Friday, July 20, 2012

Succulent Wall - Vertical Gardening - TUTORIAL

You have seen them everywhere, probably. I liked them soo much, I decided to make two for our wall on the back patio.

I used:

  • 2 old wooden coca cola crates. 
  • nails
  • plastic sheet
  • succulent cuttings 
  • sphagnum moss
  • soil

Here's what I did:

I found 2 old wooden coca cola crates. They are truely vintage and a piece of art just by them selves, if you ask me. 

Cut the plastic sheet to the size of the back of each crate. This is to protect your wall from water. Not that you water succulents THAT much, but an itty bit of water even these little plantlings need. 

Nailed the sheet on the back.

I started with layering the moss into the crates as a base and additional soaking material to protect the wall.

Then, I filled it up with soil, put the cutting in and used moss again to push it in place. 
After that, I watered them, let them dry up and hung them. 

That's it.

Now, I will probably have to water them once a month.  When I do that, I take them off the wall, water them, let them dry and hang them again.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Herbal harvesting time on the homestead!

Now, what to do with all those goodies?

Well, for sage, there are multiple uses as tea since it is such a benefitial herb.

And of course we love fried sage leaves.

If you have never tried it, well, you must!


  • It is said to benefitially influence the human spirit, 
  • to quell unnatural or vicious sexual desires,
  • restores normal virility when failure is not due to veneral disease,
  • helps in fevers, colds and coughs,
  • acts as insecticide,
  • heart tonic, 
  • helps in digestive ailments, constipation, obesity,
  • supports weaning,
  • aids in nervous ailments, including paralysis and mild mental derangement,
  • improves memory.

And did I mention it yet: it's yummy!

OK, here now my fried sage leaves recipe:

bunch of sage leaves
1 egg
optional: flour for dusting

Wash the sage, shake dry, set aside.
Crack egg, whisk it, pull each sage leaf through it.
Now, the optional part: dust with flour. BTW: I didn't do this.
Melt butter in pan, fry leaves until crispy brown.
Takes them out, sprinkle with salt.

I like them with a rose champagne as appetizer!

If you want to read up on the health benefits of sage, click HERE.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

YARROW TEA and other herbal tea recipes

For eras, yarrow tea benefits have been famous in the history of herbal medicine. It is also called the healing herb.

By drinking yarrow tea there are plenty of benefits and it is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Yarrow tea is a tonic which helps to flush away toxins.

Yarrow is botanically known as Achillea millefolium and other different names are Soldier’s Woundwort, Bloodwort, Old Man’s Pepper, Milfoil, Staunchweed, Carpenter’s Weed, Thousand Leaf Clover Achillia, Dog Daisy and Nosebleed.

The long-stemmed yarrow plant is found in the regions of the Northern Hemisphere.


  • Take 1 teaspoon of dried herb and add it to 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Allow it to steep for 10 minutes and add honey for sweeten taste.
  • For adding flavor add a slice of lemon.


    Yarrow tea has astringent property which helps to treat allergies like nasal secretions and watery eyes that caused by molds, dust, pollen and dander. In cases of flu, fevers and colds, Yarrow is also known to cause sweating and so helps to cure simple infections.

    Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis:
    The blood circulation of the body is improved by yarrow tea. It removes the unwanted waste materials like uric acid from the joints and the muscles and oxygenate the entire body very well. Over that yarrow being a diaphoretic and diuretic which helps to remove the toxins from the body through perspiration and urine accordingly. This will prevent the rheumatic or arthritic problems.

    Fights against bacteria:
    Yarrow tea has an antiseptic action. The bitter parts and fatty acids of it promote bile flow out of the gallbladder which known as the cholagogue effect. Digestion is improve by free flowing action and prevents gallstones from forming.

    Drying effect is contained in yarrow and seems to improve coughs and sinus infections with sputum formation.

    Prevent Indigestion:
    Yarrow tea improves the digestion and helps to absorb more nutrients from the food that have been taken. It also controls the flatulence and improves the appetite.

    Prevent Hemorrhage:
    It can contract the blood vessels and prevent hemorrhage or reduce the bleeding as it is very good astringent. High blood pressure is also regulated by it. This property makes it useful for controlling heavy menstruation and intestinal bleeding.

  • Yarrow tea helps to combat stomach cramps, flatulence, gastritis and enteritis.
  • Yarrow tea has a sedative effect so drinking the tea can aid a restful sleep or help relax the body after a stressful or busy day.
  • Yarrow tea helps to encourage menstruation in women.
  • It has high anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Yarrow tincture can ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
  • Yarrow herb is a diuretic so can ease the effects of water retention.
  • It also gives relief from coughs, helps to clear the respiratory system, thus helping to ease chest infections. In this instance, it may also be beneficial to those persons suffering from asthma.
  • The blood clotting properties of yarrow is good for healing cuts and bruises. The herb can cure lacerations, abrasions and puncture wounds.
  • Yarrow helps to purify the blood and is good for improving the appetite of those who may be recovering from illness.
  • Yarrow is believed to be able to help regulate blood pressure and have a positive effect on cardiovascular issues.
  • It is good for treating bleeding from the bowels, urinary bleeding, uterine hemorrhage, menstruation problems, and bleeding ulcers.
  • Yarrow tea is said to help stimulate the appetite.
  • Yarrow tea may help in the overall treatment of liver problems.
  • It also helps to strengthen weak veins by making a tea with equal parts yarrow and calendula or hawthorn flowers and steep in one cup boiling water. Drink three cups daily.


  • Pregnant women should not take yarrow, because its ability to relax the smooth muscle of the uterus could cause miscarriage.
  • The prolonged use of high concentrations of Yarrow can cause allergic rashes to develop.
  • If you are ill or have any health concerns, consult the health practitioner.
  • Yarrow may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • When herbal remedies are used be aware that they can be extremely powerful, and should have any side effects when taking these infusions, immediately stop using the herb and consult your health practitioner right away.
  • Do not use infusions near the eyes.
  • If a person is sensitive to plants in the aster family such as chrysanthemums, daisies, ragweed, he may be sensitive to yarrow, either taken orally or applied topically.
  • Do not continuously drink the same infusion. Maximum use it for 10 days and then skip 5 days.
  • Only have one cup of herbal infusion per day, except during acute periods such as cold or flu, tea can be taken three times a day, but for a maximum of 4 days.


    Floral Fantasy Tea
    3 parts Lavender
    3 parts Yarrow
    1 part Chamomile
    1 part Stevia

    Spiced Anise Tea
    4 parts Anise Hyssop
    1 part Cinnamon
    1 part Vanilla Bean
    1 part Cloves

    Devoted Remembrance Tea
    3 parts Rosemary
    3 parts Lavender
    3 parts Marjoram
    2 parts Anise Hyssop

    Dark Rose Tea
    2 parts Rose Hips
    3 parts Anise Hyssop
    3 parts Yarrow
    1 part Bergamot

    Aromatic Mint Tea
    2 parts Spearmint
    1 part Marjoram
    1 part Sweet Woodruff
    1 part Sage

    Good Start Tea
    2 parts Yarrow
    2 parts Rose Hips
    2 parts Lavender
    1 part Marjoram
    1 part Stevia

    Chocolate Mint Tea
    4 parts Chocolate Mint
    3 parts Lavender
    2 parts Sweet Woodruff
    1 part Stevia
    1 part Rose Hips

    Black Licorice Tea
    2 parts Anise Hyssop
    2 parts Bergamot
    2 parts Marjoram
    2 parts Spearmint

    Everything & More Tea
    1 part Lavender
    1 part Yarrow
    1 part Anise Hyssop
    1 part Stevia
    1 part Spearmint
    1 part Bergamot
    1 part Rose Hips
    1 part Calendula

    Love Charm Tea
    3 parts Yarrow
    1 part Lavender
    1 part Anise Hyssop
    1 part Spearmint

    "Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    SAD CAT - Moody Animal Charade - KIDS GAMES

    Our four year old sometimes gets pretty upset and then aggressive. Part of it may be because she still trying to figure out how to differentiate emotions and to figure out proper responses to them.

    To help her, I created this charade game with two dice:

    One of the dice has emotions on it and the other one animals.

    So, depending on your throw, you have to mime an animal with an emotion, e.g. a tired cow or an excited horse or a sad cat.

    That way, there are 36 possibilities, all of which are non-threatening, since you are acting a moody animal.

    This gives ample options to discuss emotions. And it's fun, too.

    "Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis