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Monday, January 24, 2011

This Cold Weather Bites

It is Monday morning and the energies around here just seem off kilter. Here is a list of what seems to be wrong in the world of those around me:

1. It is a Monday morning and if that isn't bad enough the temperature is in the single digits.
2. Another storm is on its way and backs still hurt from the last dealing with the elements.
3. The holidays are barely a month behind us and already people seem to have forgotten what they received for Christmas. Gifts that took so much energy and money to get under that tree on time.
4. The credit card bills are arriving to remind us we couldn't afford those "have to have it" gifts anyway.
5. Tax statements are arriving and no one is in the mood nor has the time to get everything organized.
6. FAFSA forms need to get filled out by the deadline for our college students, something else we're not in the mood to deal with.
7. The energy cap has been lifted and we're expecting our electric bills to peak anyway and now have record breaking cold.
8. Gas prices are expecting to be on the rise again to remind us how we're so dependent on the system.
9. We're told by our family physician we're low in this and that and everything and should buy this and that and every vitamin and not a multi, we have to buy each individually to get a high enough dose, and we wonder what is in the foods we eat in the balanced diet we pay top price for......
10. Ok, we're low in Vit. D which is now good for every health concern yet we shouldn't depend on the sun because to be out in the sun can cause skin cancer so we should cover up, but do you know what exactly is in the sun screen?
11. The car inspection showed expensive repairs needed due to salt damage which is something we cannot avoid even if we do try to wash it off and is considered wear and tear so once again that expensive warranty covers nothing needed.
12. Too much time spent at a desk or computer is causing the need for a chiropractor which is usually out of pocket expense, we're told we have to change our lifestyle, yet we thought this lifestyle was called a job, and what is the alternative when few positions are available in this job market.
13. New Year's resolutions are already passing by the wayside and we feel like we failed, again.
14. Don't even start on the "feeling fat syndrome"

Ok how to rise out of this slump?

All you can do is make a list of what you do have and remember my mother's great words of wisdom
Whether referring to money issues, husband issues, children issues, health issues, job issues, in the end that philosophy always ended up being the best advise.

This winter will end as they always have in the past. The days keep turning, the cycle continues.

A bit of humor, check out this treasury on Etsy and start planning that warm get-a-way!
Vacation Is it warm there by meadowmuffin2010 on Etsy

And in the meantime ponder this treasury!
Life in the dead of winter by meadowmuffin2010 on Etsy

Of course you can always soak away those headaches in a hot tub

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Five Senses of Love

"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
Kahlil Gibran

What plans do you have for an ideal romantic Valentine's Day experience?

A little imagination and you can create an evening worthy of any romantic novel. And you certainly do not need to spend a lot of money to impress. Men may not admit it but they do enjoy a romantic setting to stir things up a little, and not just for the woman's benefit as they often say.

Have on hand the following things to please the five senses:
Touch - Plan a relaxing massage and/ or a warm, sensuous bath for two.

Taste - Wine and chocolate, what better combination!?

Smell - The sense of smell holds deep seated memories. Stir up a fantasy or two with a sensual
bath oil and let the essential oils do their thing!

Hear - Background "noise" is a personal thing. Choose wisely.

Sight - A visibly pleasing atmosphere and everything in it will be the first thing a man notices. Candles add a touch of magic and do wonders for that warm glow to your complexion.

Think you can't cook? The following recipe is a no-cook candy/bar that tastes like a cross between a Tandycake and a Reese's peanut butter cup. Easy to make with only five ingredients and can be done within fifteen minutes!


3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pound box (or 4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 28 oz. jar chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups) or chocolate melting wafers

Combine brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter and peanut butter.
Mix well. May need to use your hands. Pat the mixture into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly-roll pan. Smooth the top of the mixture.

Melt the chocolate and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the top of a double boiler or the microwave. To melt in the microwave set it for one minute, stir, set it for another minute, stir till creamy.
Spread chocolate over the peanut better mixture.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares or the chocolate topping will crack.

Store in refrigerator or freeze.

There you have the makings for a wonderful evening with that special someone.
Below is a poem that can make you cry but let it be known that this poem was written between two teenagers thirty years ago, and in 2011 they'll have been married twenty years!
People love, people lose, they learn, they grow.

With all things considered, from past events gone by
I know it's hard to trust me, but I wish for you to try.

My heart has been like a pendulum, on and off with love
But as confusion persisted, so did my faith,
and help to me came from far above.

Commitments for tomorrow, I am unable to give
Since I don't want to hurt you, with something more to forgive.

So let us be together, as long as was meant to be,
Because life is to love, and to love is to set free.


"The richest love is that which submits to the arbitration of time."
Lawrence Durrell

Light My Fire Bath Oil can be found within my Meadow Muffins shop!
Relaxing Sensuous Massage and Body Oil is also available.
The difference between a bath oil and a massage/body oil is that a bath oil has a stronger concentration of essential oils.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Remedies for Colds and Flu

We cannot live in a bubble so even with every practical precaution we still are susceptible to the viruses for colds and influenza. A way to know if you have just a cold or are coming down with the flu is the presence of a fever as one of your symptoms of misery. Colds bring upper respiratory sniffling, coughing, sinus congestion and headache but rarely keep us from functioning. The flu can put you to bed for days and take weeks to regain your energy. Antibiotics are usually needed only should a secondary bacterial infection result from the initial viral infection.

Colds have to run their course but you can help things along with home herbal remedies. Our natural world supplies what we need for health and if we pay attention we are instinctively drawn to these trusted methods. The following home remedies have been used by many a generation before pharmacies were convenient. They are gentle methods of healing without the possible side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Your body's energy becomes totally focused on the elimination of invaders and infection. What is needed is rest and time. Over the counter cold remedies may quickly help you feel better, but what often happens is a person tends to return to his or her daily routine too soon which puts a strain on the body and full recovery takes much longer. And we wonder why we're tired all the time!

The best thing to deal with a cold or flu is to get plenty of rest and allow your body's energy to focus on combating the invading infection. The Sleep Aid Dream Mist Linen or Air Spray consists of a combination of essential oils therapeutically known for their value in relaxing nervous excitability and emotional conflict. To create a feeling of peace often helps dispel gloomy thoughts and once things are put in perspective our minds and bodies can relax.
Spray the linens of your sleeping area but do so sparingly in case you find the aromatics too strong. Spraying your pillow directly is optional, as there is always the risk of skin sensitivity.
Sweet dreams!

Baths are wonderful to not only relax but for home treatment of colds they are great. The steam and humidity opens up congested airways and gets things flowing. Blocked sinuses and a throbbing head certainly is no picnic. Mineral salt baths offer you the beneficial gifts of our soil and ocean waters. Sea salt baths are cleansing and detoxifying. So what is different about this blend? This soak is meant for when your goal is to sweat out impurities with the help of therapeutic mustard seed powder.

Perfect for when cold and flu symptoms leave you achy and stiff. This combination of salts, dry mustard, borax, clay and essential oils are a potent mix meant to open up the pores and provide essential minerals needed by our bodies for improved health.

The mustard stimulates the sweat glands to assist in the elimination of impurities, toxins and infection. Mustard baths can be used to help relieve chest congestion and blocked sinuses, all the while aiding those tired, stressed joints and muscles. By drawing blood to the surface capillaries, there is an increase in circulation and oxygenation of cells. This helps reduce inflammation in the tissues, thereby wonderful for those with arthritic pain.

Borax (sodium borate) is added as a pH stabilizer being it is high in alkalinity. It is a naturally occurring mineral compound of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. Only cosmetic grade borax is used, therefore it does not contain the surfactants and detergents in commercial Borax powders.

Essential oils Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Thyme and Rosemary have antiseptic, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties that help combat respiratory conditions. Reduce congestion, open up the sinuses, relieve muscle aches and headaches, all an aid to helping the body fight infection and break a fever.

Add 1-2 TBSP to a tub of warm hot water and relax for about 30 minutes. When you get out of the tub be sure to dry off and dress warmly. Expect to sweat so drink plenty of fluids and go to bed. It takes a while for your pores to close and you don't want to be chilled.

An alternative would be to add 1 TBSP to a basin of hot water and enjoy a foot bath. Good choice for children who may not enjoy a bath or the strong aroma of the essential oils.

For children under the age of eight, please check with your doctor before use.
Not for use by pregnant women.
Those with heart conditions or should check with physician before using this salt bath.

Our Sinus and Chest Vapor Rub can help fight infection and relieve sinus and lung congestion.

If you look at commercial vapor balms,you'll notice they probably contain ingredients such as thymol, menthol, and eucalyptol. These are components of the essential oils: thyme, mint, and eucalyptus.

A common remedy often used is wintergreen (menthyl salicylate). Wintergreen is left out of our balm as menthyl slaicylate is similar to aspirin and we felt it best not to be used on children.

Check with physician before using on children under the age of eight or if pregnant or breast feeding. Good alternatives for young children would be to substitute the essential oils for Pine, Spruce, Fir, Cypress, Orange or Lavender.

A very effective, alternate method of application is to apply to the soles of the feet rather than to the chest. This is advised for children who may find the aroma too strong.
Whether you choose to massage this vapor rub onto the chest or the feet should you want to increase its warming action lay a warm piece of flannel onto the chest or over the feet.
An option to help open clogged sinuses is to apply just a bit under the nose.

A viral infection has to run its course but if you help things along you may find it easier to breathe and lessen those headaches.

Trying to get our children to cooperate when it comes to taking cold medicine can easily become a power struggle. Perhaps the reason is because its taste is usually not all that appealing. Herbal Syrups may make life a bit easier.

The elderberry itself is very tart but once boiled down into a syrup with the addition of honey, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, the result is a very tasty blend your child just may request when feeling out of sorts.

For centuries, the berry from the shrubby elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra) has been a popular remedy for colds and influenza. Used as a hot tea it promotes sweating and helps break a fever. Taken straight as a syrup it is very soothing for coughs, sore throats and bronchial infections. Sambucus contains compounds that are active against flu viruses and aids in stimulating the immune system. Elderberry syrup can also be taken on a daily basis as a preventative measure during cold season.

As with any herbal remedy this information or syrup formula has not been regulated by the FDA. Herbal lore has been trusted and handed down through the years but it is within your discretion how you use this information in treating a condition.

Dosage is as follows:
Do not use on babies under 2 years due to the honey content.
Children 2-5 years can take 1 tsp. daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Children 6-12 years can take 2 tsp. daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Adults can take 1 tbsp daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Dosages are taken straight as a syrup or mixed with hot water for a tea.

Best kept under refrigeration. Potency lasts about a year.

Objects with which we come into contact every day are a constant source of potential bacterial or viral infection. Shopping carts, computer keypads, remote controls, phones, door handles, light switches, cash register keys and gas pumps. All examples of surfaces that carry germs which can spread from one person to another.

Germ Fighting Air and Surface Spray contains three essential oils known for their broad spectrum action.
Tea tree oil is called the Australian wonder. It is known for its antimicrobial qualities as it is effective against bacterial, fungal and viral sources of infection.
Thyme is another aromatherapy classic against infectious conditions, particularly those of the throat and chest. Pleasing is its woodsy yet warm aroma.
Eucalyptus has the distinct camphor scent most people recognize and associate with preventing or treating colds and flu. Very useful as an expectorant and clearing the head.

This powerful air spray can be a blessing for people who are sensitive to the synthetics and perfumes in commercial air sprays.

Use to spray surface areas or spray around the room to destroy airborne germs while freshening the air.

Shake before use and store out of direct sunlight.

So we do what we can to remain in good health. But it certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared!
Etsy Shop

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Blues

January means different things to different people.
For some it is a time of excitement with a blank calender of new opportunities and plans for a new year. For others it is a time of quiet reflection as life calms down after the holidays. It is easy to feel yourself sinking into a sense of aloneness and even depression as it seems everyone goes back into their own little world. It doesn't help that with winter comes cold, gray, dismal days and not near enough cheerful sunshine.

My mother is retired, lives alone, and refuses to drive if there is even a hint of ice or threat of snow on the roads. So her days are often isolated and lonely unless someone goes to her, and since she isn't a very socially active person she is alone most of the time. I tell her all the time she needs more company than the television.

We go through this every year once she puts her outside work to bed and the weather forces her inside. She needs to fill her life with the following to keep up her spirits.
Fill your world with music, color, something to take care of, books and/or puzzles, a craft, some form of people contact, and some form of exercise.

1. Music is a must to drift away into the past, reflect on life's loves, have a good cry, calm down anxieties, sing along and/or dance (you are never too old to sway, tap or dance as though no one is watching).

2. Color is a great stimulation and mood lifter.
If you love the outdoors, bring the outdoors inside to you. Bring life into your home.
Taking care of plants is beneficial in many ways. They are beautiful to look at, even bond with. They improve the quality of the air. By February or March you can bring twigs of dogwood, forsythia or cherry inside and the temperature change will fool them into going into bloom.

Get a pet, something to need you. Even a fish needs care. There are so many pets of all kinds who need homes. If you are older and are afraid a pet would outlive you opt for a senior pet. You're probably saving its life if from a shelter. An older pet is already housebroken, usually knows its manners and is out of the destructive stage.

Add new color to your decor. Paint a room, learn to stencil on either the walls or pillows, add a few pretty lap blankets or pillows to your couch, change the curtains, rearrange the pictures on the walls or even paint an original.

3. Read a book. It's a shame the people don't read like in the past. Television really does make the mind lazy. I think TV is great entertainment when you are too tired to think about anything but it tends to deaden the mind as well.
I've always been aware that as long as I read I can remember how to spell. I used to be able to just look at a word and recognize whether it was correct. I find lately I have to look it up more and more often. Maybe it goes with age, but reading definitely keeps the mind sharp.

4. Do a puzzle. Puzzles can pass the time like nothing else. Whether its word games, crossword puzzles, or an actual 1000 piece puzzle, they are good for your brain.

5. Always have some sort of project started. You probably learned to do crafts or sewing projects when young and then with a busy family and/or job they just got left in the dust. Sewing, be it hand sewing such as embroidery, or machine sewing, is so very therapeutic. Completed handcrafts offer so much satisfaction when completed and are wonderful, appreciated gifts to pass on to loved ones. I look at my wall hangings and am in awe of the time and patience it took to finally finish.

6. Volunteer or periodically get together with someone.
Humans just aren't meant to be alone. Even introverts need social contact now and then. We need to feel like we have accomplished something in a day and feel productive. Especially hard for parents of grown children or retirees is the lack of purpose in life. Once you have time you'll be amazed how good it feels to offer your talents without the need to be paid. Just knowing you made someone smile or life a little easier is enough to put a smile on your own face.
Having a sense of community is one good reason being a member of a church or local organization is so emotionally rewarding. You get out, you know what is going on in the neighborhood, and you have a social network should you need help.

7. Move your body, stretch out your back, something. You'll be amazed how good it feels to just release tension in the back and neck. Remember, if you don't use it you'll lose it. Jobs today require far too much time trapped at a desk, resulting in poor posture which often leads in the need for a periodic trip to a chiropractor to get things back in alignment.

It does a world of good to feel good about yourself. If you feel good it shows to those around you just by how you carry yourself.
Take care of yourself mentally and physically.
Meadow Muffin Gardens has many products to help you do that :)

Happy New Year, keep up your spirits, frowning adds more wrinkles than smiling :))

This Etsy Treasury listing definitely is a spirit booster!