Seeds Catalogs and Spring Planting

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I apologize in advance for how bright the photos are. We haven’t had sunshine for about two weeks now. Today–we have sunshine. It’s bitterly cold out, but the sun sure feels good when you’re out in it. I love my seed catalogs, from my two favorite seed catalog companies. I have yet to place an order with them hence the Burpee seeds, also a favorite.

I buy all my tomato seeds from Baker Creek. You can request your free catalog here. I receive a Seed Savers catalog every year but have never ordered from them. They come highly recommended, so this year I will be placing an order for cucumbers, pumpkins, and assorted flowers. I usually buy planters and pots of flowers, but this year I am going to try growing my own. You can request your free catalog here. 

So that’s my spring plan thus far. I have all my pots washed out, soil purchased and grow light ordered.

Thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me about essential oils. I am late to the movement, I know. It’s surprising too because I’ve spent my whole life studying plants, homeopathy, natural medicines, Eastern and Native medicines. One thing I’ve already felt from the Young Living family, besides great oils, is their hospitality. They don’t spend my time comparing Young Living’s oils to other oils on the market, nor does my upline waste my time inundating me with promotions and ways to share etc. Yes, it’s talked about and it is necessary and I need to learn about that stuff too.  One thing you will never read on my blog is my comparing companies or speaking negatively of other oils. Everyone has so many choices before them when it comes to essential oils. Some choose based on price, availability, convenience, friends and family, or the reputation of a company, purity of the oils and of course the support you can receive through the company you decide to buy the oils from.  My choice was based on the Young Living’s reputation, the purity of their oils and the support I would receive once I became a member.  Everyone’s story is different.

Essential Oils- transitioning to a more chemical free life

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Over the course of three years now I’ve been pondering about buying essential oils online. Not just one or two, but a lot of them so that I can transition my family to a more chemical free life.  I was looking for a company that sold cleaning products, deodorants, products for hormone issues plus a full line of essential oils. I am not new to essential oils. Twenty years ago I was using them to make my own soap and even farther back, some thirty years ago, I was using them for aromatherapy.  I’d had great success using them for aromatherapy and have really been using oils for aromatherapy ever since. I also enjoyed making my own soap, but have never really found the time again to engage in soap making.  Back in the eighties, two essential oils existed- lavender and orange. I’m just kidding, but they were the only two I could get my hands on. They smelled good, they worked good in soap and I loved using them. I also learned to clean with essential oils, lemons, baking soda and just plain hot soapy water by watching one of my favorite shows- How Clean is Your House w/ Kim and Aggie. Eventually, though I slipped and began using chemicals to clean my home with again.

Fast forward to 2017 and there are virtually hundreds of oils in the market and now I must consider how the oils are processed. Because how they are processed is very important and based on each particular process will inform you about how pure, and authentic the oil is. It was vitally important to me to find a company with authentic, pure oils because I didn’t want to throw my money and time away on oils that were lacking in potency.

All of this information led me to the questions- how was I going to know which oils were the best without spending an incredible amount of money trying them all? I was looking for oils that would help me manage a hormone imbalance as well as oils that would help me manage some pain issues. I didn’t want to just order a kit and then find out how to do all things oily by myself.  I wanted to be able to share my experiences, ask questions and find a really knowledgeable team that I could be a part of.

So I started my research by visiting several of the websites that sell essential oils online. I absorbed everything essentials oils including sharing them, multi-level marketing companies, uplines, and downlines and everything in between. I ordered oils from three different essential oil companies and began using them.  And you know what?– each of the three companies had some great products. I am sure this statement is quite controversial, but truthfully, I found Rocky Mountain Oils, doTERRA and Young Living to all be exceptional companies to buy oils from, and I was lucky enough with doTERRA and Young Living to find some great resources, through groups and my sponsors for each company, online.  Since RMO is not an MLM essential oil company support for their oils can be found by directly contacting the company. I bought basic starter kits from both doTERRA and Young Living and I’m able to purchase oils from each company whenever I want, but I’m not obligated to have to place a regular monthly order from them. I don’t know if anyone has ever written about this kind of experience? but I know that I have read comparisons of costs vs. product vs. customer service vs. purity etc. I read those comparisons too. With the different needs that  I have, for using essential oils, I wanted to give oils from both of these companies a try. I didn’t want to limit myself.  I am very happy with the results. I’ve never been a one-stop shopper ever. And even though I am sure that there are hundreds of thousands of people loyal to one company over the other, I’m just not one of them. I love the sponsors and upline I have for both of the companies I order from.  I do not compare the companies against each other ever. I’m not ordering from both as a comparison, but rather because I’ve found great products doing business with both companies, and I don’t want to have to choose one company over the other. I order different oils from each of them and I benefit greatly from both. I’m happy to share my experience with the oils I purchase with anyone and from time to time will share that information here.

So that’s my essential oils story!

Thank you for reading this post! Next up– I’ll be back sharing my favorite seed catalogs and I’ll start talking about what I’m going to be planting in my container garden this spring.

The Benefits of Taking a Nap

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The benefits are listed here.

I am big on naps for many reasons.  Naps feel good.  I wake from a nap fully ready to take on the world. I am a bit saner after a nap, less cranky and way more energetic. But not everyone likes taking a nap. Remember when your mother used to force you to go take a nap? I do. Until I became an avid bookwork nap taking was pure evil. Do you remember laying in bed as a child staring at the ceiling counting sheep restlessly until your mother let you know nap time was over? I remember that too. But now, well actually for about the last 20 years, I am a regular nap taker.  I often try to get my husband to lie down and nap, but it’s just not his thing. Something tells me he is more the fall asleep in the recliner during the 6 o’clock news kind of guy.  For my nap to be successful I first plan how long it will be and set my clock. I make sure everyone in my household knows I am going to lie down. I turn on my white noise machine, rub lavender over my face and on my pillow and down I go. Whether it’s a 30 minutes nap or two hours I feel like a million bucks when I get up from it.

I do have night time sleep problems, but I’ve had those for many many years. My taking a tap doesn’t make them any worse and sometimes my nap makes me tired enough later in the day to fall fast asleep at bedtime. Try it. Just go ahead and try it.  What are you waiting for? Sweet dreams~ 🙂

Naturally Fermented Probiotic Lemonade

Christmas time brought me two new cookbooks-

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I haven’t had much of a chance to go through each one of them yet, but I did find an interesting recipe in Nourishing Traditions that I wanted to try right away.

Naturally Fermented Probiotic Lemonade- this drink is very very good for your gut.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 Lemons,  juiced
  • 1/3 Cup Lightly refined sugar
  • 6 Cups of Water (not boiled)
  • 1/2 Cup of  Basic Whey

Dissolve sugar in water in a large glass container with an air-tight lid.
Allow the mixture to become room temperate before stirring in the lemon juice and whey.
Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Once done I transfer the lemonade into 2 Weck Jars for Juice for easy storage and serving.
Refrigerate. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower pace.

Light

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My word for 2017 is light.

I’ve started this post ten different times and each time I reread it I erased it.  How does one write about lightness and goodness without it coming off like a sermon? It’s been hard these past few weeks and I feel like things will just get harder. For those who are new to my blog, I’m an activist. If that brings pictures to your head of me tying myself to a tree you’re close. Unfortunately, I lack the kind of courage that kind of action needs. Instead, I donate my time, and money and do everything short of tying myself to that tree to fight for the environment, to fight against climate change, to recycle and reuse, and be the best activist I can for those that don’t have a voice–the animals that walk our earth.  I’m a food activist hence this blog and the many years of research I’ve got under my belt about it. I also volunteer at a homeless shelter and provide money, time and resources to those less fortunate than I.

I can’t turn the news on right now because I can’t handle everything I see being done that goes against everything so many people tirelessly worked towards. All of the work, effort, research and time being deleted, darkened and destroyed. It’s heartbreaking and I’m not sure what if anything I can do about it? I can protest sure, and I can give money and give more of my time. But what changes when programs against the things I believe become the new norm? Another thing I can’t wrap my head around is why it is always the very vital things to all our livelihoods always under fire? It’s hard for me to be full of light and goodness when people so blatantly bash the very things that give them light, and air and peace and life. It’s hard for someone like me who has been a nature lover for over 45 years to reason out other people’s disbelief in proven facts. It’s hard for me to understand the never ending plight and disgrace of racism. So that is where I am at. I’m always telling my husband he can’t keep coming at something from a defensive point of view. But that’s where I feel I’m heading and what I really want is for everyone to just sit down together and maybe agree to disagree, but let’s not go back 100 years or more to censoring everything that goes against the government’s opinions.

When someone acts or reacts from a  defensive point of view they aren’t listening to you. First and foremost to them is defending their opinion or points and really bashing you for having one opposite of theirs. Every time you try to interject a fair and unbiased view they hear a threat and overpower you once again with their point of view or idea or opinion. Keywords to note not present in this type of exchange- fairness and unbiased. Because the other person is overpowering you with their defensive points of view through threats.

Listening is an art. Communication involves both talking and listening. In a country that considers itself democratic all opinions should be on the table, but they are not. The opinions of one side are starting to be deleted, darkened and oppressed. Keywords to note- delete, darkness and oppression.

I make a point of not talking about politics or religion on my blog, in my real life, even amongst friends and co-workers.  Because these two subjects are hot buttons of conflict here and just about everywhere.  I don’t think either particularly call a person to defend the earth, or defend its people or defend the animals that walk upon it. Humans do that. I’m human. I’m trying as hard as I can to walk in the light, do the right thing and keep moving forward. The here and now is important but what I do, what we all do to ensure there is a future is equally if not more important. Many cannot see tomorrow or refuse to safeguard tomorrow over today.  Even though tomorrow isn’t promised and never comes for some of us, it still comes. And I’ll be right here God willing to protect it because no matter how dark things get, there will be light.

What’s your word for 2017?

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

Pizza is a love of mine. In my early twenties I was considered a pizza connoisseur. One of my three jobs at the time was pizza maker. I took this job very seriously, so seriously I took day trips to pizza shops to try their pizza. Why? Because I loved pizza and because I wanted the pizza where I worked to be the best pizza around. There was a time in my life I could have easily ate pizza every day without issue. Even today pizza is my favorite meal. Aside from going out to a pizzeria one can always buy a premade pizza found in the freezer department of every store. We’ve tried them all and even though there are some that are pretty good (Paul Newman, Digiorno), nothing beats homemade. I bought the kits for years to make homemade pizza, but grew tired of the dough not rising or being too sticky or ? So this past Decemember I started to try my hand once again at making homemade crust. I found a recipe here that makes perfect easy to work with pizza dough every time. Try it!

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True North

Ask Wikipedia about true north and you’ll find–true north is different from magnetic north. True north lies a long the earth’s surface  towards the geographic north poles.  It’s quite a complex direction that is found by carefully  adjusting magnetic forces from the compass to remove compass deviations.

Metaphorically speaking someone’s true north could be made up of many things-lines they don’t cross, when they feel they are at their best, when they feel right with the world and so many more possibilities. For me it is the best version of myself; when I feel I am representing the truest version of myself. My true north was discovered several years back during a self-imposed sabbatical. That it exists for me and I can feel it’s presence is what makes it such a beautiful and necessary thing for me.  My true north can and does get weighed down by certain “magnetic forces” around me. For example negative people, hurtful people, unjust circumstances or outcomes and of course things I see happening in the world via the news, newspapers, news sources and the many documentaries I watch a year.

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During times like these the first thing I do is pray.  I pray for strength and I pray for forgiveness and I pray for more patience and tolerance. Prayer reminds me to stay focused and on course. Nothing can be gained by acting out or going against one’s own moral code. I don’t let anyone push me off center to the point I would cross a line that I’ve self imposed or act out of character altogether.

Sometimes things happen in my life that kind of shake me off my course. During times like these the first thing I do is gather my thoughts and decide if there is anything that can be done to change things. Part of what stresses people out during uneasy or challenging times is their inability to realize that they can change their reaction to them;they change how they deal with something challenging. Their go to may be worry, and worry until the challenge is over.  Instead I try to think of a better way, or a less stressed way I can react to these kind of times. Distraction also helps, as long as you don’t escape too long.

My true north is my center. I am grounded when I am centered.  When I am centered I am productive and I’m also the best version of myself.   Staying grounded for me means staying open, not closed. Open to talking, open to listening, open to understanding and open to dealing with fear, and uncertainly which are usually two things humans are challenged by the most. Uncertainty is hard for me–it seems like most uncertain things are dealt with by the passing of time. Thus why I pray for patience (ahem). Fear, well fear is a part of everyone’s life. Fear is often the unknown. Fear is sometimes the well known and your still not being able to deal with something.  I take what I am afraid of and said it out loud at the time I feel fear the most. I recognize what it is and then it becomes so much easier to deal with.

Soon my posts will be less philosophical and more about food again (promise). My seed catalogs just came in and I can’t wait to order seeds and start my seedlings. Until next time–be well!

Moving forward dragging feet

I’ve been stuck in kind of a mental limbo since this past fall.  I think the biggest reason why is because I watched too much news.  I watch, or did watch too much. I haven’t had the news on now for nearly two months. I also haven’t been reading the front page of my newspaper for quite some time.  Something shifted for me a  few months back that I have not been able to forget. It’s left me pondering the intent of humans, and trying to rationalize or understand bad behavior, or find some kind of explanation for the way things are around me and in the world. It’s not been often that I have to think about some of the kind of things I’ve thought about over the past two months. To the point, as my title states, moving forward dragging feet.

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The last couple of weekends my husband and I have been taking it easy. We manage to pluck  off an ornament or two and then quit. Not at all anxious to let go of the feelings we feel at Christmas time- hope, peace and faith.  This past summer and fall we spent a lot of time in nature, often driving for almost an hour to walk peacefully in one of our favorite places in Wisconsin, a wildlife refuge.  Each day now as I take my morning walk I hear a group, it would seem the same group, of Canadian geese fly over my head towards the state park we live by. Then by nightfall they fly back over our home toward the wildlife refuge to sleep. Each time I hear, then see them, they bring a sense of peace to my heart.

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This past years election news and the candidates coverage really caused me to fall into a pit of lost hope. Lost hope in people, in the process of election, and my faith in human kind. As a lifelong advocate for human rights, and a caretaker for over twenty years for people with disabilities, watching someone in the position of power (who I shall not name here) make fun of someone with a disability really broke me.  I kept thinking that this cannot be happening, I cannot be the only person who sees this as  the lowest, cruelest thing a person could do to another. Though I knew deep down inside I was not, I truly felt like this person was rewarded time and time again for his cruelness, negativity, deceitful behaviors and general overall feelings and actions toward those in society who may not be in the position to defend themselves against someone like him. I kept looking for good news and the bad just kept coming and coming.  Darkness fell and though we had a wonderful Christmas, I just kept feeling more and more uneasy about starting the New Year. But it came and we made it through and both feel a renewed sense of faith. I’ve read so many blog posts lately of people just like me who feel like I do and in their posts I have found the light that I so need.  I am moving forward now only slightly dragging my feet. It’s a new year and I must move forward and be a part of it. I hope there is a lot more happiness and light in 2017 than there was in 2016. In the words of Maria Shriver– ” I hope we can all stand up and say this is what I’m FOR rather than this is what I’m AGAINST” in the coming new year. ”

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