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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Library Loot #2 :)

I just placed a big order at my library the other day, but decided I needed something to read while I was waiting, and so dug around in the biographies, and was rewarded with:

 A Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War                                                                                                      AND:

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II                                                                                      I'm finishing Dean Koontz's Brother Odd, but I've only got a couple chapters to go, then on to history! Herstory!

Wordless Wednesday #3

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ellie's Kitchen: Home Remedies

These aren't true recipes, but I doubt you keep this stuff in your bathroom, and our great-great grandmothers did make up all kinds of home remedies in their kitchens, so......(these are from my fav blog, Hello Natural)

Feel Better Faster with 8 Natural Cough + Sore Throat Remedies

I don’t know about you, but to me coughing and sore throats are probably the worst cold symptoms—worse than all the others combined! When I get a sore throat in the winter months, it’s a surefire sign I’m about to be feeling like crap for a few days, and the pain can be unbearable. (When you can’t even swallow because it hurts—ugh.) A hacking cough isn’t any fun to deal with either.
Of course, the first line of defense against sore throats and coughs is to keep your immune system working properly through eating the right foods, getting plenty of rest and managing your stress level. But, when the inevitable sore throat or cough strikes, here are 8 natural ways to kick it to the curb:

8 Natural Cough + Sore Throat Remedies

1. Saltwater Gargle

I always opt for this attack as soon as I feel the first tickle in my throat. Dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water and gargle as long as you can possibly stand. (Don’t eat or drink anything for a few minutes afterwards.) This easy treatment can soothe your throat and relieve swelling. Repeat every couple hours if your symptoms return.

2. Honey

Raw, organic honey has antibacterial properties, and can help reduce swelling and inflammation in your throat. It’s also used as a cough suppressant (although you shouldn’t give raw honey to kids under 2). Take a couple teaspoons as is, add a drop of oregano essential oil, and/or add it to a mug of hot water. Even better, make a hot toddy by adding the juice of half a lemon and an optional tablespoon of brandy or whiskey to your hot water and honey. Not only will it soothe your throat, it’ll help you stop coughing, relieve sinus congestion and help you sleep. If you do include the booze, use this remedy in moderation, of course ;)

3. Garlic, Straight Up

A friend introduced me to this trick years ago, and it works! When you first feel a tickle in the back of your throat, eat a raw garlic clove, making sure to chew it throughly so all the allicin (a powerful antibacterial compound, which is released for a short time when raw garlic is crushed) is released right into your system.

Garlic | 8 Natural Cough + Sore Throat Remedies Know that this method is not for the faint of heart. The garlic is hot, and if I do it on an empty stomach, I usually end up nauseous. Mix it into some honey if you need to, and repeat every 4 hours or so if needed.

4. Boycott Sugar (and Maybe Dairy and Caffeine) Immediately

It never fails. The day after Halloween, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after my mom’s annual holiday cookie-baking day and the day after Christmas, I wake up exhausted with an awful sore throat and the sniffles. You might not have the same reaction, but for me sugar is often the culprit when I get a cold—probably because taking in too much simple sugar like alcohol and sweets (especially if you’re not consuming it a lot normally) depresses the immune system.
If I avoid sugar— sticking to veggies and soup for a day or so—without fail it goes away much more quickly than if I kept gorging on Mom’s sugar cookies. It disappears even faster if I stay off dairy and alcohol, too.

5. Homemade Cough Drops

It’s easy to feel like you’re living on cough drops when you have a cough or itchy throat, and the sugar hangover from the store-bough kind is not very pleasant. Good new, though: With a few pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand, you can make soothing lemon-ginger homemade cough drops that won’t put you in a cherry lozenge sugar coma.

6. Homemade Cough Syrup

You can also make homemade honey-thyme cough syrup if you’re not a fan of choking down (and being knocked out cold by) over-the-counter cough suppressants. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, or until cool. Stir in the honey. Continue stirring until dissolved. Strain out the thyme, if desired, and transfer to a glass jar.

Honey Thyme Homemade Cough Syrup | 8 Natural Cough + Sore Throat Remedies Immune-boosting DIY elderberry syrup helps soothe inflamed mucous membranes and stop coughing; it can be made for a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

7. Make a Green (or Red or Yellow) Juice

Mom might have given you OJ when you felt under the weather, but the sugar in OJ can offset any vitamin C benefits. Instead, make a fresh juice with immune-boosting and cold-fighting ingredients like lemon, turmeric, ginger, beets and greens. Here are 3 cold-busting recipes to get you started.

8. Tea

Seriously, what isn’t tea good for? In addition to making your throat feel instantly better, herbal teas like lemon balm, rooibos, mint and ginger (which contains antihistamines) can speed up your recovery and tame that annoying cough. If you’re not avoiding caffeine, the antioxidants in green tea will help boost your immune system as well.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Lulu's Library #3: Sharing this from

I haven't read any of these yet, but if Brightly says they're a go, them I'm game. My husband and I are trying to get our little guy (who is 6 on Friday) to branch out and begin reading 'chapter books' with us. This looks like a good place to start. And Kate DiCamillo is, well, Kate DiCamillo. The Tale of Despearux. Need I say more?

9 Super Series 6–8 Year Olds Are Buzzing About

by Kari Ness Riedel

Photo credit: Westend61/Getty Images
When you ask a kid what kind of books they read, you can see the beam of pride when they answer “chapter books.” They’ve graduated from “leveled readers” and have a whole new world of mystery, humor, adventure, and friendship stories open to them.
This transition, which often happens between the ages of six and eight, is an important point in a child’s independent reading life. Making sure they pick books that allow them to experience reading as a pleasure, not a chore, is essential. Series abound for this age group and getting hooked on one good book in a series can lead to hours, days, and even weeks of fully engaged reading awesomeness.
There are many well-known series like Magic Tree House, Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, Clementine, and The Boxcar Children. Here are nine other “kid-approved” series that you may not know about but come highly recommended by young readers on, an online community where kids share reviews of favorite books.
  • Mercy Watson

    by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
    This series centers on a charming, buttered toast loving pig, Mercy, and her human owners Mr. & Mrs. Watson. Silly escapades and good-natured characters make this wildly appealing for kids and parents. As Michelle, 8, says, “Try these books if you want a good laugh.” Leana, 7, adds, “The Mercy books are so good, I can’t wait to read them all.”

  • Geronimo Stilton & Thea Stilton

    by Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton
    Kids love the unexpected adventures of a mild-mannered mouse journalist, Geronimo, and his sister Thea. Written in a highly illustrated style that is super engaging to kids and great for helping them learn new vocabulary. Zoe, 7, says, “I love the excitement and action. I would suggest these books to everyone.”

  • Fly Guy

    by Tedd Arnold
    Kids adore this series about a boy and his pet fly. The best part for Josh, 6, is “the friendship between Buzz and Fly Guy.” Slapstick humor and silly illustrations make this popular series perfect for emerging readers. New books in the series cross over to the nonfiction genre where Fly Guy introduces cool facts about things like dinosaurs and sharks.

  • Ivy & Bean

    by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
    Emma, 8, says, “This is a really good book if you love to get into trouble, love playing with your friends, and love making new creations.” Ivy and Bean are the dynamic friend duo who prove that opposites attract. Kids are drawn to the adventures and mysteries that take place whenever these girls get together.

  • Weird But True

    by National Geographic Kids
    “This book has amazing facts. Did you know that there was a Chinese soup with bird nests in it?” says Joshua, 8. Young readers go crazy for these wacky fact books. The information is so entertaining that they don’t know they are learning something. Great for both reluctant and enthusiastic readers.

  • Lulu and the Brontosaurus

    by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lane Smith
    Meet Lulu, a pushy, spoiled yet lovable little girl who throws a four-day tantrum to get a brontosaurus for her birthday. Lulu’s surprising adventures totally engage young readers and keep them laughing and guessing as to what will happen next. As Luke, 8, says, “Lulu is a pain but these books are awesome.”

  • Ranger in Time

    by Kate Messner, illustrated by Kelley McMorris
    A time-traveling golden retriever, need I say more? This is a new series that follows Ranger, a retriever who can’t sit still and finds himself unexpectedly traveling back in time to historic places. Kristina, a third-grade teacher, sums it up well: “For those that like history, this is a great read.” Kids unwittingly learn a ton about the places Ranger goes like the Oregon Trail and Ancient Rome.

  • Shelter Pet Squad

    by Cynthia Lord, illustrated by Erin McGuire
    The perfect book for animal lovers, as noted by Ella, 8. “I love dogs and I loooooved these books.” This new series relates the tales of a group of charming kids who find homes for animals in need. There’s a heartwarming feel to these books that is highly appealing to kids and adults.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Myddfai Reiki: Guided Meditation for Self-Healing

I found this link at Healing Hands Hub: 
 Hopefully the video link will work, but if it does not, follow the link above to the original post. :)

A healing meditation you can use every day

Science has proven that we have the power to help heal ourselves with our thoughts.  This gentle, easy to use meditation can be used every day.
This mediation contains advanced brain wave therapy and guided meditation combined with positive mind expanding visuals to inspire and heal your mind, body, and soul. Namaste. Featuring art by Alex Grey, Josephine Wall, Xavi, and more.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ellie's Kitchen: Spaghetti squash with homemade spinach pesto

Made this for dinner Friday nite, and it was loved by all!


Spaghetti Squash with Spinach Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (I used almonds)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and remove seeds with spoon. Place squash halves face down on baking sheet, and roast
1 hour. Scrape with fork to release strands. Transfer strands to bowl.
2 | Combine spinach, oil, walnuts, Parmesan, and garlic in food processor, and pulse until mixture has consistency of paste. Add to squash, and mix well. Divide among six plates, and top each serving with sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if using.

Vegetarian Times October 2015 p.13