Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grumpy Crow Fun Time

At first I thought it was the deer slowly hacking at my garden, now I see things in a new light. You see, I highly doubt that the deer think it would be fun to pull all of my plant labels out of the ground every night. These crows on the other hand might do just that. I'm not talking about the odd tag that might have been trampled on. No, instead, every single tag gets rooted up in the night by these birds partying in the night (most likely in the early morning light) in my garden, leaving droppings all over the place and trying to uproot my plants. Some of them have been replanted a few times and they are tough little buggers. I'm concerned though, when these plants really take root... this kind of tomfoolery could really damage them. I lost another buttercup squash plant on account of this business... a cucumber as well. My scarecrow is going to be one scary fellow.

Oh mischievous crow family, this morning I stood in my garden plot, watching the tree in which you nest. Listening intently as you banter amongst your brood, taunting me with your caws of laughter. I yelled at you and your family to let you know that I'm watching you and your crow friends. I don't appreciate you leaving stool everywhere. Your day will come you grumpy little pranksters! 

Is this why my grandmother chased things out of her yard with a broom? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Catnip Nighttime Tea

You can make tea with catnip. Yes, I'm absolutely serious. I didn't know you could make tea with catnip. I didn't know it could be ingested by humans. I did know it was a member of the mint family. I guess I just never made the connection. My associations with catnip, had everything to do with my cat rolling around on a sewn fortune cookie that was stuffed with catnip and stored in more catnip. In my search for answers. I discovered that mice who had been given catnip extract experienced longer sleep times and a reduction of overall activity. I also found out that catnip had great respiratory benefits and can aid with infection and cold and flus. Interesting, indeed.

Fantastic, now my cat and I can enjoy this wonderful herb together while the hubby so loving teases and makes up little song jingles about me and my cat and catnip! Good times.

I did find a great catnip recipe for a Nighttime Tea to help sooth all you restless sleepers!

1 cup boiling water
1 part dried chamomile flower
1 part mint
1/2 part catnip

I read somewhere else that if you are using fresh catnip to cover the tea while steeping for 5-10 minutes so that the natural oils do not evaporate.

PS: People who are sensitive to ragweed, might also be sensitive to chamomile.

Rosemary-Ginger Tea

This is a wonderful "feel good" remedy for colds and flu!

1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary, or 2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary
Honey (optional)

Important: Due to its stimulating properties, rosemary should be used as an internal infusion for a maximum of 2 cups a day  for no longer than a week at a time. People with high blood pressure should avoid rosemary in other than culinary uses.

The Rain helps things grow / Out darn Crows

I finally got everything planted in the garden a couple days ago, on the night of the full moon. I have been putting saving my coffee grounds and tea leaves and giving those to the plants too. The plants like that a lot, coffee grounds release nitrogen into the soil. Hubby graciously brought home some veggie plants in dire need of a good home. I questioned if some of them would make it. Most of them are thriving beautifully right now. There are maybe a couple squash plants that were starting to die but they look a little more lively today.

A couple days ago, the morning after all the veggies were planted. I strolled out to check on them (fortunately) and found that one of my green pepper plants had been uprooted. It appeared as though a deer ate one of the leaves and in the process I believe they unintentionally lifted it up. So I planted it again and it is doing well. It has a large bit mark on a leaf at the bottom. I believe a fence is in order.

I don't mind the animals eating the crab apples, blueberries or the blackberries. There is more than enough to go around but I am afraid I have to draw the line at my garden. OH! Did I mention that we have a family of crows living here? They are lifting up the lid to our compost bin and having a feast. Which would have been alright if they didn't call their friends. Now there is a community of them living in a tree at our tree line. I hear them caw all the time. I don't mind the noise because it is kind of funny listening to them communicate with one another. I just know that if we don't manage this problem that it will grow out of control.

Anyone know how to make some effective scarecrows? :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Acupressure, a tiny history

Touch heals, it makes us feel good. It comforts us when we are feeling down, and if touch is applied to specific areas of the body, it can unblock the flow of energy so it is evenly distributed throughout the meridian pathways in our bodies. The technique is called acupressure began centuries ago in China, a practice that originated from Taoism. Chinese physicians and philosophers discovered 12 defined paths (or meridians) in which life energy flows throughout the body. Doctor Kim Bong-han, professor of medicine at Korea's Pyongyang University later found that variations in the skins electrical resistance could be traced along the meridians as they had been illustrated in the ancient texts. The skin cells were structurally different along the meridians and at certain points these"meridian cells" were found in clusters. These points found on the meridian are identifiable by a name and number. When pressure is applied to these points not only are you directly influencing the energy in that meridian, you are also relieving associated symptoms. 

Essentially, disease can very well be a sign that the energy within those meridians is out of balance.

Physical symptoms are "hints" for us to pay attention to our thoughts and our lifestyles as both of these things have the potential to be destructive or healthy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Benefits of Aloe Vera

With about 200 different varieties, Aloe can be a gardeners delight. But Aloe Vera is desired outside of the garden, familiarize yourself with the healing properties of Aloe.

While research hasn't shown much proof that using Aloe is beneficial towards burns and your skin in general, people have been using aloe to treat burns and various skin ailments like insect bits or a small wound. Aloe can also be found in the form of a juice and when taken internally it can sooth the entire digestive track. It does wonders with cases of gastritis, heartburn, acid reflux, colitis, diverticulitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. So next time you are in need of some antacids, try going on a mini regime of Aloe and see if that helps!

Recent studies show that ingesting Aloe Vera Orally may benefit those with Diabetes.

While best straight from the plant, you can find Aloe Vera in many different skin-care products both natural and chemically laden. It's can be used to heal acne, cuts, sun burn, psoriasis, dandruff, cradle cap and MANY more ailments. Remember to read the ingredients when choosing your skin-care products. Even natural products aren't always best for your body!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review - Babushka's Beauty Secrets

My mother always said that the old ways work. Many of the old ways have been forgotten as we struggle to be everywhere at once and are bombarded with advertising telling us that these miracle products will helps us look picture perfect all at the expensive of our pocket book which costs us more of our precious time. Before all of this chaos, people turned to their kitchens for beauty aids.

The author Raisa Ruder is an Esthetician to the stars and she learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother or babushka as she so lovingly calls her.

Since our skin is so absorbent, I believe that what we use on our body should not be any different that what we put inside our bodies. The recipes in this book are all made from everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil, strawberries, carrots and much more. This is a very practical book to own and I am very excited to try out some of the soufflĂ© masks and temporary hair color boosters found inside this wonderful book! There is even a mustard wrap that is supposed to smooth the thighs and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Recipes aside, there is a lot of practical tips in this book from soaking sweat stained clothing in powdered aspirin and warm water. Yes, I said aspirin. I was quite surprised as well.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Babushka's Beauty Secrets to review in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for giving me this opportunity. I am an Amazon Associate so I might earn a small amount if you make a purchase. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The little garden that could.

We've had a nice couple of days, I've finally been able to spend some time in my garden again. I haven't even been able to get anything planted. We get a lot of wind coming off the water here and don't have much along the lines of wind breakage around the property. So when the wind comes, it comes! The last couple days have been pretty nice and I managed to get most of my rows dug so with another day of nice weather I should be ready to plant. I'm getting very excited. It doesn't really bother me that it is getting late and there are some vegetables I won't be able to plant. I just appreciate being able to grow, tilling the earth and nurturing something from a seed. I have so many pleasant dreams of growth. Next year I will be blessed with an earlier start and we be able to tackled more varieties. This year, I begin.