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Copaiba – In a Pain Cream?

By July 27, 2017 Essential Oils, Flowers, Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Hi! I’ve been busy learning a lot of new things.  That’s good and it’s good for my brain!  What an adventure learning is.  I try to learn something new every day.  My mom always said that if you can learn something new, then you can have a nap.  Well, I never liked to nap as a child but now?!  Not so much either but a breal with some cold iced tea is very nice!

Anyway, what is Copiba?  Young Living sells this essential oil.  It is one of the essential oils that can be used neat (without being diluted).  It comes from Brazil and it is a resin generally classified as black, white or Brazilian.

I find it very interesting that the Brazilian copal or copaiba is the only type to have the distinction of being regarded as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) in the US and has the most published research on its anti-inflammatory effects!  Woohoo!

While its anti-inflammatory effects are highly researched, it may also be anti-microbial, anti-ulcer, antiseptic, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective (protects the nerves).  AND it may help to prevent kidney stones.  Oh my!  It is a proven pain reliever because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for arthritis, rheumatism, skin disorders like psoriasis, insect bites, stomach distress, urinary disorders, sore throat and anxiety.  Safe as a food additive.

I have combined it with Arnica (another potent pain reliever) and Young Living Panaway in a coconut oil base with some pretty amazing results.  So now, it is available to you.  If you are interested in trying this, here is the link.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/517222248/organic-pain-cream-with-arnica-yl

After you try it, let me know what you think.

Until next time….keep on keepin’ on!

 

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Classic Green Peppers – Comfort and Convenience

By July 23, 2017 Gardening, Handmade Items, Healthy Living, Herbs and Veggies, Recipes, Uncategorized

 

As in one of my previous posts, I went to the local farmers market this week.  And I bought a box of green bell peppers.  You can see the box and some of the peppers on the picture below.  My husband loves stuffed peppers so I decided to fix them and put them in the freezer.  Makes a quick and filling lunch for him on days that he works a later start time.  You can see that they are huge and beautiful peppers!  So the prep began!  A sharp knife, a cutting board and a place to dump all the ribs and seeds were all the tools I needed at the start.  I just sliced the top off as close to the stem as I could get and cleaned out the ribs and seeds.  I also cut the stem off the top piece so I could use them as lids for the individual peppers.

Once I had them all cleaned and washed, they were ready for stuffing.  They can be stuffed with anything that cooks up tasty but since these are classic stuffed peppers, it ground meat (I use 90/10 grass fed) and rice.  He doesn’t like brown rice so I used white but brown works well too.  I had 25 peppers and I used 6 pounds of ground meat and 3 cups rice cooked.  I also used chopped onions and garlic and a bit of salt.  There isn’t a strict rule as to what and how much to use…goes to taste but I used 2 pounds of finely chopped yellow onions and 4 cloves garlic, with about 1/4 cup salt.  All this was mixed together in a bowl and then stuffed into the green peppers.  A top was added to each pepper as I stood them in a pot to go into the oven.  I like to use a tomato based sauce so I used tomato sauce, tomato juice and a little salt to add a bit of flavor.  I used enough in each pot to fill about half way up the peppers and covered tightly with either a lid or foil.

Bake in the oven until the peppers are fork tender…just poke them.  If the fork goes into the pepper easily, they are done.

I froze them individually in quart size freezer bags due to their size.  It would be easier to take out 2 than to have to store them in the fridge.  Reheat them in the microwave or stovetop or oven…whichever you prefer.

 

There you have it…classic stuffed peppers.  Might have to keep a couple out for dinner tonight!

Recipe Classic Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

  • 25 peppers, cleaned
  • 6 pounds ground meat
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 pounds finely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup salt

Sauce

  • 1 large institutional size tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts tomato juice
  • feel free to add bay leaves and salt if you like.  Just remember to take out the bay leaves before serving!

Bake 350 degrees in oven for about 1 hour

Enjoy!

Until next time…Keep on Keepin’On!

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A Zucchini Challenge

By July 21, 2017 Gardening, Handmade Items, Healthy Living, Herbs and Veggies, Recipes, Uncategorized

It all started with a trip to the local farmers market auction.  This is am amazing place as everything is organic and auctioned off in cases or lots.  I bid on and bought a case of zucchini…25 pounds worth!  I’m excited as this will go into the freezer and provide many meals for my husband and I…also our older son who shops in the store of mom for home cooked stuff for his home cooked stuff.  It’s quite the compliment!  Anyhoo, this picture shows the first of 3 pots of peeled and rough chopped (chunky) zucchini.

 

I ended up with 3 pots full.  To the 3 pots I added 1 full head of garlic, 9 bay leaves and 3 lbs of rough chopped onions.  I made the onions chunky and used yellow onions.  You can use whatever you have or like.  Also, the ingredients are not carved in stone but are flexible based on your taste or needs.  I added about a small handful of salt.  Just because it needs some salt but other seasonings can be added later when preparing the final recipe and we don’t use a lot of salt anyway.

 

Then on to the stove for cooking.  About 30 minutes later, I shut off the burners and let the mixture cool a bit before packaging.

I used quart freezer bags and a 2 cup measuring cup to make it easier.  I opened the bag and turned the zip part out to keep t clean and stable and filled it with about 3 cups of mixture.  Then pressed the remaining air out of the freezer bag before closing.  As you can see in the next picture, I laid them flat so they froze faster and took up less room in the freezer.

I used a box top and slid the whole thing right into the freezer to keep the little packages from wrapping around the grids on the freezer. And it helps to control the number of bags.

When I am ready to use them, I remove them from the freezer and let thaw in a bowl in the fridge.  I like to add chopped chicken or sausage, maybe a few more veggies and serve over hot pasta topped with a good parmesan cheese.

So, all in one place…here goes.  Reduce as necessary as I’m sure not everyone will have 25 lbs of zucchini.

  • Stewed Zucchini
  • 25 pounds fresh peeled and chucked zucchini
  • 1 full head of fresh garlic
  • 9 bay leaves
  • 3 pounds chunked onions
  • small handful (1/4 cup) salt
  • Boil on stove until tender and translucent.  Package and freeze.

That’s it.  Very simple.  ENJOY!!

Until next time…keep on Keepin’ On!

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10 Things to Do with White Distilled Vinegar

By July 18, 2017 Healthy Living, Recipes, Uncategorized

Vinegar is an amazing product.  Who knew that you could do so much with something so….overlooked!  Out of the hundreds of things that you can do with white distilled vinegar, I will pick only of my 10 favorites.  And challenge you to let me know what your favorites are.

I buy vinegar in gallons.  It is so useful that I like to keep it on hand.  It’s pretty inexpensive too, considering all it can do.  All vinegar starts as alcohol created through the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar.  When the alcohol ferments, it becomes acetic acid, or vinegar.

  1. Cleaning coffeemakers.  I have and love my old school Mr Coffee.  The maintenance of it includes running vinegar through it a couple of times a year.  Now, I have to be honest and say that I do this outdoors because it doesn’t smell very pleasant but works wonderfully!
  2. Cleaning dishwashers. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to an empty dishwasher and run the cycle.  It helps to open any clogs in the drain lines and deodorizes the machine.
  3. Cleaning the HE washer.  I add 1 cup to the HE washer and run it on the clean cycle.  It keeps it sparking clean!
  4. Cleaning the shower head.  If you have hard water, you have build up in the little water ports.  Just put about 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic bag and tape it around the shower head so it is submerged into the vinegar.  Let it set for a while (about 15 minutes or so) and then remove it.
  5. In the laundry.  I love using vinegar in the laundry.  I put about 1/2 cup in the fabric softener slot of the washing machine and let it go.  The clothes come out soft.  I have also put about 1 cup directly in the bottom of a standard washer and started the water before adding the clothes.  It is amazing how bright and fresh smelling they come out.
  6. On hair.  Vinegar is a great hair conditioner and can improve cleanliness and shine.  I like to mix 1 tablespoon in about 1/2 gallon of water and pour it over my head after the shampoo is rinsed out. It may help with itchy scalp and light cases of dandruff.
  7. Bee stings and bug bites.  Use vinegar with cornstarch to make a paste.  Apply the paste to bee sting or bug bite and let dry.
  8. Sunburn. Vinegar has a cooling effect on sunburn.  Splash on sunburned area (if blistered, see your doctor) then lightly rub into the skin.  Or simply cool sunburn with diluted vinegar in a spray bottle.  Spray on affected area.
  9. Removing musty smells.  Don’t you just hate it when you are in a hurry and you pull out a thermal container and it stinks.  Well, just rinse it with undiluted vinegar, wash with soap and water and rinse well.  Musty smell…gone!
  10. As a meat tenderizer.  The acid content and tangy flavor of vinegar makes it an excellent ingredient in a marinade for meat, poultry, or whatever.  It tenderizes tough cuts.

So, these are MY 10 favs.  What are yours?  Be sure to let me know!

Until next time…keep on Keepin’ on!

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Lavender

By July 13, 2017 Essential Oils, Flowers, Gardening, Healthy Living, Herbs and Veggies, Uncategorized

Today, I want to talk about something that bailed me out of my own “stupid.”  Now, I know that “stupid” cannot be fixed with duct tape (sometimes it can!) but lavender fixed this one.

I was cooking dinner one night.  Pork chops…mmm!  Anyway, I usually brown them in a skillet and finish cooking them in the oven.  That is what I did this night.  They looked so good when I took them out of the oven and put the hot skillet on the stovetop.  I grabbed plates to serve them and then promptly grabbed the hot skillet handle.  Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to let go of said hot skillet handle.  It’s also a good thing that I’m not prone to using swear words.  But, as a nurse, I knew to immediately put my hand under some cold running water to remove the heat from the burn….which I did with an amazing quickness!

After that, my husband went to the essential oils cupboard and brought out the Young Living lavender essential oil.  I put a couple (2) drops on my burned hand and then we finished serving and eating our dinner.  Before we retired for the evening I put 2 more drops of YL lavender essential oil on my hand.

I was amazed when I woke the next morning that my burned hand was no longer burned…no blister…no soreness…just my normal hand.  I could use it for all the things I used it for before my “stupid.”  Cool!

This is a picture of my oils cabinet.  My husband made it for me…he loves woodworking! anyway…

Lavender is amazing! Not only does it work on burns, it smells wonderful.  We saw some lavender at Monticello when we visited.

YL lavender essential can be applied neat (without diluting) to your body (not children, dilute first) for a calming and relaxing feeling.  I use it on the bottoms of my feet each night before bed.  I have been sleeping like a baby and I’m not usually a good sleeper.

It is also antiseptic, antifungal, anti-infammatory, vasodilating (allows for better circulation) and also promotes wound healing/tissue regeneration.  It is one of the few essential oils to still be listed in the British Pharmacopoeia.

The herb itself is beautiful and helpful in many ways.  Enjoy it as a tea.  Put some in your bath water. Put it in your potpourri dish.  I once made a cake with it for my Bible study group.  Yummy!

What is your favorite use for lavender?  Let me know.

Until next time…keep on keepin’ on!

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A Pickling Situation?

By July 12, 2017 Gardening, Handmade Items, Healthy Living, Herbs and Veggies, Recipes, Uncategorized

Hi!

Well, this has been a pretty busy day for us as my husband had to go into work a bit early today.  He is a massage therapist with lots of extra neuromuscular training/certification.

Anyway, I went to the garden to collect today’s goodies only to find we are overrun with pepperoncini.  While this is a great thing, you have to ask, “What to do with all of this?”

After some research, I decided to try pickling them.  This is the first effort at this.  I have pickled stuffed banana peppers but not pepperoncini.  So, here is a photo of the end result.

 

This is 1 pint and 1 quart.  Think we like them?  Yes, we do!  I’ll let you know how they come out after they pickle…did I tell you that they are refrigerator pepperoncini?  They are…and so easy!  If it works, I’ll share the recipe with you…so come back and watch for it.  They should be ready August 1.

Until next time…keep on keepin’ on!

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On the Road Again – Part 2 Late

By July 10, 2017 Gardening, Uncategorized

Wow!  What a wonderful day.  To celebrate our first 14th anniversary, my husband and I went to see Monticello.  It is the home of Thomas Jefferson.  It has an impressive approach and an impressive presence.

This is the primary approach, where guests entered.

This is where the family entered.  We weren’t permitted to take any photos of the inside while we toured.

I learned much about the man that I didn’t know before, like he was taller than me but then, most people are!  He worked on many things, inventing things as he went along, mostly because he had a question no one had previously answered.  But I can show you photos of what was a very exciting but necessary hobby… his gardening.

Touring the garden area was a learning experience all by itself.  Each row was very neatly planted and weeded with stakes at the ends which listed the common name, the latin name and the year Jefferson worked on the seeds.  Think…still growing from the same strain of seeds…gives meaning to the term heritage seeds!!

 

When we needed a break from walking, we sat under the trees just up the knoll from the slave quarters.  I didn’t get any photos of the replica house but it is very rustic to say the least.  One room no bigger than a closet.  The entire family lived in that tiny space.  The life of the slaves was not very pretty, even if Thomas Jefferson was kinder than most masters.

All said and done, it was a great weekend away.  Just the break my brain needed to return to our cute little house with renewed resolve to finish some projects!

We would recommend a trip to Monticello if you have never been.  Add it to your bucket list!

Until next time…Keep On Keepin’On!

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On the Road Again – Day 1

By July 9, 2017 Uncategorized

Are you a Willie Nelson fan? Maybe, maybe not but we have all heard the song “On the Road Again.”

Anyway, my husband decided to take me away for the weekend for our first anniversary.  Our first anniversary is the date we celebrate that we were married the first time.  So, we packed our stuff, asked the neighbor to look after the cat and headed out.  Because we live in a major tourist area, we decided to take all the back roads.  What a great idea!  Lots of beautiful country to see while diving.  The weather was beautiful too.  When we travel, we stop often.  We figure we may never be in this place again so if there is something we want to see…we stop.

This was our first stop.  The historic Virginia Diner.  Known as “The Peanut Capital of the World,” this long time restaurant had peanuts flavored in ways I never imagined.  I had a slice of their “world famous peanut pie.”  It was great.  Sorry, no picture.  I enjoyed it before I remembered the photo.  My husband had the apple pie.

We mad a couple of other stops for breaks and checked into our hotel in Charlottesville.  From there, we decided to visit the historic Main Street area.  It is 8 blocks of quaint little shops and eateries.  What a great experience.  If you et a chance, visit.  We had gelato!!!

I love gelato!  It’s the Italian in me.  We spoke to some locals who informed us of a rally in the area (a few blocks away) that had captured media attention.  There was a noticeable “Blue” presence so we felt very safe.

So now we are safely tucked back in our room resting and planning our day tomorrow.  We plan to visit Monticello.  I have never been there either so I am looking forward to the visit. Tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes and share pictures if they let me take them!

Until next time…Keep on keepin’ on!

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A New Thing!

By July 6, 2017 Uncategorized

Good morning!  I love learning new things.  Go me!! Just connected to a new app called Bloglovin where you can also read these posts.  Check it out!

www.bloglovin.com/blog/18975663

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.com

Until next time…keep on keepin’ on!

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God Bless Us…Every One!

By July 4, 2017 Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to America.  Happy Birthday to the greatest country in the world.  Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday to me.

I’ve been thinking all day…very aware of the day and what it means.  There isn’t any place in the world that supports the great way of life we have here in America.  I LOVE America.  I get teary-eyed when the Star Spangled Banner or God Bless America plays.  Or even God Bless the USA.

I remember vividly during my trip to England, visiting the American cemetery in Cambridge.  I cried like a baby to be on American soil, knowing that all these men and women (plus countless more) have made the ultimate sacrifice, given their lives, so we can experience the level of freedom we experience…or take for granted…or abuse.

I believe in the Constitution.  I believe in living peaceably, as it is possible, among my brothers and sisters.  I believe that you have the right to speak your peace, even if I don’t agree but you don’t have the freedom to pollute my ear space.  Again, let’s keep it peaceful.

My grandmother came here as a toddler with her family from Italy to find the freedom to live a decent life. They worked hard.  My great grandparents on the other side also came from Italy for the same reason.  My grandmother was so proud to find her name in the book of records kept at Ellis Island.

My father, stepfather, father-in-law, my stepson, brother-in-law, and my grandson all proudly served this country in the different branches of the military.  So proud to be the daughter of a military family.  My father-in-law was a POW and would never talk about his experiences.  My stepdad was in Germany and seldom spoke of his experiences.  It changes a person.

I remember the lottery for the draft for the war in Vietnam.  And hoping and praying that everyone that was drafted would come home safe and sound.  They didn’t. And coming home from high school and hearing that it was a good day because only 300 of our boys died that day.  It nearly wiped out a generation.

Still, we are free.  But it is a tender freedom.  It must be protected and nurtured or we will lose the one thing that makes our country the best place in the world to live.

Let’s stand together and protect America.  Our differences are to be celebrated, just like the birthday we celebrate today…with fireworks and cake!

After all, America is worth it!     

Happy Birthday, and God Bless America, Land that I love.  Walk beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above.

I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

Until next time…keep on keepin’ on.

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