Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Or a Redbud tree showing off!
But if you venture a little farther into the woods, you will find even more treasures!
Anti-AIDS drug? In recent times, poke has been found helpful in the treatment of diseases related to a compromised immune system. Even more amazing, new research has revealed that it contains a possible cure for Pediatric Leukemia. The Pokeweed Antiviral Protein, properly administered, kills leukemia cells! In one study, 15 out of 18 participating children attained remission. Studies continue.
Poke comes from the Algonquian Indian word "pakon" or "puccoon," referring to a dye plant used for staining.
Poke is sometimes spelled polk. The leaves were reportedly worn by enthusiastic supporters during the campaign of James K. Polk, 11th president of the United States.
Poke contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
Poke contains steroids that resemble cortisone, making it a helpful treatment for skin conditions like psoriases, acne, and fungal infections.
The song Polk Salad Annie by Tony Joe White was later covered by Elvis Presley.
During the War Between the States, soldiers fashioned quills from feathers and used ripe pokeberry juice for ink. Some of these letters can be found in museums today, as legible as they were on the day Sherman burned Atlanta.
I'm including a recipe for Poke Salat (Salad), a springtime dish served in the Ozarks. My parents knew just where the plants grew on the farm and would gather up a "mess" to have with fried fish. There are warnings to take into account if you are going to cook the greens fresh. Consumed raw, poke salad will make you sick as a dog. The stuff that makes you sick is concentrated in the root, stems, and the veins of larger leaves. Mom would only pick the small leaves from a plant no more than knee high. So how does it taste? Some people compare it to asparagus. It's more like spinach I think, but it's a "acquired taste"
Traditional Southern Recipe
· Begin with a “mess” of poke salad: enough leaves to fill a plastic grocery bag.
· Wash and rinse the leaves.
· Add to cook pot and bring to boil. As soon as it’s boiling, drain and refill with water. Do this two more times.
· After boiling and draining three times, squeeze out the excess water.
· Add bacon grease to a skillet on medium heat. Saute in pan just to heat through.
· Salt to taste.
· Optional: cook with a half cup of chopped onions and bacon or country ham.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So, in celebration of the season, here’s a list of the 5 things I consider musts to make your porch look welcoming!
Rocking Chairs...Sure, lots of folks have a porch swing or wicker chairs, but nothing says "Come and sit a spell" like a pair of relaxing rocking chairs. Can you even pass by the rockers at The Cracker Barrel without sitting down? Of course not! Add a little table between the chairs for your glasses of iced tea!
Sweet tea...Nothing beats iced tea in the hot summertime. Brew your own or buy it at the grocery store in gallon jugs. A few fresh lemon slices and ice cubes and you have the perfect drink for a lazy afternoon!
Flowers...They add that old fashioned "Grandma's porch" feel. Pots of favorites like red geraniums, begonias or lush green ferns add so much. If you have a rail along the porch, add some flower boxes for a cottage look.
Porch blinds...If you live close to neighbors, a porch blind can give you some privacy. Or maybe the sun makes the porch too hot late in the afternoon, Lowe's and Home Depot carry blinds in all colors, even bamboo for a natural look.
Neighbors/Friends...After you make your space comfy, invite some neighbors or friends for an impromtu visit. No need for invitations, just wave at them as they walk by or you see them out in the yard and say...
"Hey neighbor, come and sit a spell!"
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I searched everywhere, the desk, files that I had used recently, behind the computer, my purse about a zillion times, the kitchen area near the phone where I dump things to be filed later. No luck. Then the car. You go backwards, thinking "Oh I remember my purse flipping off the seat when I had to stop quickly the other day." But it wasn't there either. After Hubby came home we searched his truck thoroughly but it was useless, that checkbook was GONE. I called the bank and they said to come in the next day.
That night I had the worst nightmare. Hubby and I were on vacation in Mexico. I had to use the restroom and when I went inside the floors were dirt. All of the stalls were full but there was a little lady standing beside two convalescent potties(the kind that are bedside in hospitals). She turned one toward me and said in broken Spanish "Go ahead, take this one." The other she was "adjusting" screws on the legs for her own use. Let me say again...this is a dream and it's getting pretty weird!!! OK, I'm perched over the pottie and then her husband is suddenly in the room with us! Strange, but I am in another country so I don't say what I'm thinking which is "What the heck are you doing in here?" Then they start making chit chat with me. I then get my purse, which I have hung on a nail on the wall and start to walk out. All of a sudden I realize my purse weighs nothing! I look inside and my wallet is GONE! I turn around and there they sit at a table (in the restroom)going through my cash and credit cards with big smile on their faces!!! The guy has my husband's Iphone and is playing with it. I demand they give it back and start yelling for the Police. They calmly tell me that it's a holiday so the Police aren't working and take off with my things. That was the end of the dream/nightmare. I was so glad to wake up!
First thing the next morning I went to the bank and Thank God, nothing was missing, no activity on the account other than the few checks I write each month for her care. They simply put a stop on the remaining checks in that checkbook.
Why am I sharing this very personal shortcoming? Just want to tell you be careful. We are all in a big rush anymore, going a million different directions in a day's time. If I had put the checkbook back immediately after getting home this wouldn't have happened.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I can tell I'm getting better, I'm not blowing all the time. I’ve moved onto the dry cough that hits me as soon as I lay down and try to go to sleep. I've been taking Zyrtec and for the most part it keeps me going during the day. At least it doesn't make me into a walking Zombie like most antihistamines.
*Gargle Salt Water to help a sore throat.
Ginseng is an ole’ timers’ remedy just to keep you feeling good
*Sassafras Tea should be drunk every spring for good health. It boosts the immune system.
*Sunburns can be eased by rubbing thin disc of Cucumber on the burn.
*Bathing in Baking Soda helps poison ivy.
Crisco and Lard can be used as a moisturizer for dry skin.
*Raisins left to soak in Vodka for a few days helps arthritis
Elderberry Wine lowers cholesterol
Bar of Lye Soap under the sheets at the bottom of the bed relieves body aches and pains
Castor Oil for upset stomach
Yellow Pacunne was used for the eyes
*Mullen Tea can help ease cold symptoms
*Vinegar and Honey will prevent and fight infection
Milk and Honey helps head colds
Fennel was taken for pain before Tylenol
Sulfur was taken for persistent colds
*Lemon Juice, Sugar, and Honey are mixed and drank to help with colds and congestion
Mustard Poultice was used by the Ole’ Timers
A thick slice of Potato can be placed on a boil to draw it out
The juice from a Cactus Root also helps on boils or a risen
*Aloe Vera Plant Juice can be applied to burns
*Peppermint Plant which can be found growing around springs helps relieve indigestion
*Garlic helps reduce blood pressure
*Epsom Salt baths help with arthritis and sprains
Willow Bark Tea was used as a pain reliever
Flaxseed was smooth and soft and could be used to get things out of your eye
*Flaxseed can also be ingested to help with constipation (I still buy Uncle Sam's Cereal)
*Mineral Oil can also be used to help an earache
Smoke can be blown into the ears to help with an earache.
*Chamomile Tea is a relaxant and helps with headaches and insomnia
Catnip Tea was given to babies as soon as possible after birth to prevent and help with colic
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
"Women have an 8 lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road!"
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The deer on Granny Mountain can't wait to see what kind of "fool-proof" deer deterrent we've bought for this year. Some of the ones we've tried...with little success.
Scented soap: Shave a few bars of strongly-scented soap (such Irish Spring or Cashmere Bouquet) and scatter the shavings around the garden. I think the deer wonder why we aren't putting a shower in for them since we are supplying the soap...
Human hair: Available from barber shops, human hair can be sprinkled around or hung from branches in cheesecloth bags or nylon stockings. Ben, the King (our furry Cocker Spaniel) provides plenty of this...
Predator urine: You can order predator urine sprays (such as fox or coyote), and some gardeners send meat-eating humans outdoors to “mark the territory,” too. Suffice it to say that we've even resorted to this...
Eggs: Mix a beaten egg into a quart of water and spray plants and surrounding areas.Tried this last summer, the deer weren't bothered by the putrid smell of rotten eggs but it ruined my time downwind on the patio!
Baby powder: Sprinkle on or around plants. Haven't tried this one. Will let you know if it works...
Scented fabric softener sheets: Cut into strips and tie to branches or fence posts. We did this for flies and it did help, just didn't work on the deer.
Blood meal: Sprinkle around plants or beds. I use this on my tulips and they ate them down to the ground...I'd say this one definitely doesn't work.
Hot pepper powder or sauce: Spray or sprinkle directly on or around plants. Some gardeners add garlic or curry powder, too. We made this mixture to keep the baby squirrels from chewing on our new decks the first summer. All it did was give them a hankering for Thai food!
Commercial repellent sprays or granules: Available at garden centers, commercial repellents often contain a combination of unpleasant smells and flavors. These work if you have unlimited funds, there's the catch...
Bamboo fountains: Originally designed as “deer chasers” for Japanese gardens, bamboo fountains make a knocking sound when the water dumps out, which serves as a great auditory deterrent. I like this idea, we'll give this a try this summer!
Metal cans or pie pans: Hang in groups where they will reflect light and rattle in a breeze. Great idea, I bet our neighbors will all be jealous and rush out to buy several Mrs. Smith's pies so that they can be copycats!
Dogs: Dogs are great garden protectors if you can keep them safely contained (and if they don’t add to the problem by digging up your garden! After 5 summers, Ben just lays on the driveway...too many deer to chase off.
Trail blocks: Once you’ve located common deer trails, even a wheelbarrow blocking the path can deter them for a day or two. Deer are habitual animals, and they’ll steer clear of an obstacle until they’re sure it’s safe. We built a fence last year to block their favorite path, they love how it made their habitat more "homey" and have eaten all but one of the 5 rose bushes we planted.
Plant netting: Green bird or plant netting can be used to protect shrubs and trees and can be used as row covers for veggie gardens. Drape it directly over the plants or on a simple wood or PVC frame. If you have acreage like us, it's just not practical to drape everything. If I started now I might be finished by the time the first flake of snow fell this winter!
If you have an idea that works...
Monday, April 19, 2010
Robin's blog It's a Crazy Life, but it's Our Life
documents how their desire to add one more through adoption led to adding two sisters, then 4 more siblings. Robin says, "I was chatting in a new chat room at adoption.com one Saturday night. I was just minding my own business when a chatter came into the room. : ) when someone typed in- Would anyone be interested in adopting 4 kids ages 1, 2, 3, and 4? Hmmmmm.......I sat there and waited for someone in that busy chat room to type in the word-Yes. I waited some more and lo, and behold some crazy woman typed in that word that would change that family's lives forever. ME! I typed that 3 letter word and pushed enter."
2000 and 2001 brought 2 baby daughters, now they are at a dozen kids!
After this it seemed as if everytime the phone rang at the Bardin house, another child was in need of a home. Robin says, "Should we continue answering the phone?? Maybe a number change would be a wise decision?? LOL"
2003~Two sons are added!
Robin and Leon decide that one more daughter and their family will be complete, but this time with the demands of a big family, Robin request that it not be a baby. A little girl who slept through the night would be perfect. But God had other plans for them!
2004~They learned of two baby girls who were in "stalled" situations in the adoption system.
2005 brought a baby girl into the family, she didn't sleep through the night but she blessed them still! Then in 2006 the two baby girls who were stuck in the adoption system came to live with the Bardins'!
All along the way were many battles to be fought with adoption agencies, many sleepless nights. That coupled with the work required daily raising a big family would have broke almost anyone. Robin talks about her struggle, encourages anyone who is going through the process and keeps us posted on the family's ongoing life. Let me tell you, it's a good read!
The Bardin Family were just featured on Springfield, Missouri's KY3.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
My sister-in-law sent this great video last week. This sister act from 1944 is amazing!
Have a great weekend....
(Scroll down to the bottom of the blog and turn OFF the Playlist to hear the audio on this YouTube video)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I can always depend on my daughter Stephanie to post the unusual,
Urban Word of the Day~Soap grafting
The act of attaching an almost completely used piece of soap to a new, unused piece because it is now too small to be conveniently used but you also don't want to waste it.
My mum always soap grafts because she doesn't want to waste anything. Soap grafting is good.
(Slowly, without her even noticing, she is turning into me. I have seen her washing out Ziploc bags, wiping off foil...saving soap slivers is next!)
Friday, April 16, 2010
"If i could use one word to describe my life SERENDIPITY seems to fit the space...i stumbled upon my husband during a time i shouldn't have and my story goes on from there...constantly falling or stumbling upon remarkable gifts and people who bring fortune to our lives...when we fall we learn and strive toward the next step."
She is a free spirit who posts insightful poetry, amazing photography and unique art projects. One of the reasons I love her blog is her perception of life events. She shares a lot, the things we often keep deep within us. I often think of blogging as "Free Therapy," and with Serendipity I come away renewed and inspired. She posted this recently and I was a little surprised that an Internet test can reveal so much about little ol' me...
What Tree Did You Fall From?
Find your birthday and its corresponding tree.
Then, see the meaning behind it below.
Do you recognize yourself?
I'm an Elm Tree!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It's all about balance in life. If we have too few aims and ambitions, we end up just drifting through life, doing whatever seems easiest. But if we have too many goals and aspirations, we get discouraged. It's human nature to feel as if we aren't making progress fast enough. Sometimes what seems to be that unattainable goal, you've already found!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
There was a "tweet" for a new restaurant that boasted the World's Largest Chicken Fried Steak, Cowtown Diner in Fort Worth, Texas. Deep fried and covered in cream gravy, it weighs 10 pounds and packs a whopping 10,000 calories! Who would order such a big meal? Well about 15 orders a month prove it’s a popular item on the menu! Served with family size mashed potatoes, salad and 10 slabs of Texas toast, families share the meal and take some home. College students go together and buy the huge steak that costs $70. The good news is that if you can eat it all by yourself, the meal is FREE! So far, no one has tried to do that. It takes 45 minutes to prepare so you have to order it 24 hours in advance. Served on a pizza pan, the waitresses parade through the restaurant ringing cowbells! Yee-haw!
I always tell Hubby that in Monday morning meetings all across America, companies are deciding what's the next best thing. Restaurants have to continually come up with a twist on the old stand-by's. If they can't come up with new, then they just come up with BIGGER...and in Texas, bigger sells!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Back then, it was a whole world of pink thanks to Mamie Eisenhower. The trend reached it's peak from 1953-1961 when First Lady Mamie chose a pink gown with 2000 pink rhinestones for Ike's Inauguration. Their private quarters at the White House were redecorated in pink, Mamie's favorite. Her bathroom at Gettysburg was pink down to the cotton balls and American women wanted it for their homes too!
When we watch HGTV's "My First Place," the couples are often looking at older homes from that era. Affordable because they need practically everything from new furnace to roof, the kitchens are like a glimpse of my childhood! If a remodeling hasn't taken place in these homes, you see what I remember of that house in Springfield; linoleum floors, flowery wallpaper and Formica countertops edged in steel. Some things, like shag carpeting or paneling date a house terribly. But often when they see the kitchen with it's retro styling and charm from yesteryear, they actually like it. One thing for sure, you will have a one of a kind kitchen that few can duplicate!
What do you remember from your childhood kitchen?