From our leaf tours:
It is the Solstice, Blessed Be. As they days grow slowly longer, may we also grow to love one another and to learn to live in peace. Holi...
Images of my container garden.
Belated Happy St. Patrick's Day. I have been too sick to enjoy one of my favorite holidays. I didn't even get corned beef, or to w...
Happy Halloween; it is my favorite night of the year! We were low key this year, but we did get out our graveyards and pumpkins. A scarecr...
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Solstice, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips for the C... : It is the Solstice; Blessed Be! I look forwar...
Look closely at how delicate I am. I am probably a may fly, but I am as detailed as the scarabs from an Egyptian royal tomb. No one a...
Proclamation of Thanksgiving Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national...
Fresh Greek Peasant Salad This is the salad I grew up with; it was our late night snack and early lunch. This one has home grown t...
Pasta with Mushroom Veloute Sauce, garnished with Hard Boiled Eggs One lb. pasta 2 hardboiled eggs One 6 ounce can cream of chicken sou...
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Sunday, June 30, 2013
Doll Museum: History and Chronology Continued: Paper Dolls and ...: Before I start, let me note that this is the best site I've found for paper dolls and their history, plus it has lavish illustrations; T...
Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Ch 6 of my Book on Pym- A Few Green Leaves: Ellen Tsagaris Page 1 10/10/12 The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym The Popular Press, 1998 ISBN: 0-87972-763-2 Chapt...
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Midwest Writing Center: Happy birthday MWC Creative Writing Primer!: June 15 is the first anniversary of the release of the MWC Creative Writing Primer , the first ebook MWC Press (2012) released by...
Monday, June 24, 2013
Come celebrate the grand reopening of the newly renovated Wegmans Super Kids Market exhibit on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Help yourself to a generous serving of health-related crafts and family activities throughout the day. Pose for pictures with Bruiser, the Wegmans canine mascot; say hello to some friendly strolling veggies; enjoy health-themed family activities; and enter a raffle to win a gift basket of organic and nutritional health products courtesy of Wegmans. Opening day celebration activities are included with general museum admission fees. Wegmans Super Kids Market is generously sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets
Sunday, June 23, 2013
1. Yard waste and leaves are good mulch; there are various methods to create mulch with them. If you live by ravines as I do, you can rake them to the edge of the ravine to mulch the flowers and plants there and to help build protection against erosion. This is a video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzktwZ3F9agere from YouTube on making mulch for free. Note, not to get too close to the roots, it causes rot. The video tells you how to apply mulch corrctly for various plants. Local papers and catalogs are full of ideas for mulch. Logees. com is a great place to buy plants, but also to get tips. I have posted histories of plants and flowers before on this blog. Tip: Big box stores are currently discounting their summer plants. Many will even be free. Supplies and tolls will also go on sale, as will yard ornaments. Now is the time to look. I had more luck keeping weeds down in my flower beds with miniature rocks covering the ground, but mulch has been a big help, too. Both are attractive. Remember coffee grounds are useful, even if you have to dig them out of your Keurig. Tip; to make Keuring coffees last longer, use a bigger cup! There are also many craft ideas for yard clippings and leaves including but not limited to: a. hot gluing twigs to make trees for doll houses nad miniature scenes b. natural wreathes c. ornaments from leaf prints, with a stamp made from leaves or from pencil rubbings made from the leave itself, ornaments from seed pods, or dolls and small items including baskets made from woven leaves and grasses, decorated with seeds and small rocks d. mud pie recipes and mud pies e. mud clays f. Luther Burbank experiments for kids who may want to pot a few wild plants, even weeds, and create a garden to observe what they do when they grow. g. Starbucks gives away bags of coffee grounds for use by gardeners. Take them! They are really great h. Natural pest control: I buy dried blood at Wal-Mart or local garden centers; it keeps away squirrels who love to dig and also provides good fertilizer. i. Beautiful sculptures of people, and fairy doll furniture are made of twigs, acorn caps, tiny burrs and straw flowers. Corn Dollies, discused in a previous post, are this type of doll. Cornhusk dolls, baskets, and crafts are made of the husks cornsilk, and sometimes cobs, usually thrown out. If you don't want to make crafts with these things, mulch them. j. Sea shells, sea weed, Spanish moss, and dried flowers abound in natural food and craft stores. I love making cards by ironing flowers between sheet of wax paper. I also make wrapping paper with them, book covers, pictures, scrapbook paper. You can also use them to keep a garden journal from year to year. If are moving, you can take it with you, and with some seeds and cuttings, try to recreate your beloved green space. Here is a link by Samantha Greene for drying flowers. "How to Dry Flowers," http://www.proflowers.com/guide/how-to-dry-flowers. Google "how to dry flowers" to find many more links. Here are some more links for ideas for mulch and flower crafts: Green Natural Crafts on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/planetpals/green-nature-crafts/ Nature Crafts for Kids; http://crafts.kaboose.com/nature-crafts.html This has great ides for recycling, bug crafts, clay, etc. I love the pet rocks idea. Michaels crafts also has great newsletters and patterns for these ideas, and Dover has free sample pages from its books that it will email to you as a newsletter. One member of our local Popular Astronomy Club did a presentation on crafts that teach asronomy to chidren, using ideas similar to these and simple toys. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts is another good place to look.
This was a story on today's Sunday Morning, where they are also covering the history of The Good Housekeeping Seal of approval. I used to love the magazine for Christmas. They had the most amazing stories and decorations. I still have the recipe for Christmas cookies made to look like the Baroque angels of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The sharing story addressed the sharing economy, and featured Silicon Valley. Sharing was going on when I was there 20 some years ago. People share their resources--home, car, clothes, pets, even money, on a rentable basis. I would note that living in SJ and SF was and is very expensive. When I was paying $250.00 and $305.00 per month for an apartment in Carbondale, IL, friends going to Stanford were paying $1000.00 per month for a small, often studio apartment, in Palo Alto. Many professional people making good salaries rented a room by the week, or month, in a private home to live. People were also sharing salaries in Bay Area public courthouses. There is one group featured on SM that allows wealthy people to share their income, and loan out unneeded money to those who need it for bills. Interest is very low. One journalist says he saved $17,000 last year living the shared life. There are websites and blogs allowing people to do this share and swap. Maeve Binchy's Tara Road is based on international house sharing, and as early as 54 years ago, my Mom rented her wedding dress, and brought home scraps. There are shared or rented graves in Europe, and here, you can buy half a marker; one half of the tombstone has one name, the back half has another. Is this socialism? Sort of; except we rent and actually pay money. I have to wonder what happened to "Life, Liberty and Property" as mentioned and addressed in The Constitution, its federal cases, statutes, and treaties, and the 14th Amendment, more specifically. We are encouraging a keep nothing, throw away society. This differs and is a contradiction from sharing and recycling. Also, what happened to giving? For several years, many charities like DAV and The Salvation Army have been wanting contributions. We give money to charities in disasters, now, not so much clothes and food. Sharing is important; I was used to sharing toys and clothes when I was little. My parents borrowed a swing set and merry go round for me from our neighbor across the street, which helped them a lot. But, I think with ownership comes responsibility, and what about privacy? Safety? How many criminals out there prey on those who open their homes and resources in good faith? We have free online exchanges where people exchange goods they no longer what, which is a great idea, a sort of swap meet online. But, along with Craig's List and similar exchanges, let's remember to be careful out there. Emma is better; her thyroid medicine was causing the problem; she was severely dehydrated. She is off of it, and is drinking form the faucet regularly. She is eating with the help of a syringe, six liters of broth at a time. I urge anyone who loves a cat to question any diagnosis involving giving thyroid medication. I will be going back to the 49 original tips for living green, and explain each one with ideas and illustrations in future blog posts.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Posted by my friend Nancy Ortowski on FB: .. Banned Ingredients that Are Still Legal in the U.S. . . . .By SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 16, 2013 8:21 AM EST.. . . Email Share7005 Tweet Print .... . by Cristina Goyanes Skip these ingredients!You think the FDA has your back? Sure, they recently proposed two new regulations to up food safety measures, specifically how food processors and farmers can work better to keep their fresh products free of dangerous bacteria (remember that killer cantaloupe outbreak from 2011?). But while it may seem like the government is out to protect us from bad-even fatal-food-borne illnesses, which cause some 3,000 deaths a year, they don't completely have our best interest-or health-in mind. "For numerous suspicious and disturbing reasons, the U.S. has allowed foods that are banned in many other developed countries into our food supply," says nutritionist Mira Calton who, together with her husband Jayson Calton, Ph.D., wrote the new book Rich Food, Poor Food due out this February. During a six-year expedition that took them to 100 countries on seven continents, the Caltons studied more than 150 ingredients and put together a comprehensive list of the top 13 problematic products that are forbidden by governments, outside the U.S., due to their detrimental effects on human health. "If you see any of the following ingredients listed on the nutrition label, don't buy the product," Calton warns. "Leaving these banned bad boys on the shelves will speak volumes to grocery stores and food manufactures about what informed consumers simply won't tolerate." RELATED: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat Ingredients: Coloring agents (blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, and yellow 6) Found In: Cake, candy, macaronic and cheese, medicines, sport drinks, soda, pet food, and cheese Why the U.S. Allows It: We eat with our eyes. "Recent studies have shown that when food manufacturers left foods in their natural, often beige-like color instead of coloring them with these chemical agents, individuals thought they tasted bland and ate less, even when the recipe wasn't altered," Calton says. This may explain why the use of artificial dyes-the most popular being red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6-have increased five-fold since 1955. Health Hazards: Back in the day, food coloring came from natural sources, such as saffron and turmeric. "Today most artificial colors are made from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat products to preserve and protect the shine of industrial floors," Carlton says. "It also appears in head lice shampoos to kill off the small bugs." Ingredient: Olestra (aka Olean) Found In: Fat-free potato chips Why the U.S. Allows It: Procter & Gamble Co. took a quarter century and spent a half a billion dollars to create "light" chips that are supposedly better for you, Calton says. They may need another half a billion bucks to figure out how to deal with the embarrassing bathroom side effects (including oily anal leakage) that comes with consuming these products. Health Hazards: "This fat substitute appears to cause a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids, robbing us of the vital micro-nutrients," Calton says, adding that many countries, including the U.K. and Canada, have banned it. Ingredient: Brominated vegetable oil (aka BVO) Found In: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas Why the U.S. Allows It: BVO acts as an emulsifier, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface of beverages, Calton says. Health Hazards: "Because it competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, elevated levels of the stuff may lead to thyroid issues, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer," Calton says. That's not all. BVO's main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical that is considered both corrosive and toxic. It's been linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss, which explains why it's been nixed in more than 100 countries. Ingredient: Potassium bromate (aka brominated flour) Found In: Rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips Why the U.S. Allows It: This flour-bulking agent helps strengthen dough, reducing the amount of time needed for baking, which results in lowered costs, Calton explains. Health Hazards: Made with the same toxic chemical found in BVO (bromine), this additive has been associated with kidney and nervous system disorders as well as gastrointestinal discomfort. "While the FDA has not banned the use of bromated flour, they do urge bakers to voluntarily leave it out," Calton says. Ingredient: Azodicarbonamide Found In: Breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods Why the U.S. Allows It: While most countries wait a week for flour to naturally whiten, the American food processors prefer to use this chemical to bleach the flour ASAP. Health Hazards: It's not enough to just ban this product in Singapore. You can get up to 15 years in prison and be penalized nearly half a million dollars in fines for using this chemical that's been linked to asthma and is primarily used in foamed plastics, like yoga mats and sneaker soles. Ingredients: BHA and BHT Found In: Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer Why the U.S. Allows It: "Made from petroleum [yummy!], these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," Calton says. A better solution may be natural rosemary and sage. In a 2006 study, some organic herbs and spices proved to be efficient at preventing oxidative decay in meat, which ultimately could improve the shelf-life of these products. Health Hazards: California is the only state that recognizes the U.S. National Institute of Health's report that BHA may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent. Ingredients: Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST) Found In: Milk and dairy products Why the U.S. Allows It: Gotta keep moo-ving things along. Dairy farmers inject cows with genetically-engineered cow growth hormones to boost milk production by about 10 percent, according to Calton. Health Hazards: "Cows treated with these synthetic hormones often become lame, infertile, and suffer from inflamed and infected udders," Calton says. Humans, who consume these cows byproducts, are in no better shape, she adds: "The milk is supercharged with IGF-1 (insulin growth factor -1), which has been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers." RELATED: 3 "Healthy" Foods that Aren't so Healthy Ingredient: Arsenic Found In: Poultry Why the U.S. Allows It: Big brother FDA permits arsenic in chicken feed to promote growth, improve efficiency in feeding the birds, and boost pigmentation. "The arsenic affects the blood vessels in chickens and turkeys, causing them to appear pinker and, therefore, fresher," Calton says. Health Hazards: The European Union has outlawed the use of arsenic since 1999, Calton says, and the Environmental Protection Agency classifies inorganic arsenic as a "human carcinogen." Take matters into your own hands by sticking to organic birds only. More on SHAPE: 9 Ways to Get Fit on the Couch 16 Savory Oatmeal Recipes The 10 Best Weight-Loss Apps of 2013 ... . Email Share7005 Tweet Print ...
Sunday, June 9, 2013
A very good friend told me he uses the water from his dehumidifier on his fountain. That way, he doesn't use water frivolously. It is that time of year, and I will be looking for a new dehumidifier to protect The Museum. Does anyone have any good suggestions? Thanks. My Book With Love from Tin Lizzie is in print, and available from me, soon to be on Alibris, I hope! Wild Horse Runs Free and The Bathory Chronicles are on Amazon for Kindle! Take good care; thanks for reading my blog.