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!