Category Archives: Reflections

55 Things # 11 – Beyond Handwashing

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

Added 3/20/20: Two days after this post was originally published I can not in good conscience let it go unedited. I am changing it to include this article regarding cytokine storm. It seems as if a strong immune system that I mention below may not be the best way to handle COVID 19. Please consult a medical professional regarding any health concerns you might have.

Original Post: Hello Readers. It seems I am a bit late with this post as up until this point I had been posting “55 Things” each Monday. Perhaps you understand that with everything going on in the world I seem to have lost my focus for a minute. I do however hope to publish two “55 Things” posts this week and that should put me right back on track.

Wash You Hands

If we have heard it once we have heard it a thousand (or more) times over the last few weeks – washing your hands and now coupled with social distancing is the first line of defense against COVID 19. However if this invisible enemy is as powerful as it is reported to be then should we not have something in place in case the enemy penetrates that first line?

Beyond Hand Washing

The good news is that in varying degrees we do. It is called our immune system.

Now before I go any farther let me just say that I am not a doctor or medical professional and nothing that you read here should be considered medical advice. I am however a Mom so I am going to give you the same advice I gave to my kids. Try to keep your immune system healthy.

The following article shares 11 tips for doing so many of which I am personally practicing.

https://livinginnaturalharmony.com/blog/2018/02/09/11-tips-preventing-overcoming-cold-flu/

Are you doing anything to boost your immune system?

Thanks for reading and be well.

55 Things #10 – The Moon

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

The nearly full super moon was only intermittently visible through last night’s cloud cover. It is the first of three super moons that we will see this spring. The March full moon is also known as the worm moon, named this by Native Americans, since this is the time of year that worms begin emerging from the ground. Learn more about it here.  I attempted to take some photos but since my photography skills’ are lacking they are not nearly as impressive as it seeing it in person.

The following photos are unedited and are posted in sequence as taken. I am not sure what happened in the second photo, but while I would like to think that I captured some stunning other-worldly event, I suspect there is some type of technical explanation.

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While the actual full moon will occur tonight (March 9) the thick cloud cover will prevent us from viewing it. I guess I will have to try again in April.

This awareness of the full moon did remind me of a gardening method that we have talked about trying in the past but have not yet done. Since we have not yet started planting, I think this is the year to try planting by the phases of the moon.

This article from explains what types of plants should be planted during each phase of the moon.

  • First quarter moon cycle (new moon to half full) – Things that are leafy, like lettuce, cabbage and spinach, should be planted.
  • Second quarter moon cycle (half full to full moon) – Planting time for things that have seeds inside, like tomatoes, beans and peppers.
  • Third quarter moon cycle (full moon to half full) – Things that grow underground or plants that are perennials, like potatoes, garlic and raspberries, can be planted.
  • Fourth quarter moon cycle (half full to new moon) – Do not plant. Weed, mow and kill pests instead.

The article also says that while several studies have shown evidence that gardening by the phases of the moon can have positive effects there is no actual proof that it does.

In order to at least start planning for planting I found this handy chart which tells the date of that the moon enters each phase throughout the year. Planting season will begin soon. 🙂 Wish us luck.

Did you get to see the full moon? Have you ever planted by the moon?

Thanks for reading.

 

To Save The Bees Part II (Revised)

IMG_5368In the origin Part II of this series, which was written in 2016, I wrote about planting 4 Basswood trees with the intention that they would grow and the blossoms would provide food for the bees. Despite our best efforts the trees did not do well and to date only two of the trees are struggling to survive.

I first thought I would just skip Part II and repost Part III in the series. Instead I decided to share my thoughts on a subject has been identified as contributing to the decline in bees/pollinators.

You have probably heard that insecticides, more specifically neonicotinoids, are thought to be partly to blame for the decline in bee/pollinator populations. It would the stand to reason that if our goal is to help save the bees then we should try to avoid use of these chemicals.

Repel Bugs Instead Of Poison Them

Here are a couple of ways to do that. The first is companion planting – that means to plant different types of plants together that support each other’s health and well being. This companion planting guide provides a chart that includes what plants will repel specific insect away from other plants which are susceptible.

The second is this homemade garden bug spray. Like companion planting this spray acts to repel insects rather than kill them. In the past we have tried various recipes for bug sprays – some work some don’t. Last year when I saw this recipe on 5 Acres and A Dream , a homesteading blog that I follow, I decided to try it. Two things that inspired me to try this recipe were first that it was easy to make with simple ingredients – mint, garlic, cayenne and a few drops of biosafe dish soap (see link for complete recipe). The second was Leigh’s (author of 5 Acres and A Dream) testimony that it worked for her.  I am not sure of all the bugs that it is effective against but in our experience it worked well against aphids and some other, unidentified, bugs. Leigh says it saved her cabbage and basil plants from whatever was eating them.

Know What You Are Buying

The other thing regarding insecticides that I wanted to bring to your attention, for those who might be purchasing plants from a greenhouse or garden center, is that the plants may have already been treated with neonicotinoids. Since it is not required that treated plants be labeled as such, it is best to ask if they have. While I generally promote shopping local and supporting small businesses, it is probably worth mentioning that two large retailers in the USA, Home Depot and Lowe’s, had planned to stop selling treated plants by 2018-2019. According to this article Home Depot seems to have largely followed through with their plan. (I have not yet been able to find evidence that Lowe’s has done so.)

Of course there is always the option of starting your own plants from seed rather than buying plants and that is what we plan to do more of this year.

Have you ever done companion planting? Do you have any tried and true methods for repelling insects?

Thanks for reading and be on the look out for Part III of this series (Planting For Bees).

 

 

 

55 Things # 9 – Understanding Dogs

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

I recently finished reading Dogs Never Lie About Love By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. It is aptly subtitled Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs. As a dog lover I found this to be a fun read because I could identify with much the author had to say.

Today I decided to share one passage from the book that had me nodding my head in agreement.

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“It has been often said that humans are on an arrogant mission when they seek out life on other planets before they have adequately understood the alien lives on our own planet. I think this is particularly true when it comes to dogs, for here is another life form that is both immediately understandable and familiar, while at the same time there is an unyielding mystery at the heart of a dog. Just when we think we know them completely, we look into the eyes of a family dog and something about his radiance, his depth, gives us pause. “Who are you really?” we are inclined to ask at that moment. The dog might smile, a familiar smile, but will not answer. They keep their deepest mysteries to themselves.” ~ Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

I don’t think we will ever really understand dogs. 🙂

Thanks for reading.