Friday, September 21, 2012

Great Pumpkin Cookies, a bit of recycling and some health ideas

  I ran across a great recipe last week, it's the time of year we start thinking of pumpkin, crisp nights and a little warmth from the oven on chilly mornings.  So here is a recipe for Pumpkin Ginger cookies I think you will like.
  1/2 cup soft butter        1 teaspoon vanilla
  1 cup sugar                   2 teaspoons baking soda
  1/2 cup pumpkin          2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1/4 cup molasses          1 teaspoon cloves
  1 egg                             1/2 teaspoon salt,  1 and 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  2 and  1/3 cups unbleached flour
      Beat butter and sugar til creamy, add pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla.
      In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Mix together and chill several hours or overnight
      Heat oven to  350 degrees.  Use teaspoon sized balls of dough, dip in sugar. I like to use organic brown sugar crystals, they leave a little crunch after baking. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, and cool on rack.
   Know all those toilet tissue rolls you toss? Save them and the lint from your dryer trap. Stuff the lint into the empty rolls and use to start fires in your fire place. Two less items to recycle.
   If you are trying to boost your immune system before the winter weather moves in, here are a couple of ways to help.  Be sure your multi vitamins contain 15 mg of beta carotene, 50 mg vitamin C,  and 400 iu of mixed tocopherol vitamin E.  Also be sure you are using a capsule, "bullets" tend to go through without doing you much good.
   To boost your happiness level, keep a journal.  Each day at the end of the day, jot down one thing you are grateful for.  Check the list often, in a few months this will improve your mood dramatically. This is a valid, proven scientific study which has been done.
  Try doing some deep breathing each day to clear the lungs . Breath in through the nose for a count of 7, hold for 8 counts, then exhale slowly through the mouth.  Do this twice a day, 8 times each.
  If you are looking to up your anti oxidants which are so good for your health, one cup of Matcha tea has  as many antioxidants as 8 cups of green tea.
   If you think you have a sluggish thyroid, you can check it out by taking your temperature by mouth in the morning before you get up. If it runs under 98 degrees for a week, you have a slow working thyroid gland.  To improve function, eat  things high in selenium, like mushrooms,  brazil nuts,  and iodized salt is important.  I love to saute a handful of onion, garlic, mushrooms and herbs and use them over pasta, or grilled chicken. You can likely think of a lot of ways you would eat these.
  Finally, if you are looking for a way to "detox" your body, when you get up in the morning start your day with a glass of warm water, and add a squeeze of lemon and a couple of dashes of hot sauce.  Should help kick start your day.
  Eat healthy, add those greens every day, keep smiling and be grateful for all the blessings you have. It doesn't take much looking around to see others who have so many more problems these days. Stay well.

Friday, September 14, 2012

God's Plan for My Life

  I spent most of my life in the midwest, born in Nebraska, traveled around during a stint in the Air Force, and ending up several times in Illinois. In a little town called Paxton, I met my second husband. He had lived his whole life there, and had been a baker most of his life. He had the assorted jobs when he was a teenager, from pin setter at a bowling alley to working in a glove factory and a furniture factory. But by the time he was out of high school, his sister had bought a bakery and convinced him to be the baker. He spent 25 years there.
   When we had been married about 10 years, my dad was in a car wreck, and the x-rays revealed a kidney the size of a football, cancerous.  They removed it but he never was well after that. We thought about buying the bakery when my hubby's sister wanted to retire and sell it, but the cost of equipment that would make it feasable was so much it never would have been recouped. So we decided after much thought, to move to Nebraska to be near my folks at this difficult time in their lives.
   We stayed through my dad's death and then my mom's. And then it was time to decide what to do with our lives, and retirement.
   After we had been in Nebraska for a time, we sat down one weekend afternoon with a map of the US and looked for a place we would like to end our days. We decided it would have to be warmer than the midwest,  not so many tornados, but still have seasons. We were drawn to Tennessee.  In the center of the state is a very small town, maybe a couple of hundred people, called Bugscuffle. I kid you not, it's real. It's about halfway between Murfreesboro and Fayetteville. Not much there, would have to shop, go to doctors and that sort of thing in the aforementioned towns. Which would have meant a little driving. But all the information we could find, was favorable. So we circled it on the map and put the atlas away.
   Quite a few years after that, one of our sons moved to Tennessee, an area called Edwina, near Newport.  We took  several trips , one by air and several by car to visit, and were awed by the mountains, and the beauty of the area. The Great Smokys are their back yard,  they can look out and see them from the porch.
   On our second or third trip, we looked at modular houses. And when offered a spot of land on my sons acreage, decided to see if we could sell our home and retire to those gorgeous mountains.
   Surprisingly, the house sold in  just a few weeks, we had thought it might take a year or so. So we were told the new owner wanted possesion in 2 weeks, whoa, fast pack and move out.
    Never crossed our minds that we had at one point thought about retiring to Bugscuffle. So here we are, not in the original location, but in a much nicer area. I love the mountains, they are like protective fortresses. The wind blows over the tops, you can hear it, but seldom do we have much here on the ground. The weather is mostly temporate, we get a little snow, sometimes a bit more, but it melts rapidly and never needs shoveling. In fact, a quarter inch will close the schools because the buses can not navigate these twisty mountain roads when slick.  We  grow garden most of the year, have had a good run this summer and my son is starting his covered beds for winter now, planting what will grow in cooler temperatures.
   It's strange to think how close we came to our "ideal" area, when we had really forgotten about choosing it so far ahead of time.
   Guess God really does work in mysterious ways, it's good to trust his judgement.
   I miss seeing my family in Nebraska, but don't regret moving here, have found a church I love, and  a volunteer job, hope I can be able to keep going for a long time to come.  God put me here, and I hope I can continue to serve Him in some way.
   Blessings to you for the coming week.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thoughts on Antacids, home made hair spray, perfume and toner

  Yeah, tomorrow we get a cool down, only 75 for a high temp and clear down into the upper 40s at night, sounds so good. It was cool this morning for a long time, very refreshing.
  Okay, some thoughts. If you are taking any medications for heart burn, or reflux,  did you know they cause B-12 deficiency?  And this can cause your hands and feet to tingle and get numb.  Your body quits making RNA and DNA when you take these. Also you can become anemic and develop bone loss problems. If you are taking them, keep checking with your doctor on side effects, and be aware they are not advised for more than a few weeks. You can develop neuropathy and  fibromyalgia from overuse. More information is available on Jordan Rubins website.
    Recipes. How about a facial toner ?
 3 tablespoons of mint leaves, fresh or dried
 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
 1 cup distilled water
Put all in a clean, covered container and steep for 3 days. Strain and store in a tightly covered container. Splash on face after washing.
   Hair Spray
 zest of one lemon or lime
 1 cup boiling water
 1 tablespoon witch hazel
Put zest in ceramic container, pour boiling water over and let set overnight. Strain and stir in the witch hazel. Put in spray bottle and use to style hair or set your style after its done.
  About zest, if you zest your citrus and dry the zest, run it through your coffee grinder or food mill and make it into a powder, much easier to work with, and you will find a lot of uses for it. Even cooking. You can dry it in your microwave, regular oven or dehydrator.
 1 teaspoon orris root powder
 1 tablespoon cornstarch
 1 tablespoon citrus peel
 2 drops lemon essential oil
 2 drops bergamont oil
  Mix all together and put in food processor.  Process til you have a smooth, fine powder.  Put in a container with a tight lid and rub small amounts on your skin where you would apply perfume. This is a recipe you can alter to suit your sense of smell, so many oils are available, so do some experimenting and find a scent you love.
   After bath spray
 2 cups apple cider vinegar
 1 tablespoon dried sage
 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh or dried
 1 teaspoon ground cloves
 Mix in a clear , clean jar and let set 2 weeks, shaking daily. Strain and put in spray bottle. Use after bath or shower.
  Have you ever heard of Bugscuffle Tennessee? Next time I will be sharing a story about it with you. Have a great week, hope the cool weather is heading your way. Stay well.
  A final reminder, all these products are easy to find at Mountain Rose Herbs, or on Amazon.