Welcome November

Art by Edith Holden

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Meet Me at the Farmers Market–a book review

Here’s what I had to say about this incredible book–

A very well thought out children’s book that is full of sweet and delightful illustrations that are both entertaining as well as informative for children and adults alike. I especially enjoyed the fun references to food and the friendly characters that seem to come to life in this children’s storybook. I highly recommend this book for both children and adults.

I requested this book from the publisher because of the subject matter. Along with what I wrote above I found this book to be entertaining and a perfect way to get your kids to engage with farmers markets, local food or food of any kind. I enjoyed this book so much and I felt that the children in my area would also enjoy it –so I went ahead and donated two copies to our local library and purchased one for the children’s lounge at the church I belong to.

10 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader

Happy Reading!!

My Top Five Essential Oils –and why?

What are essential oils?

A-essential oils are compounds extracted/obtained from plants via distillation.

What is distillation?

A- distillation is the action of purifying something through heating and cooling or the extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something.

I’ve been using essential oils for a very long time. I bought my first essential oil a long time before essential oils became a billion-dollar business. My first essential oil was rose oil and I used to use it diluted partially with water as a face mist. My second essential oil was orange blossom oil and I used to steam it and/or put it and a bit of water in a pot on the stove and call it aromatherapy. The year was 1985 and I was experimenting with plants and oils and aromatherapy. Both of these oils worked wonders. To this day I still use them the same way I used them 33 years ago only now instead of steaming them or boiling them in water,  I use them in diffusers.

Time and money constraints keep me from buying every single oil I hear someone rave about. I don’t have the time to look into every recommendation or use, and I don’t have the money to waste trying every single oil to see if it works for me like it worked for someone else. That said there are five essential oils that I have used for a long time and would never be without. They are–

  1. Lavender essential oil- my husband uses this to fall into a deeper sleep at night and by using it and falling into a deeper sleep he is better rested and snores way less.
  2. Copaiba- helps me to manage pain caused by arthritis.
  3. Frankincense- Frank loves the skin and I use Frank on my skin.
  4. Lemon Balm- I use Lemon balm to help me manage PMS, inflammation, and upset stomach.
  5. Bergamot- this oil is so good–smells wonderful and mixed with mandarin orange is the perfect cologne.

**I use fractionated coconut oil as a base to apply all the essential oils listed above to my skin**

Recipes for my five favorite oils:

I put 10-15 drops of lavender in a roller ball and fill with coconut carrier oil. I roll this oil on my husband’s big toe (underside) every night and roll a bit on his pillow an hour before bed.

I mix bergamot with orange oil and use as a cologne. I put 10 drops of bergamot with 10 drops of mandarin orange oil in a roller ball and fill the rest of roller ball with coconut carrier oil.

I use copaiba and fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball and massage this mixture into my feet. I use 2-4 drops of copaiba and the rest fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball.

I use frankincense on my skin. I put 10 drops of frankincense in a roller ball and fill the rest with coconut oil and use on my face, neck, and hands. I also use frank on cuts and burns. Lavender is good for burns as well.

Recently I purchased a Lemon Balm hydrosol online from someone I follow and buy tomato seeds from (yougrowgirl on Instagram). I use lemon balm to help me manage PMS, tummy issues, and inflammation. With the hydrosol (yougrowgirl handcrafts her herb waters herself) I can add to water, or spray on the area of skin that has issues. So as far as Lemon Balm goes I am going to continue to buy it in hydrosol form vs. oil from here on out. I love that the hydrosol I purchased is user-friendly and so pure smelling that it’s unreal. The benefits I get from using it seems to come faster using the hydrosol vs. the essential oil.

Disclaimer- everyone that uses and sells oils or knows someone that does has a different opinion about them and may or may not use them differently than I do. In the section, prior to the recipes, I listed what my five favorite oils are used for in my family. You may or may not have the same experience as I do. I’ve been using these five oils and the rose and orange oil for a long time.  Aside from these oils, I do not use any other essential oils. I purchase my oils from a couple of companies online finding good quality oils at both companies.  Please consult your physician before trying anything new.

2018 Container Gardening- Week Nine

So this week things have stayed pretty much the same in my container garden. Missing are both Walmart non-smelling
geraniums. Not only did they not smell like geraniums, they basically bloomed once and died. I have since visited a nursery and purchased a new geranium plant along with a new petunia plant plus more Purple Cow composting soil. My husband and I live in an apartment complex for now. We are hoping by this time next year to be moving. A few years ago maintenance came around and planted shrubs etc. near everyone’s front door. I am assuming they felt that the tenant should thereafter be responsible for all care and maintenance of said shrubs and plants. Well, the soil these plants were planted in was all wrong, not to mention the kinds of plants planted, and the fact they were hastily put in and during one of the hottest days of the year. For over a year I watered an entire courtyard near our door and four plants right next to our front door. I also fertilized all the plants that were around our unit. Unfortunately, most could not be saved–mostly due to the fact of the soil they were planted in, they were planted shallow, they were planted late fall during a heat wave, and then come spring the area was sprayed by them with a toxic weedeater. This spring nearly everything was dead so we decided to go out and buy hostas at our own expense. I thought hostas would do well near our front door and they still might. However, the spot near our front door gets extreme heat in the afternoon and shade in the am. Hostas need warm sun in the am and shade in the afternoon. This information did not deter us, instead, we went ahead and dug holes, filled them with Purple Cow composting soil, and planted the hostas. Today I made a sunshade for both plants and will cover with said sun shade for part of every afternoon. Keeping fingers crossed. My lavender is doing well since being cut back, and so is my rosemary. Our tree is still recovering, the lime coleus continues to flower and is about 2.5 ft tall, and I have a total of 14 green tomatoes waiting to ripen. How’s your garden doing?

Happy Anniversary Finn!

A decade of blogging about good food! #livinghealthy #healthylifestyle #goodfood

Where do I start? Just the other day I was discussing how many years I’d been blogging–18 years to be exact. My first blog was on LiveJournal and I blogged about my daily life. My posts were like something you would share in your personal diary, only not as personal. I suffered greatly with trying to regularly update my journal, and also to join other community’s to share my journal. After about eighteen or so months I gave it up..

I can’t remember if it was Blogger or WordPress that I joined next but I began blogging again about selling on eBay and living in the Midwest in 2004. In 2006 I started this blog, but didn’t make public any of my posts. I blogged about health, and food, and life changes. In 2008 I began to make public some of those posts and I’ve been blogging here ever since.  Along the way I’ve been asked maybe fifty times what initially inspired me to write about food, food safety, and lifestyle changes. Because there were always so many answers to that I usually threw out my concerns for my husband and I and our health, my strong desire to live a better life, and the beginning of my journey of a sober and smoke-free lifestyle. All of which is very true to this day. Something that I have failed to share because I hadn’t probably thought of it at the time is the person who started me thinking about living a healthier and happier lifestyle.

That person was and still is Suzanne Somers. I picked up her book called 365 Ways To Change Your Life in 1999 and then in 2003 I bought her book The Sexy Years. I knew who Suzanne Somers was, I’d watched Three’s Company —but I’d never looked at Suzanne Somers being who she portrayed in the television series as who she was in real life. At some point I had watched her give an interview and she really impressed upon me that she was pretty good at leading a healthy life. And let’s be honest she’s fabulous looking–who wouldn’t take a bit of advice from someone as beautiful and obviously healthy as her?  I’d like to insert it here I am so not a self-help book type of gal. Nothing wrong with other people buying them but I would rather try something on my own then follow someone’s advice from a book. However, I have enjoyed and found very helpful several self-help books Suzanne Somers has written.  In 2008 I found a book written by Suzanne  called Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness, and it changed my life. Page by page her words, her thoughts, resonated with me and where I wanted to take my life.

Suzanne became a public voice and in many instances, what I would consider, a pioneer in using health treatments not supported or advised by the medical community. There has been a lot of controversy about things she has done and has gone on record to say. I won’t go into them. It’s not because I don’t support her, because I wholeheartedly do, it’s because things have been said for years about people who take a different route or stance with their healthcare other than the conventional route.  Most of what is said is said to slander the person that is trying something different, or make them out to be reckless or dangerous, or cuckoo. I’ve been there myself. Every time I tell someone I haven’t been sick with a cold or flu since 2004 they look at me like I’m either lying, or living under a rock. For years my husband and I were teased about eating organic food, now he and I both have co-workers asking almost us weekly where we shop, if this is safe, is there organic this or that at the store? A couple of years ago I had a physician ask me to write down my health regime- foods I was eating, antibiotic use, otc drug use, and my health history because she was impressed with how strong my immune system was and also my ability to recover quickly from surgery.

So, with that said I feel pretty blessed to be in such good health considering I didn’t start out life in good health and really lived like a rock star until I was in my thirties. Luckily just in time, and thanks to Suzanne, I was inspired to turn it all around after reading Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness.

In 2008 organic food wasn’t even sold in our local grocery stores. Physician’s were not prescribing clean diets, or healthier lifestyles, or preventative medicines/treatments/tests. I don’t even want to get into how I was treated by the mostly male dominated physicians at the clinic in the town we lived. I’ve been told things like my hormone “troubles” will work themselves out to hot soapy water soak for a severely infected toe that ended up having surgery to remove a nail, which then ended up having surgery at a different hospital to fix podiatrist #1’s ineptness to now having to have surgery #2 to fix podiatrist #2’s ineptness.   And hormones–you need  a doctor that is invested in you and wants you to feel better not a doctor that just treats the symptoms (prescription) and then is out the door and on to the next patient.  I avoid, like the plague, male doctors age 40-60+ and never ever take what little nutritional advice any doctor tries to give. Med school doesn’t offer courses in nutrition.

I guess the point I am trying to make is fully invest yourself in you. If you aren’t into self-help books and if anything medical intimidates you ask a friend how they feel about their physician. Listen closely as they describe their doctor/patient relationship (doctor listens/helps/family doctor vs. doesn’t listen to me/just prescribes pills)– and if that doesn’t work seek out a naturopathic physician.

As this time I’ll add in the disclaimer that I don’t try everything I read or see online. Even though Suzanne Somers speaks highly about the use of bioidentical hormones, I’ve never used them. I’ve handled my menopause through change in diet and lifestyle. I’ve used certain foods to help balance hot flashes, moods, and sleepless nights.  What Suzanne Somers has inspired me to do is think outside the box. Not necessarily follow her regimen, or prescribe to her lifestyle, but rather positively become an advocate for my own health and try things even if they are not supported by the rest of the universe. I was the first person I knew eating organic. Local grocery stores now sell it–but it took them until 2012 to gain enough customers in this area to make it financially viable to stock. It never ceases to amaze me that as time has gone by many well known clinics and hospitals, as well as researchers and therapists, have released “new” information, treatments, and therapies long ago discussed in one of Suzanne’s books. Thank you Suzanne Somers for starting conversations about wellness, and women’s issues, and empowerment at a time no one else was discussing them.

My husband and I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars over the last twenty years eating better and living a healthier lifestyle. Personally I wasn’t blessed with good health and hereditarily my chances for getting anything from cancer to alzheimer’s to heart disease were pretty big. So I had to do something that would better my odds.

At the end of the day do you. Take care of you and take care of your loved ones and do whatever you need to do to be fully informed on your health, your care, your wellness, and your life.

Blog Dedication

This blog is dedicated to my great- great- grandfather Manuel (4th generation farmer) pictured here with my great-great-grandmother. Many many years ago now he bought his first farm in Ontario, Canada and soon after helped to frame his first barn–his pride and joy. Shortly afterward he contracted pneumonia and refusing to rest properly died at the young age of 40.