Check out this simple design for a mosquito magnet

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Hat tip: wonderfulengineering.com

 

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I am not the neatest person I know. I like to spread out when I work and I particularly love working on the dining room table and leaving it all out there – but that means we eat somewhere else or I have to clear it off- I’ve improved over the years by following the advice of many neat friends on how to organize. Here is a simple Messy Person’s Guide from The Daily Muse.

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Don’t throw away your old computer, phone or monitor. You can recycle with free shipping through Sims Recycling Solutions domestic processing facilities. Zero-landfill policy and proven sustainability so you know that your electronics will be managed responsibly.

AND- Apple batteries- free recycling at any retail Apple store.

Building personal resilience- WONDERFUL! A must watch!

Welcome to Wine Idealism...

The idea was simple. An informal degustation dinner to recognise four organic wineries in the Hunter Valley, and showcase their wines alongside a simple fair of food and good company. I wanted to promote the idea of wine idealism – wines that recognise their sense of time and place (terroir) in an authentic and honest way – within the context and the history of the Hunter Valley.

What’s In Your Glass? is Newcastle’s first ‘real wine’ fair, and features over 30 different winegrowers from the Hunter Valley, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, the ACT, NSW, New Zealand, and Europe. It aims to promote natural, organic and biodynamic wines from around the world, with a focus on Australia and New Zealand.

Newcastle and gastronomy aren’t often seen playing together by those outside the city due, in part, to the looming Steel City moniker that it was branded with during the bright…

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mr-ghost-iphone-emf-detector

This just in courtesy of Micah: Mr Ghost EMF Detector

EMF smog is invisible and this device will reveal the vibrational world!

The dangers of EMF and RF’s are becoming known and because we cannot feel or see the fields this is a handy device to alert us to the areas of high radiation as well as safe or quiet spots. The earth’s magnetic field is a very different resonance than the frequency chosen for digital equipment and more and more research is revealing the weakening and deleterious effects of these fields on our health.

SImply google EMF’s and you will find a slew of articles. Here is just one of 1,000’s that will clarify the basic thoughts about EMF’s.

Be safe.

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Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and has compiled some key studies on local store vs chainstore impact on local economics.

Of interest from a study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine, September 2003.: “Three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses instead of large chain stores, according to this analysis, which tracked the revenue and expenditures of eight locally owned businesses in Midcoast Maine. The survey found that the businesses, with had combined sales of $5.7 million in 2002, spent 44.6 percent of their revenue within the surrounding two counties. Another 8.7 percent was spent elsewhere in the state of Maine. The four largest components of this local spending were: wages and benefits paid to local employees; goods and services purchased from other local businesses; profits that accrued to local owners; and taxes paid to local and state government. Using a variety of sources, the analysis estimates that a national big box retailer operating in Midcoast Maine returns just 14.1 percent of its revenue to the local economy, mostly in the form of payroll. The rest leaves the state, flowing to out-of-state suppliers or back to corporate headquarters. The survey also found that the local businesses contributed more to charity than national chains.”

And in The San Francisco Retail Diversity Study – By Civic Economics, May 2007: “Every $1 million spent at local bookstores, for example, creates $321,000 in additional economic activity in the area, including $119,000 in wages paid to local employees. That same $1 million spent at chain bookstores generates only $188,000 in local economic activity, including $71,000 in local wages. The same was true in the other categories. For every $1 million in sales, independent toy stores create 2.22 local jobs, while chains create just 1.31. The final part of the study analyzes the impact of a modest shift in consumer spending. If residents were to redirect just 10 percent of their spending from chains to local businesses, that would generate $192 million in additional economic activity in San Francisco and almost 1,300 new jobs.”

Make your own toothpaste

February 13, 2012

I’ve been on a break from posting. But these recipes caught my attention. Making your own toothpaste is so ridiculously easy, and cheap, I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another tube! You can adjust to your perfect intensity and flavor without the questionable use of flouride and preservatives.

We’ve been told since childhood the important benefits of brushing our teeth regularly which include avoidance of tooth decay, gingivitis and halitosis. Brushing removes plaque, food remnants and tartar (which forms plaque). Brushing too hard can cause problems with gums, so it’s about gently cleaning your teeth. We also know that flossing and regular visits to the dental hygienist greatly improve dental health.

Here is Vivian Goldschmidt’s  version. She is one of my favorite strong bone bloggers and authors.  www.saveourbones.com

Save Your Smile Toothpaste

Ingredients

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil. I recommend: Extra Virgin Certified Organic Coconut Oil – 54 fl oz

3 tablespoons baking soda
.

1/2 small (individual) packet of stevia. I recommend: Truvia Natural Sweetener — 140 Packets

20-25 drops of peppermint oil – you can adjust this to taste. I recommend: Vitacost 100% Pure Peppermint Oil – 4 fl oz

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in a tightly sealed container.

 

LuSa’s recipe is a bit more complex:

LuSa Organics Homemade Toothpaste

2 tsp Natural Liquid Soap (try unscented Dr. Bronner’s or similar. We’ve used our bar soap grated into water but it makes too thick of a toothpaste for my squeeze bottle.)

4 Tb Coconut Oil

1 Tb Water

2 Tb Xylitol (optional)

1/2 tsp Stevia powder

10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

5-10 drops Spearmint or Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Boil a small pan of water. Measure out 1 Tb and stir into it Xylitol (optional). Stir to dissolve. Melt coconut oil and add to water mixture. Measure in soap and stevia and blend (a stick blender works well if you have one. Otherwise use your regular blender or whisk by hand like mad).  Blend while the formula cools enough to stay combined. Add essential oils and transfer to a clean squeeze or pump bottle. Cool completely, shake well.

Then smile at your self-sufficiency with those squeaky-clean teeth.

 

Motherwort Tincture

July 2, 2011

It is time to harvest and tincture one of my herbal allies, motherwort, Leonurus Cardiaca, also called Lionheart. This herb grows where she wants in my garden and I never know from year to year where she’ll show up – here is motherwort with the day lilies.

Years ago this tincture was recommended to me by Susun Weed to help me with sleep issues. Over the years I have used it to calm menstrual cramps, calm anxiousness. It can be dried and used as a smudge along with sage and mugwort. It makes a bitter tea- so sweeten with honey and use it for a stress-diffuser. Livestrong.com has a good article listing other uses for motherwort. Also, more good information at Herbalist.com where it mentions that motherwort is well-known and used in Europe:

The sedative (nervine) action of the herb, claimed by the herb’s historical use was demonstrated scientifically well enough for the Commission E, the official German herbal pharmacopaea,  to recommend it to the public………Older scientific data on the herb’s neurological and cardiac properties are based on studies by Chinese researchers of an extract called leonurin from Leonurus sibiricus, an herb very closely related to Leonurus cardiaca.   

Susan Weed has a wonderful 3 minute video on how to tincture this herb.

To tincture: you will need a jar with tight-fitting lid, scissors and vodka. Cut the top 8-10 inches of the flowering tops. Then cut the plant material directly into your jar. The flowers are prickly, be cautious. Put enough flowers and leaves to tightly fill jar, pour in vodka to very top. Put on lid, shake, turn over a few times to make sure most of the air bubbles are dislodged, maybe you’ll need to add some more vodka. Then label, leave in dark place for 6 weeks. Strain, put in smaller dropper jars.  Voila.

Strawberry Shortcake

June 19, 2011

Perfect treat for Father’s Day- I’ve just picked 4 quarts of organic strawberries at McEnroe’s Farm up in Amenia, NY. Tough picking because they’ve let the weeds grow up- so there were thistles to wrestle with (ouch) and slim pickings because this is only their first week of picking. So I was a bit early. Hope my dear friend, T, will go with me later in the week or even next week. No matter, I’ve frozen 3 quarts (for sorbet and the winter) and will use the rest for shortcake topping and for snacking. They are very sweet!

I have tried a new vanilla muffin recipe from food.com. It only makes 9 (really, I tried to stretch it but 9 it is) muffins/cupcakes so you might like to make more, these are going to go fast in my house. I also used a gluten free flour mix instead of all the separate flours. 22 minutes in the oven was perfect time. The recipe also has chocolate frosting. I am not going to make that. I will make strawberry topping, see below.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Serves: 9, Yield: 9 Cupcakes

Ingredients

◦                                  2/3 cup soymilk

◦                                  1/4 cup canola oil

◦                                  3/4 cup agave nectar

◦                                  2 teaspoons vanilla extract

◦                                  1/4 teaspoon almond extract

◦                                  1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

◦                                  1 teaspoon baking powder

◦                                  1/2 teaspoon baking soda

◦                                  1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions (adapted from food.com):

Preheat oven to 325°F;

Line muffin pan with 9 Liners and fill 3 remaining muffin cups with a little bit of water.

 Mix together soy milk, canola oil, vanilla and almond extract and agave nectar.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt one by one and mix for 1-2 minutes. Mixture will be thin.

Fill 9 muffin cups approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 1 hour to allow agave to set.

Serve with 2 cups strawberries halved and cooked with 1 T maple syrup or honey, 1 cup water and 2 T arrowroot powder on low flame, stir until thickened;

Garnish with fresh berries and whipped tofu cream topping (1/2 cake organic tofu, 2 T tahini, 1 T agave syrup (or to desired sweetness) , pinch salt, 2 T grapeseed oil blend until smooth and creamy.