Friday, June 29, 2012

What's your purse hiding, natural fertilizer and Air Spray etc

  I have a site I follow that gives me classes on using herbs. It has so much to offer, love reading their information. There was a quote this week I would like to share with you. Credit goes to El Corazon, who said " No medicine cures what happiness can not."
  Do you know what's lurking in your purse? I found out some things this week, one I don't like too much,  if you use emery boards, they are meant for one time use then toss them out. Now who of us would do that, we all tuck them into our purse, or keep them handy for smoothing off rough nails. Fact is,  they breed fungus germs. Recommendation is to get a metal file and clean it often.  I never really liked metal ones, and I hate tossing an emery board after one use, hmm, dilemma.
  And that lipstick we all use, it contains lead. If you lick your lips, you are ingesting it all the time. The big brands are leaders of the pack, Cover Girl, L'Oreal, etc. Back to reading labels.
  Your cell phone can carry MRSA and other nasty stuff, be sure to clorox wipe it every few days, and if you have a flip phone,open it and clean the inside too.
  And of course, the purse itself. You take it with you and set it down on tables, floors, ( in restrooms sometimes) and who know what else, so be careful where you put it when you get home, you can bring all kinds of stuff in with it. You may need to wipe it off or wash it if it's fabric, often.
   Are your plants in the garden needing some fertilizer? Here is a recipe for a very simple, natural one. Place a bunch of roughly chopped fresh herbs in a bucket.. Add water, four parts water to one part herbs. Set aside and let brew for three days,stirring once or twice a day. Strain out the herbs, toss them into your compost or put them around needy plants. Spray the full strength liquid onto your plant leaves, or use a watering can and pour around the roots.
  And last today, a recipe for safe, home made air freshener. I have lavender and rose made up, like them both. 
   Put 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 and 1/2 cups of water and 12 to 15 drops of essential oil of your choice into a spray bottle. I make half a recipe, this is a lot at one time. Oils that work great are  grapefruit, lemon, orange, all citrusy, or your choice of floral ones, lavender, rose, etc.
  The US seems to be cooking this week, so many places suffering from extreme heat. Hope you all find a way to keep cool. Also saying a prayer for the folk in Colorado, facing that huge fire, and those in Florida, recovering from the hurricane. Too bad the excess rain from that didn't go help Colorado's fire. Funny  how we can't control those things.
   Take care, stay well and cool!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weeds, sprays, salves and more

  It's been an eventful week. had an award picnic in the park Tuesday, where volunteers in our community were recognized. There were a lot of us, my daughter in law got a well earned award too. The food was good, and so was the company, met the mayor, news paper people etc.
  Today started with a 2 hour battle on a flower bed I have ignored for many years, out on a slope at the front of the house.  It was a good fight to tame the overgrown area. I have a good stand of yarrow and tulip bulbs that might stand a chance now.
  I started the week sitting on my porch and cutting up pine needles.  My son brought an armload of branches down and after much cutting, I ended up with 3 quart jars full of snipped needles. And a lot of bare branches.  to the jars I added a couple of spoons full of grated orange peel, and a couple of tablespoons of juniper berrys. That was covered with oil, some olive, some apricot kernal, some jojoba and some grapeseed. I was using up bits of leftovers and combined them. After stirring, the jars have been set aside, and will brew for a month. At that point, we will talk about the rest of the recipe, it will end up as a salve for sore muscles, achy joints etc.
   I have a recipe for you today for your garden and flowers, an insect spray.
   In a blender, toss 12 large cloves of garlic, 6 hot chili peppers, fresh or dried, 2 cups of water and puree til foamy. Let this stand overnight. You should have a coral colored mixture with stuff at the bottom. Strain this through a coffee filter or cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer, no stuff left or it will clog your spray bottle. After its strained, pour it into a jar, add a tablespoon of  liquid castile soap, I think dish soap might also work, and a few drops of cinnamon or eucalyptus essential oil.  This will keep for most of the summer. When you use it,  add 2 tablespoons of mix to a quart of water in a sprayer. U se in the late part of the day so sun won't burn your plants. Reapply as needed.
   I am getting ready to brew up some lemon balm leaves and see if they' re strong enough flavor wise to make some lemon jelly  out of, if it works, I will share my recipe next time.
  Find some shade, stay cool. I am going back to work on a baby blanket for my coming grand daughter, catch ya later.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

From Chia Pets to Chia wonder Seeds

   Remember when your mom had a Happy Hank, or some other  form that was covered with growing chia seeds, and looked like grass growing inside the house? My Mom had Happy Hank but lately, there must be dozens of different chia pets available.
  Maybe it would be healthier to start eating these seeds. I have become quite fond of them, add some to cereal or make pudding with them. It is a new food to me so still in the experimental stage, and I wonder how come I didn't know about them sooner.
 Lately there are articles and recipes in magazines, and on tv with all the information about their health benefits. Here are a few of them.
  They help you loose weight because they keep you feeling full for a long time, and are much cheaper and healthier than diet pills.
  They help balance your blood sugar so are good for diabetics, no sugar needs to be used in their preparation.
  They prevent diverticulitis. The outer shell is insoluble so helps them to pass through your system, cleaning out debris. They are kind of slick and slimy so move easily through your system.
   They contain lots of healthy omega 3's.  Also antioxidants to slow aging. Because they fill you up, you have fewer cravings. They are loaded with fiber, protein etc. Chia was used by the Aztecs and Mayans, considered to be a staple in their cultures.  They have a minimum amount of calories , 11 grams of fiber per ounce, and 18% of your daily calcium needs.
   Recipes, these are so easy it's ridiculous.

    Chocolate peanut butter pudding

2 cups milk  (I use soy or rice)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup splenda, or stevia or agave to your taste. The latter 2 take small amounts.
Combine all in a food processor and chill at least 45 minutes. I like to put mine in ramekins or individual dishes.

   Pomegranite Chia Pudding

1 ounce chia seeds
3/4 cup pomegranite juice.
Let set 45 minutes after combining. This can be run through a processor or left as is.
  I am thinking apricot nectar, apple sauce, the combos would be endless, rev up your imagination. Personally, I like the chunkyness of unprocessed seeds, its a personal thing I am sure.
  Chia seeds are easy to find on line, I get mine from Swanson Vitamins, they have their own brand for $9.89 a 16 ounce container, or a Nutiva organic brand for $6.85 for a 14 ounce package.
  Hope you give these guys a try, they are soooo good.
  See ya soon.

Friday, June 8, 2012

E-coli again, Pink Slime, clorined Chicken

  The news this morning is telling of an outbreak of e-coli again, in the southern states. A little girl has died and many more are ill. So far the source is not known, but usual ones are lettuce, sprouts, and of course hamburger. If you are buying produce, be sure to wash it well.
  I watched an interesting show on the Doctors this week. Let's start with Pink Slime.  A gooey mixture containing amonia hydroxide. At least 70% of the hamburgers consumed in the US are made from parts of animals not otherwise used. Bone, gut, whatever is leftover. And combined with the slime to make it look edible. Sounds tasty, yeah?Wait, there's more.  The buns, along with breads made in the US contain Potassium Bromate. This substance has been banned in the UK and Canada as it's highly carcinogenic. There is another bread aditive called azodicarbonimide. Check labels when buying bread and avoid those. So now put the Pink Slime and carcinognic. Put slime and buns together, you have such a wonderful meal!
  I gave up on hamburger years ago when it kept being recalled for e-coli.Instead, I started buying more chicken. Well, I am going to upset you even more. The chickens, even organic ones, are killed, cleaned and tossed into cold water as if they are not chilled at once, e-coli starts growing. But the cold water contains a solution of up to 50%chlorine. Yep good old bleach. And because it leaves a bad taste, salt water is injected to kill the chlorine taste. So you are getting salt in your diet you didn't know about, and bleach too. Tests run in a lab in CA have proved this method doesn't kill salmonella, so may be worthless. Reputable chicken companies air chill their chickens. You can tell by checking   thelabels for salt what you are getting. The best option is free range organic chicken.
  Well, that gets us to dessert. Who doesn't like ice cream.  Did you know that because real vanilla is so expensve, pipronal, used to kill lice, is used instead. And if you are going for fruit, or pineapple flaver thats made from ethyl acetone,a substance in nail polish remover. And the topper, any red dye (40 in particular) is known to cause ADD in children and yet the FDA has not banned it's use. Natural color, like beets could be used. The safest ice creams are the ones with the fewest most natural ingredients.
  This is only a partial listing of harmful ingredients, go to to get more, and some safe options.
 If you would like to make a safe dessert try mixing frozen strawberrys, stevia or agave,  a little lemon juice andwater and eating that.
  Hope I haveleft you something youlike to eat, I am cooking a pot of beans that will be mixed with fresh peppers, onions andmushrooms for supper.
  Have a good week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Holy Basil, Passion Flower,Summer Mountains, Bananas

  How can it be Friday already! The week flew. I am doing some volunteer work, and time slips by so fast when I get into that.
  My favorite southern tree broke into bloom this week, the lovely Mimosa. It seems to grow where there is water, so along river banks there are lots of them. The blooms are spiky and delicate and pink, so pretty.
  I have been looking into a plant called Holy Basil lately. Its an ancient plant, considered to be an "escaped weed." Has been used as a medicine for many years. It is a Cox2 inhibitor which means it controls pain, and may be good for cataracs and for controlling blood sugar. Its  also called Tulsi. Seems its considered an adaptogen, which means a substance that moves you toward better health. If you make tea by combining tulsi, hawthorn and arjuna, it improves your heart health. It eases pain because of the euginol it contains. It has also been used to help hay fever and allergies.
  To make a tincture, put 1 heaping teaspoon of tulsi leaves, 1 heaping teaspoon of hibiscus flowers, 1 teaspoon of dried rose petals and a pinch of stevia in a teapot with 16 ounces of hot water, steep 15 minutes , strain into a cup and enjoy. In case I have neglected to say, any of these herbs you do not grow, can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs. It's a great company, and they have a very informative newsletter.
  The other herb I am reading up on is Passion Flower. This plant is native to the Andes. It's usually a vine but can also grow as a bush. It's pollinated by bees and hummingbirds. Makes a lovely plant in your yard or garden.  It has been studied as useful for epilepsy, hysteria, and insomnia. A cup of tea at bedtime will give you a good night's sleep. Wikopedia has pictures of the lovely flowers, mostly purple and white. If you are totally stressed out, try some of this tea to soothe your jangled nerves.
  It's raining today, hurray, we needed it.  And it's much cooler. I have one more idea to share, if you have scrapes or a bleeding cut, rub a banana peel on that,  the peel is astringent and will help the healing process. Can't beat that for cheap and easy. Have a good week, stay well.