Monday, January 25, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

The other day I got a couple of seed catalogs in the mail. Nice, big, THICK catalogs filled with flowers, herbs, fruits, and veggies. When I sit down with a seed catalog I find tons of plants I just HAVE to grow. 10 varieties of tomatoes, 5 kinds of carrots (Don't YOU want to grow some purple carrots?), 3 colors of basil, etc. I have to force myself to face reality: I only have so much time to tend to plants. I've also got laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, kids, and a husband.

One of the catalogs was from my favorite seed company, Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply. If you're looking for organic seeds, check them out. They have a huge selection and wonderful prices. They have more than seeds, though. Peaceful Valley also carries bare-root plants, gardening tools, greenhouse supplies, natural insecticides, beneficial insects, bees, fertilizer, seed starting supplies, and books.

I plan to have a modest garden this year. My rosemary is thriving. My oregano, peppermint, and sage are still alive. I would like to add tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, basil, parsley, green onions, marigolds, and zinnias. Maybe some sugar snap peas? I may also include an "experiment." Something I haven't grown before, just for fun.

Note to self: Just because there are 2 dozen zucchini seeds in a package doesn't mean I have to plant 2 dozen zucchini seeds. Ditto for yellow squash.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dr. Mom

As a mother, I'm on call 24 hours a day. Olivia, 5, usually doesn't need me during the night. Jesse, 20 months, is not quite weaned. Occasionally he'll sleep through the night, but more often than not he'll get up once for a snack.

It looks like I'll really be on duty tonight. Olivia is sick. She was fine this morning. It was nice outside, so the kids went out and played. They had a great time running around and playing in the sand pile. They came in and had baths. Jesse had lunch but Olivia wasn't too interested. At the time I thought she just wasn't interested in what we were having. This afternoon we ALL took naps. That RARELY happens. Then Olivia vomited. My poor baby! I hate when my chidren are sick.

We visited my parents this weekend and my sister and niece came over. My niece had a cold so I was prepared for the possibility that my kids would catch it. I started listening for sniffles right away. I was not expecting puke. I got Olivia cleaned up, changed the bed clothes, put her back to bed, and washed all the dirty stuff. That's where she's been ever since. I've checked on her several times and she's had some water. I don't think she feels like trying anything else just yet.

Hubby's going by the grocery store and he'll be picking up some fruit and other things for her. I'll be giving her lots of fluids, Vitamin C, echinacea, and TLC. Hopefully she'll get over this quickly. And hopefully Jesse won't catch it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hot Potato!

I read some interesting things about potatoes the other day. They taste good and they're fun to grow, but I had no idea they were therapeutic. Apparently, potatoes have many uses. Have you ever heard of these?

For heartburn: Juice 1-2 large potatoes (with skins). Take 3-4 tablespoons half an hour before meals. To improve the taste, mix with another vegetable juice (such as carrot or beet) or add it to soup. The alkaline juice neutralizes stomach acid and relieves upset stomach, heartburn, and peptic ulcers.

For healthy intestines: Wash and dice a large potato. Steep it overnight in 1 cup of water and a pinch of sea salt. Strain and drink every morning on an empty stomach. Repeat for several weeks. This helps cleanse your intestines and reduces the amount of acid in your gastrointestinal system.

To eliminate toxins from the body: Eat one large, plain baked potato with the skin five times a day for 2 days. Drink plenty of water. (I would be sick of potatoes after this!)

To improve liver function: Peel a large potato and boil the skin in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain and drink the tea. This can relieve gall bladder problems, thereby enhancing the liver’s ability to clear waste products and toxins from the body.

For pain relief: Boil 1 lb of potatoes in their skins until tender. Place in a linen sack and mash. Apply the sack to the affected area, placing a towel underneath the sack if it’s too hot. Attach tightly to the body with a woolen blanket. Remove only after it has cooled down completely. Potatoes retain heat for long periods of time, allowing the warmth to penetrate deep into the tissues.

For inflammation: Raw potato slices bring fast relief from swelling (and itching) caused by contact dermatitis and insect bites. They are also effective for bruises as well as sties on the eyelids. Peel and slice a potato and apply a slice to the affected area until the potato warms up. Repeat as necessary.

For slow-healing inflammations and wounds: Grate 2-3 raw potatoes and moisten with milk. Wrap in a linen cloth and apply to affected areas.