Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our new baby

Jake went from being a passing visitor to a permenant fixture in our family. He is a sweet, gentle, beautiful beagle and we are happy to have him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Nature Table

Mother Spring has been lovingly created by the hands of Carrie Tidd. Find more of her work at . She has a removable needle-felted belly with baby inside.
My girls will love checking our seasons table daily to see if baby spring has arrived.
The little girl gnome created in the likeness of my youngest daughter Gracie was also made by Carrie and will be gracing our table for a second season.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Elusive Ginger Squirrel

OK, so I have been hibernating. My poor family has been so sick the last few weeks. It just seems we keep passing the same virus around and around. ANYWAY, as I was I was compiling all the ingredients for a special healing tea, this little guy cheerfully peeked out of my basket of herbs. He looked so friendly and helpful that I knew our troubles would soon be over.
I am glad to report that all are doing wonderful and have spent this 77 degree winter day building fairy houses in the woods! Thank you Ginger Squirrel~~~~

Some Ginger Info from

Growing - Ginger can be grown from a piece of the fresh root - any good grocery store should be able to supply you. It likes a good composted soil, with a neutral to alkaline ph level. Ginger does not like frost or ice, so choose the warmest, most protected place in your garden & experiment! Remember to keep Ginger moist, for if you don't, you won't get the plump juicy rhizomes. The foliage grows over 1 meter in height & is quite attractive, so you could try growing Ginger indoors as well - a conservatory would be perfect. After about 10 months you can dig some roots up and use fresh for teas, baths & cooking!

Uses - Ginger is wonderful for warming up the entire body & fighting off all/any nasty germs. It is high in vitamins A, B complex & C, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium & magnesium - no wonder our ancestors used Ginger!

Ginger's therapeutic actions are: anti-nausea, stimulant, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator (opens up blood vessels to improve blood flow), anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warms tissue externally) and diaphoretic (stimulates perspiration to increase elimination through the skin and can help reduce fevers). It can also help to lower cholesterol levels & reduces the risk of heart disease & stroke. It can assist to lower blood pressure & helps stop coughing!

Ginger can help most digestive system problems, especially with nausea & colic (it can stimulate digestion and aid assimilation, so that you get better nourishment out of the food you eat). You can use it for travel and morning sickness, (when pregnant, use only a small quantity, as Ginger is also a uterine stimulant) painful or irregular menstrual periods, though it's best to avoid if you have a tendency to "flood". Use also for coughs, colds, flues, fevers, chest complaints, arthritis & rheumatism, bad circulation, chilblains and cramp.

Recipe - External - Ginger can be used as a compress or as a foot bath (foot, hand or whole body), to stimulate circulation or for aching joints. Simply take a slice or two of fresh Ginger, pour over boiling water, cover (which stops the essential oils evaporating with the steam), & then pour into the bath water. This bath will be very beneficial for internal complaints like colds & flu'ss also!

Recipe - Internal - I use fresh Ginger tea at the first sign of any sore throat, mucus, cold or flu - it works every time. The relief at having the nose cleared & throat soothed is wonderful, so I end up nearly living on it while the cold lasts! To make a tea, simply grate approx two Tblspns of fresh Ginger, place in a non-aluminum pot, cover with two cups of water, & leave to steep for at least 10 minutes. When ready, strain into a cup, add a tspn of Honey & sip. You can also add some lemon to taste. This tea is great to take after a meal if you have digestive problems, or eat some crystallized ginger, drink some ginger beer or wine!

You can also use powdered Ginger in the same way (simply add 1 tspn to a cup, add boiling water & honey if desired). It is not as nice as the fresh tea, but is fine for a ginger bath or compress - you can grate fresh ginger for this also.