Friday, January 22, 2010

Reaching my frozen fingers out toward spring...

Fuzzy's been quiet lately, hasn't she?  What's up?  It's 1 a.m. and my latenight Earl Grey's keeping me awake, so there's time to answer that question a bit.

Nothing specific is "up"-- just the holidays and then the post-holidays and then the January lungmuck that attacked us all, although only the two-year-old ended up with steroids and antibiotics to help him fight it off.  Stuff's a-brewing inside my head and home, though.

We're thinking of adding a storefront to my husband's business, which is exciting and terrifying and financially serious.  Painting and reception room furniture and decorating and GETTING ALL THE BUSINESS STUFF OUT OF MY HOUSE, oh my.

I've been mulling over the combination of my children's rooms into one (I'd like them to share a room together while they're little), and thinking of a loft bed and wondering whether someone will get damaged if we use one.  I'm also eyeing the sickly pale yellow living room that is destined to become burnt orange, and wondering if that shouldn't start happening soon, since the last time we painted a room was April 2009.  (This house is a black hole of painting tasks... )

I've been slowly, stealthily purchasing the oils and supplies I need to make cold-process soap.  (Did you know, if you buy things for a crazy homemade project slowly, one at a time, you don't really have to add up in your head how much it this little obsession is costing?  Great technique.)  I was going to have a go at that tonight, but now it's too late to start something that huge.  Also, maybe the Mediquick clinic should be open when I do it, just in case a burn a hole in myself with the lye somehow.  I'm a bit scared about that.  I've also been playing with making body butter with the shea butter (works great, smells a bit funky) and collecting a great many recipes for other things (lip balm, homemade deodorant, hot oil hair treatments, etc). 

Slowly and surely, I'm becoming one of those freaky people who reads labels and watches documentaries and freaks out about how the industrial revolution has turned on us and started to destroy us all while we're not looking.  Pass the local non-ammonia'd burgers and the non-GMO corn, please, and I'll pass you some homemade HFCS-free chocolate syrup.  (What a weirdo I'm becoming, almost against my will.)

I just potted and trimmed some lavender cuttings that have been growing leggy and waterlogged in a vase since last September; hopefully they'll become four new lavender bushes to join our two overenthusiastic rosemarys in the front walkway.  The hostas that have been reigning there look lovely in May and cruddy by July, so I'm thinking they need to be transplanted to some more out-of-the-way nook.  (Which means I'll dig them up, try to dig a hole or two somewhere in our rockfield of a yard, and then probably let most of die a terrible root-exposed death because I refuse to use a pickaxe to PLANT A STINKIN' HOSTA.)

Obviously, spring's on my mind tonight; the mums and hyacinths are trying to wake up already, which is stupid, but that's all it takes for me to get all seed-happy and start thinking about fresh lettuce and snap peas.  This year, by gum, I WILL plant my early garden early enough to enjoy its harvest.  Our little garden plot didn't flourish last year, but perhaps it just needs some mulch, a little more attention, and a summer with less rain and more heat.  There's always hope in spring garden thoughts... such a pleasant season for mediocre gardeners like myself.

Garden Resolutions of 2010, Completely Off the Top of my Head:
1)  Find a way to garden with the kids and no fence.  Or win the lottery and build a fence.
2)  Plant the early garden early this year, for pete's sake.  (See above.)
3)  Make the 2nd wire fencing circle to hold the fallen leaves.
4)  Find out how much it would cost to get some stone to build a raised bed on the sunny slope.
5)  Many, many snap peas.  Freeze some.
6)  Many, many tomatoes.  Can (?) or freeze some.
7)  Sunflowers along the bottom wall.
8)  Try a few strawberries in the stone circle bed and see if there's enough light for them there.
9)  Make use of the herbs you planted, stupid.  Mint tea, and lots of it.
10) Buy the Rocky Top salad mix from Baker Seeds, and also experience their Spring Planting Festival.

That's enough rambling tonight.  G'night, all!  May you be enjoying this delightful season of garden-dreaming, and may you and yours avoid all loft bed and lye accidents...


Friday, January 15, 2010

Anti-inflammatory Carvacrol in Essential Oils

This article at science daily reports that Japanese scientists have discovered that some essential oils have anti-inflammatory action similar to that of red wine.  There were several statements I found interesting...
One, this statement:  "Of course, the exact way they work is not completely understood."  So interesting that a scientific source like Science Daily would admit that! 
Two, that the research on this is coming from Japan, where I've read that aromatherapy (ie use of essential oils) is surging in popularity.
Three, that carvacrol is the anti-inflammatory component in these oils.  Carvacrol is present in other oils as well-- most notably and strongly in oregano, I think-- and is strongly anti-viral as well.  (This Italian study on oregano oil's effect on a form of staph virus give you an example of how powerful it is.  Sorry it's so hard to read!)
Hope you all are doing well... I'm assuming interest in continuing the blog is pretty low at this point, so I'm not posting much here.  Had a great time doing this while it lasted, everybody!

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