All posts by ruthsoaper

55 Things # 22 – Dirt Don’t Hurt

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

Gardening season is upon us, and yes, we have been busy playing in the dirt. Tilling and planting began nearly two weeks ago. My husband planted potatoes and cabbage after the threat of frost and freezing temperatures was presumably over. He has since, in between rain days, planted tomatoes, eggplant, squash and pumpkins, sunflowers and buckwheat. There are still seeds to go in the ground but we are off to a good start.

Weeding has also begun. I spent some time pulling weeds in the asparagus patch and about three hours on Wednesday weeding the garlic bed. Weeding the Prayer Garden is next on my list.

The contrary among you may argue that the title of this post,  Dirt Don’t Hurt, is misleading because there are ways that dirt can be harmful to us. That I will concede. Now that I’ve got you here though I would like to share some ways that dirt may therapeutic.

Grounding or Earthing

Grounding or earthing refers to the simple act of placing our bare feet on the natural ground, such as dirt, sand or grass. By doing that, we are in direct contact with the Earth. While the proposed science behind it is explained in this article some of the heath benefits are said to be reduced inflammation, reduce stress, improve mood, reduced pain. Personally I don’t care how it works I just know that it feels good to go barefoot in the cool green grass or on a sand beach.

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil

A while back a Rory, a fellow blogger included this interesting article in his gardening series. The article explains that “The soil microbe mycobacterium vaccae has been found to mirror the effect on neurons in the brain that drugs like Prozac can provide, but without side effects.” It also suggests that the benefits may be gained either topically by having your hands in the soil or by inhaling it while working in the garden.

All this time I’ve been using the term “garden  therapy” I never thought that there may be some science behind it I just knew that I find working in the garden enjoyable and I feel good when I do it.

Bacillus Subtilis Probiotic

It was right around the time I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease that I began including probiotics in my diet daily. Largely I was doing this by eating and drinking fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. There did seem to be a connection between my poor digestion and some of the other symptoms of the PD, and probiotics did have some positive effects.

Bacillus subtilis is a probiotic that is derived from the soil and as this article explains is able to endure extreme conditions such as heat, dryness, humidity and acidity. It is said to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, suppress harmful pathogens, strengthen the mucosal biofilm and enhance the growth of other probiotic strains.

Several months ago my husband came across  this information which describes studies being done on bacillus subtilis in relationship to PD and positive results that are being seen. This got my attention. This particular strain of probiotic is not one that is included in the many probiotic supplements that I found on the store shelves. I did find one blend at a nutrition store that contained it but beyond that it is easier to find online.

I have been taking bacillus subtilis supplements for a few months now and have noticed several benefits to my health.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to “Play in the Dirt” this summer. 🙂

From Coping to Managing

I have read a lot of articles lately about how people are coping during the pandemic crises and even had some conversations with family members about it. Today I’d like to share my thoughts on the topic. While the terms coping and managing are often used synonymously they are two very different things.

The following story is how I came to that realization.

It was probably two months after first being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease before I said the words “I have Parkinson’s disease”. Up until that point I was in, what I thought of as, a healthy state of denial. I would say things like “I have been diagnosed with…” or “they tell me I have…” but I was not ready to own it. I guess that was my way of coping.

I remember clearly the day I finally said the words “I have Parkinson’s disease”.  I was alone in the house (I wasn’t  ready to say those words to anyone else) standing at the kitchen sink washing some dishes thinking about what was happening to me. Then I said the words out loud “I have Parkinson’s”. As soon as I said it the voice in my head, God’s voice, said “Yah, you got this.” Then I said, “Yah, I’ve got this. It doesn’t have me. I have it.”

It was then that I remembered that I am the manager of my life. Regardless of the circumstances that come my way, I still get to make decisions about how I respond to them. You might remember from my first post about Parkinson’s disease that I’m not in this alone. I have a wonderful team to support me, but ultimately I am the manager of my life.

My message to you today is, if you find yourself struggling to cope with a situation (COVID 19 or other) remind yourself that you are the manger of your life. Take control, make good decisions for yourself, your family and others around you. Do not let the situation control you – you’ve got this!

Breathe Deep and Carry On!

55 Things # 21 – Favorite Photos

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

I just thought I would share some of the things that made me smile over the past week.

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Broody Hens.

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Deer grazing in our back field.

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Trilliums – Remembering Mom on Mother’s day.

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Still some daffodils in bloom.

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Dandelion lives matter.

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Chives getting ready to blossom.

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As are the apple trees.

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I know there’s a rabbit in here.

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Well maybe not.

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I’m a good boy!

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The freezing nights are over so I no longer have to worry about my pansies.

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Precious!

What made you smile this past week?

 

Mystery Picture

I know some of you are curious so I decided not to make you wait to long but first I want to say thank you to those who ventured to guess what was going on in this picture. When I looked at the picture this morning I wondered what I would have thought if I didn’t know what it was. I think I might have went with a lightning bolt striking to set the fire or even a meteor falling into the pond. (Not very likely though.)

The short answer is: My husband was burning off the dead cattails in the pond. (Keep reading if you want the full story.)

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The Rest Of The Story

For several weeks my husband has been talking about wanting to get rid of the dead cattails in our pond.  He has even jokingly asked me when I was going in the pond to get rid of them. I know he was joking because he knows that I am not going into the water until it warms up. Nope! Not me! I’m not that crazy!

In past years he has cut the cattails during the winter when the pond is frozen solid enough to walk on, but the unseasonably warm winter we had did not create the proper conditions for him to do so.

I wasn’t surprised on Wednesday evening when he asked me to bring his shorts and a towel to the farm because he was going in the pond and get rid of the cattails. You may remember this post when you learned that my husband has been known to do crazy things.

Rather than cut the cattails he decided to use our propane torch/flame thrower to burn them.IMG_6471 (2)

Since the torch does not shoot the flame far enough to reach the cattails from the bank of the pond, he had to wade into the water, about midway up on his thighs, and stretch the hose across the water to burn the cattails. The photo is the cattails that were still burning after he emerged from the water.

Thanks again for playing along.

55 Things #20 – Full Flower Moon

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

You might remember that in March we only had intermittent views of the full worm moon and in April while others were viewing the full pink moon we were treated to a different act of nature. (click the month to read those posts.) So on Wednesday evening when the moon was rising and the skies were clear I headed to the farm to view the nearly full flower moon. It was still 24 hours before peak fullness but I didn’t want to take any chances on missing it. Below are some of the views from that evening.

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The orange glow in the foreground is from the campfire that I was sitting by.

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Sun setting in the west as the moon was rising in the east.

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The sky to the south as darkness falls.

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Before I explain this last picture I thought we would have a little fun and see if you can guess what is going on here. Leave your guess in the comments below. I will provide an explanation in my next post so be sure to follow along.

Did you see the full flower moon?