Sunday, February 28, 2010

Treating Acute Sinusitus Naturally

As the flu takes it's leave from our home I find myself with a new, albeit related affront to human kind. The sinus infection. My right cheek bone feels bruised, my top teeth on the right side feel as if they are about to jump out and walk away on their own. I've never had a sinus infection before so I did the first natural thing to do in these modern times and I Googled it. Big mistake. Within a few minutes of reading I was being told that sinus infections can cause death. Death. DEATH. No wonder most people run, hysterically screaming, to the doctor for some sort of pill. Goodness! I on the other hand chugged a glug of pediatric decongestant (couldn't help myself), promptly closed out the search window, and consulted one of my favorite ailment books: Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child. If you have offspring or care for the offspring of others, you need this book. It has conventional, homeopathic, dietary, acupressure, nutritional supplement, herbal, and homeopathic treatment information for a huge variety of childhood (and in this case, anyhood) health issues. I really value this book.

After reading a few suggestions and realizing I had everything necessary in my pantry and garden to make up a few concoctions I went straight to work. I simmered chopped rosemary and ginger in a few cups of water to make a warm, moist compress. Very soothing indeed.
Then I made a steam with orange peel, thyme, mint, rosemary, garlic, mint geranium, and ginger. Simmered, covered, on the stove for a few minutes gets the essential oils to start releasing. Taken from the stove, set on a counter and inhaled while under the hood of a towel is magic I tell you. mmmmmmm. I put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil for round #2. Very pleasing!
Can you tell how soothing it is from here?

Did you know that a hot lemonade, made by mixing fresh juice with an equal amount of water and touch of sweetener (I used honey) helps, according to the fabulous book, to "cut mucus and improve blood flow." ?? I had no idea. It's tasty too. Add a sprinkle of cayenne and you'll really get things flowing.
Add to this some good saline flushes and we're talking serious recovery.

Don't forget therapy for the rest of you! For me, staging, photographing for, and writing a blog post is therapy for my creative brain. Fresh flowers from the garden on my kitchen windowsill are therapy for my spirit, even more so because I can see a beautifully blooming apricot in the background.
Looking up through this tree to a blue sky is pure therapy for every part of me.
Wishing everyone good health!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anyone know what kind of worm this is?

I found a bunch of these out in my rain soaked asparagus bed. They move like earthworms but are so small and white. I was thinking perhaps they are infant earthworms but, and this is making me feel a fool to confess, I don't know if such a thing exists? I really should google to find out now that I've made this confession!

For Sherri

For years I tried to find a mate to my special Iranian Apricot, SHAA-KAR PAREH. It isn't self-fruitful so it needed a mate and I had such a hard time finding the same type so went to other types hoping they would bloom as early as this one only to end up with a few different types of apricot trees around in the garden which never bloomed in time. Then my friend Sherri found the exact tree I was searching for and sent it as a baby gift while we were both pregnant with our second children, born weeks from each other. We planted the beautiful bare root tree over our second son's placenta, which I posted about here and here, and hoped for the best. I'm happy to report it has bloom buds on it at the same time as the established tree! I can't tell you how excited I am about this! Thank you again Sherri!

What a nice thing to drag my feverish body out to see during a small break in the rain.

Funny, I can see a hula-hoop and a fire truck in the background of that photo. With all the sickies we've been having I'm longing for healthy kids playing in the yard again. This flu shall pass. I sure wish it would hurry up. In the mean time I'm managing to work on a sweater for my 9 month old baby, a project I began when newly pregnant! ha! Good thing I know myself well enough to have started a 12 month size.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A February Morning

I have two sick children. So time is short. This morning I had the luxury of my husband home manning the elder child while I took the younger on a stroll through the garden. Looking back at the photos I took I see I was generally looking very close, as I tend to do. I find I'm always enjoying little pieces here and there and I've realized that it's part of my journey as a mother. Little pieces adding up to a whole. So I find pretty things.
And wonder who is nibbling my asparagus
And chuckle at a bee who stayed out too late last night and had to camp on a daffodil
and marvel at the wonder of growth and new life, inside and out

then back to wondering who is nibbling my apricot blooms!

AND admiring my covered cover crop. It is beautiful!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Remembering Roo

Very recently I posted about Roo, our second Gentleman Rooster as I like to call our guys. He liked to get into the garden and "man" the front garden gate. He was also a great co-rooster and kind to his hens. He was handsome and regal and everything a rooster should be.

And he is gone.
I noticed he hadn't roosted last night but I only had seconds out away from the house so I couldn't go investigate as to why. This morning I went out to check for him thinking perhaps he had gone down to the trees below and decided to roost there for the night. Unfortunately I found a clump of his bloody feathers next to the fence we share with a neighbor. We aren't missing any hens so I'm thinking Roo died with honor, defending his gals from a coyote who left a tell-tale print behind in the mud.

Goodbye Roo. We miss you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We made our way to the sea this week where my son found "love on the beach" and then beckoned me with complete tenderness and excitement to come witness it with him. Today my baby and I rose before the sun as usual. I constructed and lit an eager roaring fire and cuddled my baby boy's chubby soft naked body while peering through the fog towards the garden. The garden will receive some love today. Love abounds. Commercialism just doesn't compare. There are no cards in our house. No purchased flowers. Just a whole lot of yes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SpringSprangSprung, I wish! In the garden today.

Today sure feels like spring. I have to remind myself the rain JUST stopped yesterday and there is more to come and it isn't time for true spring yet. The first bulb is blooming though which adds to the garden trickery of my soul.
And the first asparagus shoots are up! They are huge! I planted purple asparagus last spring and I'm finding it difficult to come up with the words to describe how exuberant I feel with the prospect of eating my FAVORITE vegetable fresh from my own garden in my near future. I planted it in a re purposed wood water tank to provide good drainage and protection from gophers as there is aviary wire beneath the tank. I had to run in and grab an appropriate prop to demonstrate the great girth of this beautiful asparagus specimen.... oh my.
The cover crop bird protection.
And finally, I thought it would only be fitting to offer a picture of the rooster who got away on culling day who I have now named Fancy Feet. Now that he is out of a pack of teens perhaps he'll behave. If he does I'll keep him around as I'm kinda fond of well behaved roosters!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Well goodness. So many of our first season hen-raised babies ended up to be roosters. Dang it. Over the past few weeks they started crowing (which I have to say is the cutest thing ever, I love hearing that initial
sound they make when they first learn the craft of le crow) and more importantly they began ganging up on the pullets and hens which just turns me sour. We have two gentlemen roosters named Rowdy and Roo who are a great team and take care of their gals and are just general good guys. They're keepers. Which left us with SIX (yes six!) juvenile roosters to deal with. One was given away to a friend who needed a full sized rooster, one may still go in a bit so he was saved (ok so he's the one we couldn't catch) and the other four were caught {hilariously} and quickly and humanely culled and turned into fried chicken and gravy for a crowd the first night followed by stewed chicken the next. And you know what? It was great!

In an attempt to use every part of the birds I saved some feathers for crafts and we even tried chicken foot soup thanks to my mom who volunteered to boil and strip the feet. Ummm, won't be doing THAT again. The bones are simmering for good bone broth and the hens are back to their regular, peaceful routine with their two great protectors. Life returns to normal, just like that.