Why do onions make you cry, and what can you do about it? My brother told me about the simple trick he uses to process large batches of eye-burning onions without shedding a tear. In case you don't have the “trick” item on hand, I have other options that work pretty well to help you avoid “onion eyes”. [Read more…]
If you build it, mice will come. Sooner or later, you'll probably need to get rid of mice or rats. Fall is prime time for an increase in mice in your house, as they look for winter protection, but mice and rats can move in at any time. While small, mice and rats can cause big problems. They chew on everything, causing property damage and potential fire risks when they gnaw on electrical wiring and build tinder dry nests in dark corners. Rodents can spread disease, on their own, through the parasites they carry (their fleas carried the Black Plague) or through their droppings (such as hantavirus). [Read more…]
This spring (maybe because of the crazy weather), I've had two robins take to flying into the windows (mainly the kitchen windows). Thankfully they haven't hurt themselves, but they are quite noisy and I didn't want them to keep at it until they did injure themselves. I've put together a list of quick fixes to stop birds hitting windows. The problem is usually the worse in spring and fall during migration, but when I was a little girl I had a robin who kept it up all summer long. Every morning, bright and early, he'd thump my bedroom window – no need for an alarm clock. [Read more…]
Under the new guidelines issued by the American Medical Association, roughly 1/3 of all adults should consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to control their cholesterol levels. Many healthcare practitioners feel that statin medications are overused in the United States. Statins may cause serious side effects, which I'll get to in a bit. Also, 50% of people who die suddenly from heart attacks do not have high cholesterol. In this post we'll discuss 15 home remedies to naturally reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attack, the role of cholesterol in the body and side effects of statin medication.
Note: Please check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications. Some foods and supplements may interfere with certain medications. This post is for general information only.
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder, where we learn how to use common weeds from our yards and gardens. Today's featured weed is common chickweed, Stellaria media. Stellaria (Latin) means little star; media (Latin) means “in the midst of”. It is also known as starweed, starwort, winter-weed, satin flower, tongue grass, chick wittles, passerina, clucken wort, skirt button, stitchwort, white bird's eye, adder's mouth, chickenyweed.
There are over 100 related species in the Stellaria genus, so odds are that common chickweed or a relative are somewhere near you. Stellaria media neglecta is also known as common chickweed, and is a subspecies of Stellaria media. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin.
We had a bumper crop of lilacs this year. My neighbor commented that his trees were so full of blossoms that he couldn't see the leaves. My small tree was loaded, too, so it seemed like a good year to experiment with eating some of them. One of my closest friends has made candied lilacs for her daughter's birthday for years by brushing the delicate blooms with egg white and and sprinkling them with superfine sugar, but I didn't think that would have as much appeal for my boys. They generally prefer volume to intricacy. [Read more…]
Planting and growing peas may not be the most efficient use of space in your garden, but the flavor of home grown peas knocks the socks off most commercial peas. If you want more yield per square foot, grow snap peas so you can eat the pod and the peas inside. Pea plants are also great to include in your garden rotation because they can help add nitrogen to the soil. In this post we'll cover pea growing from planting to harvest. [Read more…]
“Mycorrhizal Planet – How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Fertility” by Michael Phillips provides information that everyone who works with plants should know. The information in this book will radically change the way you look at soil and plant health.
Mycorrhizal Planet shifts the focus from killing insects and fighting disease to building vigorous, thriving ecosystems with plant and fungi partnerships. Strong plants are naturally resistant to attack – and provide more nutrient dense food. Mycorrhizal networks are the glue that holds everything together, partnering with plants and bacteria in ways that are only now becoming better understood. Kill the fungi, and you cut off the plant's access to more nutrients. [Read more…]
I love the smell of laundry fresh off the line – but I don't love having cheap, flimsy clothespins launch themselves off the line in pieces or finding heavy, wet items dropped on the ground below the line. Since our laundry line is on our elevated deck, when laundry drops, it really drops, falling over ten feet down. I was hanging clothes recently and thinking, “It sure would be nice if someone started making heavy duty clothespins again.”
Ask and ye shall receive, because the next time I checked my inbox, there was a message from Hilary of Kevin's Quality Clothespins, letting me know about their heavy duty, American made clothespins. I received a sample set of 10 for review. [Read more…]
My stove gets a workout. Between cooking from scratch and canning and preserving, there are plenty of spills, drips and stains. I wipe up the main surfaces daily, often multiple times per day, but the drip pans and the grates over the burners are usually too hot to clean until later – when I'm on to another task. In the over, things do run over occasionally, so that must be dealt with as well. When I went searching for “natural stove cleaners” and “natural stove top cleaners”, I came up with images of stoves with just minor baked on smudges and smears. I figured I can't be the only one out there with a really grimy stove looking for a non-toxic option, so I decided to share what works for me. [Read more…]