and the rest adopted, who has done this whole thing  with them and made it quite a success. They have 500 acres in Washington and produce their own meats, eggs, etc. All the kids pitch in.
  The nice part is, we don't seem to look at this whole movement as a duty, but as a choice. Sadly, our grand daughters may go back to where our baby boomer mothers were, but for the moment, it really seems like we are making progress, and slowly plodding into a better future.

  It's December, and only a few weeks til Christmas. This is my favorite time of the year, love the music and the feeling, gifts don't mean a lot, but letters, pictures and phone calls are always welcome.  Hope you' re busy and happy preparing healthy options for our family holidays!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Odds and Ends

 Hi, hope you had a great Thanksgiving, no turkey overload. And if you shopped on Black Friday,  that you had a safe experience. Me, I went shopping the day before Thanksgiving and this week end am just staying put, making Boston Brown Bread. And listening to Christmas songs.
  This was a different Thanksgiving, helped the senior Center with Meals on Wheels. My time was mostly spent calling  about 140 people to be sure addresses were correct, and they would be home to get their dinners when delivered. I did go and help on Thanksgiving day too, what an amazing day it was. A lot of helpers were there by 6 am, sorting and marking the bags that would hold the dinner, and filling  to go dishes with dessert, cranberry sauce, rolls etc. About 9 am the turkey and mashed potatoes were put into the divided containers, and the bags were packed with information and booklets for the seniors. THen the delivery volunteers showed up and all the dinners were whisked off. By 11 am it was done, and a lot of food was left so that was sent to the city jail, and the police department. Nice to know so many got fed.
  Have a couple of ideas to add to you healthy living file. There is a new device that lets folk who don't like Neti pots still get the benefits, you put steaming salt water(be sure to use Himalayan Pink salt) in the device, suck it in to your mouth and exhale through your nose no liquid involved and it cleans out the nasal passages, thus helping your  immune system. The recipe is  one quart of boiled water, 1 teaspoon each of salt and soda, cool and use. Store in cool place,
  If you are having a bout with itching, brew up a good strong batch of mint tea and apply the cooled tea to the itchy areas.
 If you are wanting to cheat on your diet a bit during the holidays, these items could help.  Fiber One brownies are filling,  and artichoke pasta , I swear, tastes just like the real stuff. My grandsons have eaten large amounts of it and didn't know it wasn't the real stuff. Health Food Store has that. Try Blue corn chips instead of regular,  and for a treat, Kashi  Oatmeal Raisin Flax cookies, just don't eat the whole box.
  Last thought this week, if you overeat or need tummy help, try mixing  1 Tablesoon of ground candied ginger with 1 tablespoon of powdered orange peel, you can dry and grate your own,  and 3 tablespoons of crushed fennel seeds, mix and keep a container on the table, grab a small amount after a meal to soothe the tummy.
  Hope you are enjoying the end of fall, not rushing into the mad house of Christmas preparation, take care.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dump the Scary shampoo

  Have you ever read the label on your shampoo, conditioner or other purchased beauty products? One ingredient you will see a lot is sodium Laurel Sulfate. Not good, chemical. Hard on your hair and scalp. I wonder what our pioneer ancestors used way back when. They had no grocery store handy and had to rely on what was at hand. I have some thoughts for you to try, using basic, safe ingredients. I know, its not the "brand" we are used to, but much better for us, and the earth. And think of the containers you will keep from tossing into the landfill.
   A very basic shampoo to get the residue of old shampoos out of your hair is
1/2 cup baking soda
2 cups water
1 tablespoon powdered rosemary
 Place in plastic shaker container, like an empty squeeze catsup bottle. Lather and rinse well, it will not "lather" like regular shampoo but will clean your hair well.
  A vinegar rinse compliments this shampoo and adds shine, try:
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups of water well mixed and worked through hair, then rinsed
  If these sound too simple, a sudsy shampoo can be made like this;
  2 ounces of castile soap(available at Amazon)
1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil
4 ounces rose water
 combine and mix well, shaking before use.
  One last recipe, a bit more involved for shampoo is:
 1 and 1/2 ounce castile soap
1/2 ounce castor oil or if on east  coast, glycerin
1/2 ounce jojoba oil
1/2 ounce wheat germ oil
1/2 ounce of cocoanut, olive or avocado oil( I am allergic to cocoanut)
a few drops of tea tree oil, and
1 cup of tea, your choice, can be peppermint, chamomile, green or a combination of chamomile and lavender.
 Mix and shake before use. This needs to be stored in refrigerator between uses.
  Funny how simple this is, and how much better for you. We all reach for the "easy" stuff, off the store shelf, but consider trying one of these at least once before you say ugh and back away. Saves money, and our planet.
  It will be Thanksgiving before my next blog, so I want to wish you all a very Happy day, spent with family and friends. This year I am doing some volunteer work and will be sending dinners out to those who are alone and unable to fix thir own, should be rewarding.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just Be Happy

  I am aware that this blog may get me into hot water, but it is only my opinion and the way I look at things. Every one has the right to their own ideas.
  Yesterday I watched an interesting show with Dr. Andrew Weil. I have his books on my shelves and have read his information for many years. By now you have gotten the impression that I am anti medicine. That is my choice and has worked well for me, I totally believe in preventing illness by being proactive about my health. And here I am, 74 years old and only taking one aspirin a day and my rack of vitamins that have been a part of my life for over 40 years.
  Yesterday, Dr Weil talked about depression. He bluntly stated that big pharma has mostly invented the illness to sell drugs. Drugs that don't work. They put you on one, if t doesn't help, they keep adding more. You might want to check into the side effects, totally scary. But there are so many things you can do to help yourself. Starting with diet. All health problems are caused by inflammation, and that comes from the foods you eat. Anything in a box or can, that is processed, is not good for you. I know, it's hard to give up all the Hamburger dishes, cookies,  quick fixes. But cooking with fresh fruits and veggies is not that hard and has so many benefits. Antioxidants,  also known as phytochemicals, are found in deeply colored foods.  They keep your body cells healthy.
  Some of the best ones are berrys. Blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and then head for quick stirfry made with red peppers, onions, garlic, any bright colored vegtable you like, add a little brown rice and you are good to go. It's nice to know that dark chocolate has been added to the list of good for you stuff, in moderation of course. Try adding spices to your dishes too,  cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, clove, cilantro, garlic, curry, red pepper flakes.
   I have a great dish I love, with cut up zucchini, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, simmered til tender, add garbanzo beans and you have a tasty meal.
  Exercise is vital, try and walk, or find something you enjoy that gets you moving. It will elevate your mood. It does take some mind retraining, and a little  meditation doesn't hurt.  Just thinking about what you are grateful for helps.
   There are a lot of herbal helpers too. I have been taking Ashwaganda, it helps relax you, I take it at bedtime to help me sleep. Sam-e is another great helper, but take it early as it tends to pep you up. Rhodiola is a mental clarifier that helps you focus and elevates mood.
  Touch is also a great healer, so hold hands with your honey, hug someone, whatever is possible.
   Depressed people tend to hunch over with their shoulders rounded so here's a way to help open up a closed in chest. Stand with arms out to the sides,  left palm up, right palm down. raise arms while inhaling, lower on exhale, repeat at least three times.
   Lastly, Dr Weil has a book out called Spontaneous Happiness that would be well worth the read. Here's hoping your 11-11-11 is filled with happiness. Take care, be well.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A little Cleaning Savvy

  Have you ever thought about the products used to clean your home, and if they are toxic? Or dangerous to your pets and babies? Well, today is Friday and I have been cleaning this morning so thought I would share a few of my fave tips for eco friendly cleaning.
  To make a great scouring powder, mix equal parts of table salt and baking soda and put in a shaker container. Use like any other cleanser. Add  drop of lemon or scent of your choice if you want it to smell nice. I got lucky, about the time I started making this I had just emptied a plastic container of scouring powder so soaked it and cleaned it out and refilled it with my home brew. Works great. If thats not an option, use any empty container with a tight fitting plastic lid that you can punch holes into, hot nail works well. Even one of those potato chip cans might work, but be sure the lid will stay on or you will have a big clean up.
  To clean counter tops, fridges, exterior of stove, bathroom sinks etc, mix equal parts of water, white vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil. The tea tree oil is  antibacterial, so sanitizes.
  To make a good glass cleaner, add a few drops of lemon juice and a drop of detergent, like Dawn to a cup of water, put in spray bottle and have at.
  As I finish cleaning my kitchen or bathroom, into each drain I put 1/4 cup of baking soda followed by 1/4 cup white vinegar and let set for about a half hour, then rinse with hot water. This helps keeps drains free running and eliminates any odors. The salt and soda cleanser will do a good job on toilet bowls.
 Lastly, you likely know this but a piece of crumpled newspaper works very well in place of expensive paper towels for glass cleaning, actually makes glass shinier. I have also stopped buying those micro fiber cloths for my "dusting mop" and just bought a pack of cheap terry wash cloths, use one, pull it off and wash it. Reuseable for a very long time, and saves a lot of cash.
  Have a great weekend, we are still enjoying nice fall weather and pretty colors. It rained all night and many leaves are now on the ground. Change your clock this Saturday night.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good Helpers for Good Health

 It's a cold rainy morning, rained most of yesterday but we need the moisture. Looks like our neighbors to the north and east are going to be getting some early snow.
  Today I have some assorted hints to file away for use when needed.
  Did you know that the scent of lemon reduces stress?  To make some airspray, grate lemon zest into olive oil, let set a few days then strain. Now you have essential oil, and can add  a few drops to a container of water, maybe 1/2 cup, put into spray bottle and mist your rooms. Lemon and olive oil dressing  is good for you and tasty, add some herbs and a great salad dressing is ready. You can also coat your chicken with lemon and olive oil before baking.
  Got dry elbows?  Try mixing:
1 Tablespoon wheat germ
2 tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon cocoanut oil
1 tablespoon cream
Put this blended mix on your elbows and wrap saran wrap around. Let it stay for 20 minutes then wash gently away.

 Got stretch marks? Try mixing:
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon milk
Rub into affected areas.
  Lets think spring. when you are planning next years planting, consider a bed  or marigolds, also known as Calendula.  These lovely flowers have been used for such a long time as healing salves and balms. To create usable oil, just pick a jar full of flowers, pull them apart and dry them for at least 12 hours. If you don't dry them, they will become rancid. Place in sterile jar, and cover with organic olive oil.  Keep this mix in a sunny window for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking once a day. Then strain and store in a dark place. This oil can be used for  aches, bruises, sore muscles.  It can also be made into salves and lotions. Salve is made by mixing 4 ounces of the oil into 1/2 oz of melted beeswax and 20 drops of essential lavender oil.
  My last thought for today , with the colder weather coming on, is a way to warm cold hands and feet.  Put 2 whole cinnamon sticks and 1 teaspoon whole cloves into 3 cups of boiling water.  Steep 15 minutes. Strain. Warm and drink 3 cups a day.
 Hope you are getting prepared for winter and the coming holiday season, can you believe it's only 7 weeks  until Christmas?  Stay warm!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Grocery shopping for healthy alternatives

 Our lovely fall weather took a turn for the colder, snow on Mt LaConte, an inch they say, its much higher than our mountain. But the chill is being felt. Should warm up again in a few days.
   Before we move deeper into the grocery store, I need to back track. Forgot a very important use for garlic on our last trip. I buy Sally Hansen Hard as Nails  nail polish, and add about 1/4 teaspoon of chopped garlic to the bottle. Yep, its a bit tricky but I like to use the little jars of pre chopped garlic, and just sort of feed it in with my finger. Let this set about a week, then polish clean nails, two coats.  don't remove it during the week, just keep adding another coat every 2 or 3 days. After about a month nails are as hard as acrylic ones, I am impressed with the strength! I do remove  polish once a week.
  Today, lets move to the tea and coffee isle.  Peppermint tea is good for your insides and your outsides. Make it fairly strong by brewing in a covered container for 15 to 20 minutes. You can use the used bags on insect bites, very soothing. Also works on rashes and feet of diabetic folk. Just soak a cloth in the brewed tea and apply. And of course, drink it for tummy upsets. You can add some honey if you like it sweeter.
  Camomile is the next to purchase. This one has so many uses. It's great for children and adults. If you have a teething baby, brew it (per peppermint instructions) and try these.  For Pink Eye, soak cotton balls and apply to eyes, for cold and flu and sore throat, just sip a cup. This is also good to ease gout pain and muscle pain(drink). If you are traveling and need them while on the road, Starbucks has them for sale, but you need to know what to ask for. Peppermint is sold as "Refresh," and Chamomile is sold as "Calm." For little or big people, popsicles can be made to aid upset tummys and diarrhea.  Just brew your tea, use 3 cups and stir in 2 cups of yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and honey to taste. Pour into pop molds or use plastic dixie cups and add a popsicle stick, freeze. You can also freeze a clean cloth with the tea on it and let you teething baby chew on it.
  On to the spice aisle. You all know that salt water is a great gargle for sore throats. But did you know you can make an electrolyte drink, much like the ones you pay so much for  by mixing  a pinch of salt in a glass with lemon and honey? Warm water works best.
   Cinnamon is great for circulation, digestion, fever, blood sugar(put it in your oatmeal)  toothache, and it refreshes your mouth if you sprinkle it on your toothbrush and brush your teeth once in a while. Clove oil is also a great item to use on a toothache. In 1885  cocaine was legal and sold for 15 cents a bottle to use for toothache. If you can't sleep dry bringing a cup of milk almost to a boil and stirring in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, cover and brew about 10 minutes, add a little honey and drink.
  Sage is good for sores in your mouth(canker) or you can gargle with it, when made as a tea. Or  put fresh sage leaves in a jar ,cover with honey and let sit til syrupy to use for sore throat. I had an infection on a knuckle this last week and brewed up some tea and soaked, it seems to be gone.
  We will wind up today with turmeric. This stuff is amazing.  You can sprinkle it on small cuts to stop bleeding, but my favorite I learned nearly 40 years ago. It's a potent anti inflamatory. My Mom had horrid hands, all gnarled up with arthritis, and very painful. She was a teacher and was put on medicines, likely steroids, to allow her to write on the blackboard and do her paper work with less pain. I went to my Health food store and asked if there was a way to keep from having the same problem as I aged. I was told to take turmeric and ginger supplements. Started then, still take them, as did my husband until his death, and I am now 74 but have no problems with pain in any of my joints. Knuckles are slightly enlarged but that's it.  It also may help ward of cancer, any illness is a sign if inflammation in the body somewhere so what ever you can do to prevent future problems, go for it.
   Hope this gives you a few new ideas, good health to all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grocery Store Health Helpers

 Red, yellow and russet colors are popping up on the mountains. Couldn't get a real good look today because of the rain, and the clouds sitting down on the mountains. Another week or two and it should be peak season for colors. And with fall and winter, come the assorted colds, coughs, flu, sinus and general ickys.
  So today lets take a trip through the grocery store and pick up some helpers to keep you and your family in good health.
  Our first super helper is garlic. Its a natural antibacterial, works for lots of infections. Good even for fighting MRSA. Takes good care of your heart and your cholesterol level too, just add to as many dishes as you can and eat hearty.  Lets brew up some  oil, by putting 5 cloves of garlic in a jar and covering with olive oil.  Let set a day then use on fungus infections(toe and finger nails,) an d if you have a baby with a cough, rub  between baby's toes and cover with socks,  helps a cough or an internal infection.
  Next lets grab an onion.  Chop it up and put in a container, glass is best. Cover with sugar, let sit until it turns to syrup. Keep in frig and take a spoonful of the syrup as needed for coughing, no chance of overdosing.
  You may have to look a bit, but next on the list is a chunk of ginger root. This stuff is incredible.  If you have carsick kids, feed them ginger cookies, ginger ale, anything ginger to settle the tummies. Its also good for gas, bloating, congestion, sore throat, and pain.  It harmonizes pain in head and leg cramps. Brew a tea by grating 1/2 inch of peeled ginger root into a cup, pour boiling water over it, cover  and steep for 15 minutes. You can add a dash of lemon juice and some honey if you like, but drink as much as you like. Gargle with it for sore throats.
  Next snag a head of cabbage.  Way back when my oldest son was in high school, he had an ulcer that gave him a lot of pain and trouble. We cooked up a half a head of cabbage, and besides eating the leaves, he drank the water  several times a day(keep in frig) . There is something very soothing about it, that helps heal ulcers. If you eat it as sauerkraut, it contains probiotics. You can also take a raw leaf and put over a wound, covering with a sterile bandage to help heal the wound.
 Our last produce item for today is a potato. Peel and grate, put on burns with sterile dressing.
 Lets move over to the cereal isle now, and grab a box of oatmeal. Old fashioned is best but quick cooking will work.  Oats are wonderful for skin, eczema, itching etc. Even Chickenpox is soothed by soaking in an oatmeal bath. Just tie up a piece of cloth with oatmeal inside it and drop into the tub. Use it to gently wash with. After the bath, discard the oats and wash the cloth for the next time. 
  Hope this gives you a few new thoughts, next time we will try a few more isles in the grocery store. Take care, enjoy this lovely fall weather!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brown sugar Scrub

October arrived so quickly, despite the heat, summer went  too fast. This is such a wonderful time of year, here in the mountains, it's still very lush and green, the leaves have not started changing yet. Peak season for color is always late October into mid November. The second crop of tomatoes that was started this year seems to have passed the test, looks like they will harvest in the next few weeks. The original fields have had their spraying of poison and are all withered and brown, leaving tons of unpicked tomatoes with warning signs about eating them.  Seems such a waste of good food, it always makes me a little sad.
   I have a recipe for you today that feels and smells so good. Use when showering or bathing.The brown sugar I like is in a plastic container with a handle, and very grainy. The regular type does not work as well.
  In a bowl, mix together:
   1/2 cup  of the grainy brown sugar( you can use regular)
   1/2 cup white sugar
   1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
   1/2 vanilla( the real stuff).
Blend the sugars then add the oil and vanilla. I have used Olive Oil too.
Store in jar, plastic is better in case you drop it in the shower.
  My Granddaughter posted a note on facebook this week saying she had given her year old baby girl a metal bowl and and spoon to play with and the result was an hour of "music." I remember when my kids liked playing with simple things, no electronic goodies back in the fifties. Kids had to use their imaginations and it was a good thing. Wonder how many of us could go even one day now without computer, cell phone, tv etc. The young folk would be hard pressed. Have a great week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Non Toxic Air Spray

Hi, sorry to be so slow, been in NE visiting my son and family, getting some lap time with my little grand daughter who will soon be two. And their new kitty, Peanut, cute little Siamese guy. Weather is cooler, feels sooo good, and some crops are still growing well, had my first chard this week, thanks to my oldest son and his well producing garden.
    This time around I have a great easy recipe for non toxic air spray, no bad chemicals to inhale.
     In a spray bottle, put 1/2 cup of white vinegar, add 1 and 1/2 cups of water, filtered if possible, and add 15 drops of your favorite scent.  Grapefruit, orange, lemon, lavender etc. I have both rose and lavender made up and love them. Give it a try, its inexpensive and makes our house smell great.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home made itch lotion

Hi all, its another lovely day on the mountain. Really cool this morning, 56 degrees. Feels so good after the heat. Will warm up by afternoon but the nights are lovely for sleeping now. If you are working in the yard and battling bugs and bites, minor scratches etc, try this to soothe the itches. Mix 2 Tablespoons of aloe gel( I buy it bottled but you might be able to use it from a plant if you have one) with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water. Apply liberally to affected areas. I love the weather cooling down but hate the thought of winter so hope we have a lot of fall days ahead of us. They have late cropped the tomato fields and Doug, my son is putting out new seeds.  My eggplants which have not done well finally have a few blooms. take care, enjoy these lovely cooler days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Can you go Sugar Free?

It sounds daunting, but sugar really is harmful to your health. I'm sure we can't all totally avoid it but cutting way back has huge benefits. Ask me. Our adopted child, Karen had a blood problem and to extend her life and the quality of it, we moved to a tiny "town" in Illinois, maybe 25 families in the area. We grew a lot of our food, bought organic goat milk, and grain from farmers that didn't use chemicals on their fields. Life was really cool those years, very laid back and rural. The kids and I found places to pick fruit from trees no one ever bothered to pick from, patches of wild strawberries, garlic, you name it. We did almost everything from scratch, freezing the bulk of the crops. For sweetener we used local honey. In all the five years we ate that way, there was not a cold, or flu in the house. And we all felt energetic and good. When my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, we took sugar out of the house again. That was in the 90's. He later developed some serious health problems and we again had to be very limited so far as diet. No sugar, no salt, nothing from cans or boxes. Eating fresh produce and whole grains is not that hard, and you soon learn to dislike the taste of those not so good for you  items. We limited meats too so he would not have to take statin drugs which can destroy kidneys and liver. The knowledgeable man at our local health food store told me when I asked how to cope with that problem, " just never eat anything that had a mother." We did eat fish and chicken, but in small amounts.  I lost both those dear people, but the diet sticks for the most part and I avoid eating much sugar or salt. Can't recall when I last had a cold, sugar really zaps immune systems. Hope you give it a try and maybe find it works for you too, at least try cutting back on it. Eat healthy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Banish Wrinkles Face Cream

 This is an easy recipe to make, only takes a few minutes and works like a charm. The ingredients are available on Amazon, or Swanson Vitamins, I use Amazon as it gets you to the other sites quickly.
  You will need:   3 teaspoons of Jojoba oil
                             3 teaspoons of Apricot Kernal Oil
                             1 teaspoon grated beeswax
                             4 teaspoons rose water
                             1/4 teaspoon borax( laundry aisle, grocery store)
                             5 drops carrot seed essential oil
  I am all about easy and little clean up so I save tomato sauce cans or small soup cans, wash with hot soapy water and use as my containers. You will need a small bowl of lots of ice and some water for quick cooling.
  In the first can, put the jojoba oil, apricot kernal oil and beeswax. The smaller you grate the wax the quicker it melts. With a wooden stir stick, I use barbecue wooden skewers, stir these  together in a small pan with about an inch of boiling water. remove with tongs and set aside. Put the rosewater and borax in the second can and heat  stirring until the borax melts. Remove from heat.
  Next with a small whisk, also found on Amazon, put the can with beeswax and oils in the ice water bath and start whipping, when it begins to thicken and turn white, slowly add the rosewater and borax. Keep whipping til thick and creamy. When cool, add the carrot seed oil and blend. Store in small jar, I use pimento or garlic jars, and keep in frig. Toss the cans, dump the water, easy clean up and great skin cream.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's in your fruit and vegetables/

It's July 10, 2011. I was on the back roads to church this morning, and watching the field hands picking tomatoes  for use at our local J. B. Hunt plant in Newport.  Tennessee is a big grower of tomatoes and tobacco. This year, more tomoato fields have been claimed, and some of the corn and other crops normally grown have been replaced with the red veggies. Oh, excuse me, green veggies. These fields are set up in early spring with long rows of raised white plastic beds, each tomato is inserted through a small opening, and as they grow they are staked, and tied.
  Today, picking has begun. But the tomatoes are green. And dozens of discards litter the ground, not good enough to meet the canning standards I am thinking. Here's where the brain kicked in this morning, When I buy a can of tomato sauce or paste, its red, not green. So how do green tomatoes become the sauce, paste and spaghetti sauce we buy that are bright red?
  Did a little research and found that  not only tomatoes but almost every other fruit and vegetable we buy are ripened in chambers filled with ethylene gas. A person can have extreme difficulty breathing if exposed to this gas in concentrated amounts. And yet it can permeate concrete walls. Its also highly explosive in high concentrations. If you would like to read this for yourself, and see the very long list of  chemically ripened fruit and vegetables, go to:  You may never look at  a mango or orange the same way again. There is also some good information at on ethylene gas. Well worth the reading. We have so used this ripening process that we have now created ethylene resistant tomatoes that will no longer ripe in the gas filled rooms.
 For many years, I have picked the last of the crop of tomatoes and wrapped them in newspaper, placing each one in a paper bag and putting the bag in a dark closet, therefore being able to eat ripe tomatoes as late as December and January, now I find I was creating my own ethylene gas, and that was causing them to ripen. This is a very slow process done at home, and doesn't scare me into not doing it anymore. But I am now looking at what I buy at the market in a can, in a whole new light. I wonder what effect this has on our health in the long run, anyone with good information would be welcome to enlighten me.  One more interesting website you might want to check is : Thanks for loaning me your ear.