Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Concentrated Cold Cure

You get a cold. Your friends find out. Let the frenzy of home cures being! You know the story. Everyone has their favorite treatment. Honey and lemon, ginger and honey and lemon, cayenne pepper and ginger, apple cider vinegar and honey, and on and on. I pulled together what I saw as the common ingredients in all of the cures I've been told about and decided to try mixing them all together...in a concentrated form. Why would I do something so potentially gross? To see what happens of course. My hope is that when I feel a cold coming on I can take a spoon full of this crazy concoction rather than having to drink it by the gallon, or if that proves too noxious I can dilute it in hot water and just save some time and head scratching and I wonder when I have time to go pick up fresh ginger at the store (I don't usually have it on hand).

Gather together the ingredients
About 2 tsp of honey (raw is best if you have it)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (I use a whole tsp, but that's probably way too much)
A hunk of fresh ginger
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice (I decided to go with the vinegar as I tend to drink lemon water most mornings)
Tap Water

First chop up the ginger. Minced is best for getting the oils into the water, but I don't think it will complain if you aren't too fussy about it. I had a giant piece of ginger so I used about half and froze the other half.

 Place minced-ish ginger in a small pot and add some water, put on high heat.






































 Bring it to a full boil for about 5 minutes. I did this to concentrate the ginger water, but I ended up diluting it anyway. It sill might be good for getting as much oil and stuff out of the ginger as possible.






































 Set up strainer while ginger is boiling.






































 Mix all other ingredients in your jar.

 Strain ginger water. I let some ginger chunks spill over into the water because I still think they have some goodness to give even after boiling.





































Add ginger water to the other ingredients in the jar. Mine is a nice rosy pink because of the Cayenne Pepper. (it turns out my camera lens did get fogged by the ginger water steam after all, oops.)






































Finally be sure to label the jar (including ingredients) so you know what the strange concoction lurking in the back of the refrigerator is in the future.

Enjoy to restore good health, hopefully!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Homemade Mouthwash

For a while I didn't have much use for mouthwash. It tasted icky, it burned my mouth, it was expensive, and it was unnecessary. Basically it just wasn't worth it.

Somehow this mouthwash convinced me to give it another go and it has been worth it. I like how I know exactly what's in it, that I can control how it tastes/how strong it is, and I can see how it might make a difference. Best of all, it's really easy.

I'm not going to pretend this recipe is original, but I also can remember where I got it or exactly the proportions of the original so I'm not going to cite where I found it. Anyway, I want you to read my blog, not someone else's :)

First collect all your ingredients.
Peppermint extract
Tea Tree Oil
Tap Water
That's it!






































Add about 1/8th to 1/4 of a teaspoon of peppermint extract to a clean empty jar.
Then add about 10 - 15 drops of Tea Tree Oil depending on how astringent you want it to be. I like to think it's doing something so I go heavy on the Tea Tree.
Finally, boil your tap water to purify it then fill your jar with the water. The bonus is your kitchen smells amazing as it cools!



When it's cool pop on the lid, slap on a label and you're good to go. I usually take a good size swig from it daily (sometimes morning, sometimes evening, sometimes both) and it lasts around 2-3 weeks. Also, while it's within the realm of possibility to swallow the mouthwash I wouldn't recommend it, the Tea Tree oil can irritate. Swishing and spitting- save your stomach and have fun while doing it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In gratitude

... for the Red Buds starting to bloom.

... for the ability to give.

... for pretty skirts.
...for the ability to receive gracefully.

... for yellow.
...for little things.

...for cleaning with vinegar.
...for the ability to separate other's emotions from my own.

...for inspired salads.
....the broil setting on the oven.

...for Arbor day.
 ...for the gifts from trees.

...for pompous sheep.
 ...for AZ ensuring that the ag quad gets farm animals once a semester.

...for new books.
...for long chats with friends.

...for healing.





































...for putting relationships first.

...for abundance.
 ...for produce.

...for cool architecture.
 ...for a rough idea of how to make above mentioned cool architecture.

...for inspiration.
...for hope.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Searching for guidance and ending up with contradictions

I'll be perfectly honest, it's a tough time right now. I'm heading into finals (my final finals, eep!), I'm hitting the first year anniversaries of accepting some things that left me feeling extremely vulnerable, and my usual emotional highs and lows are being amplified by a combination of sugar, hormones, and feeling vulnerable all over again. All in all, ugh.

What does one do when one feels lost, vulnerable, and stressed? Look for guidance, or at least that's what I do. And it turns out I don't think I was looking in the right place. In the past six months or so spiritual faith has done a lot to allow me to liberate myself from some very challenging realities and so this time when I felt I was struggling I went looking for the stories of other spiritual women who seem to have it figured out. Well, the blogs I found that were run by women fitting that description are leading lives that I do not currently share and have value I don't think I'll ever chose to share. But I spent a few days stressing over trying to mimic them and wondering why I felt more confused and depressed than ever. Then I finally realized the discrepancy, a fish trying to live like a bird just isn't going to work. Some things might end up overlapping like the whole drinking water and eating worms thing, but that's as far as it goes.

Don't worry I can hear you thinking at me telling me to stop being critic and just be gutsy enough to say things that I believe and not worry about trying seem like a perfect saint to everyone. (If you really are under that misconception may I refer you back to paragraph one.) So who are the birds to my fish, or vice versa? Women who were more fundamentalist christian that I care to be. *I will insert a disclaimer here saying that I have absolutely no problem with anyones beliefs or lifestyles so long as they are not hurting themselves or others.* Now that that disclaimer is out of the way I will go on to say that many of the blogs I read came from women who were stay at home Moms with multiple children in stable and happy marriages. I have no problem with any of those things, but as a 20-something, happily single, pre-professional who is looking at living abroad for a few months in the near future there is kind of a disconnect in our worlds. If I try to imitate the actions that seem to make them happy then I am really not living my own life.

I'll go down the list, because I'm really curious to examine the differences for myself, but again this is just for myself and my current reality, not a judgement on others.

Homemaking- I love cleanliness, keeping potentially harmful products out of my life, and the ingenuity that goes into homemaking. However, I currently don't have what I consider to be a long enough lasting home that it's worth putting any making effort into. I have the place I live at school which I adore, but also share with 13 other girls and will be moving out of in a month. I have the house I grew up in that houses my Mom and brother much more often than it does me. And I'm likely to bounce through a series of apartments in the next few years as a find a place and job that suit me. None of those are really conducive to long term home commitments.

Modesty/femininity- This is a complicated one for me. Part of me believes that if you are proud of your body then by all means show it off however you like! But I have had a tendency in the past to dress conservatively for the wrong reason, namely to ward of sexual harassment or potential violence. That sounds like a very sensible idea so why to I say it's the wrong reason? Because for myself at least dressing that way gives both a false sense of security (common sense, vigilance, and listing to your gut work a whole lot better) and make me feel more frightened and vulnerable because I'm only doing it because of a lack of confidence in my ability to do any of the above and in others to be decent human beings. At the root of it that lack of confidence in self and others is what ends up hurting my psyche the most. *Again, disclaimer- Do take all steps you feel necessary to protect yourself from all forms of harm and take all internal alarm bells seriously and take appropriate action.* I don't know if I've expressed my thinking on the matter well here so I'll sum it up by saying my philosophy is that clothes should make you feel good, feel confident, and allow you to do whatever you would like to do. How much fabric is necessary to accomplish those goals in entirely up to each individual.

I'm sure there were more and if I remember them I'll come back and revisit them in another post, but at the moment I have two papers waiting to be written.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

In Gratitude

... for knitting in the sun watching I Love Lucy with my housemate Alex.
... for exploring Ithaca a bit.

... for signs of spring.
... for only having to share the kitchen with one person rather than thirteen.

... for flowers blooming outdoors!
... for spring break.

... for very happy tulips.
... for the time to visit my chiropractor more often this past week.

... for learning how to make gnocchi!
... for cooking with others.

... for fancy looking soup.
... for abundance.

... for flowing water.
... for small fuzzy animals.

... for love big and small.
... for all the recipes from Alex's family.

... for learning to make pasta and ravioli.
... for the ability to give.

... for free paintings.
... for planning for the future.

... for parks that spring up out of nowhere.
... for self refection.

... for my favorite bridge in profile.
... for revisiting old places.

... for recognition.
... for discomfort that recognition brings.

... for things that make me laugh.
... for trying to work ahead.

... for creative uses of cardboard.
... for routines.

... for fellow chocoholics.
... for holy week celebrations.

... for lazy breakfasts.
... for gratitude.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

In Gratitude

...for smiling faces.
...for birdsong.

...for glimpses of spring.
...for unique pottery that makes my morning granola that much better.

...for seeing the sun! (it never gets old)
...for shrinking snow banks.

...for the return of grass.
...for too many sweets.

 ...for cool buildings that mix new and old.
...for the belief that I can do too many things at once.

 ...for big ideas.
...for failure just being another word for opportunity.

...for silliness.
...for my studio mates and all their creative ideas.

 ...for having to question whether I'm in college or kindergarten.
...for rest after long days.

 ...for post prelim pancakes.
...for shoulders to cry on.

...for the thawing of the waterfall.
...for building new friendships.

...for dinner out with great people.
 ...for pizza.

...for impromptu evening tours of campus buildings.
...for movie nights.

...for meeting my friend's project...a robot named baxter.
...for hours long discussions about space and it's exploration.

...for homemade gnocchi.
...for delight.

 ...for generous friends who make meetings more delicious.
...for growth.