Monday, March 28, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Well its that time of year again....not really although I am thinking ahead to Christmas.  I bought some yarn the other day and started knitting someone a gift.  With this move to Texarkana I have decluttered and have realized living with less stuff is kind of nice.  Less to clean and less to pick up SO I am thinking I want to give gifts this year that can be used or used up.  If my garden produces the way I would like it to I may make salsa and speghetti sauce for gifts if I can get my new friend Merit to teach me to can...hint, hint.  What are the best gifts you have received that were consumable or useful?  Do you have any ideas? 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Fever

Spring fever has hit the Edwards household like a freight train.  I have even resorted to cleaning the porches as an excuse to be outside.  Fishing is a much better way to pass the time.  Don't you think so?
The first of March the apple blossoms were in bloom and this little guy let me take his picture.  He was a dream to work with.

Then came the daffodils or jonquils as they are called in the south.  My mother in law and I had a great time at the Jonquil Festival in Old Washington last weekend.

We had these wirey looking shrubs I was considering digging out of the yard.  Surprise!  They are wisteria.  The fragrance is intoxicating.  This little guy agrees.
Flowers are everywhere.  These flowers appear white until you zoom in.  They have pink in them.  Who would know except for bees and photographers?
I hope you are shaking off the winter blues and enjoying some sunshine.  Be sure to take time to smell the flowers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Millwood State Park

Millwood State Park is located East of Ashdown, Arkansas.  It is a beautiful park with hiking trails, campsites, nice restrooms, pavilion, playground, paddle boats, canoes and fishing.  There are swings to sit on and look at the lake.
There are ducks and geese to feed and watch.

There is flora to discover.  These henbit flowers are edible and resemble a mouse in a boat.  Do you see the mouse?
My son went to fish.  He loves the lake.

We fish with worms.  My oldest daughter has baiting a hook down to an art.

 I go to hike, take pics, listen to the water lap against the shore and relax.

What a wonderful Creator to give us such beauty.  I hope you make it to Millwood Lake soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Summer Remedies Everyone Needs

Warm days are signaling us that summer is not too far away.  Summer is my favorite time of year.  I love the heat!  Swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking, camping, playing outside are just a few of my favorite activities.  With all those wonderful activities comes bug bites, sunburns, scrapes and bruises.  Here are a few natural remedies I carry in my purse at all times. 
Lavender oil is a must.  It is soothing and healing on burns (including sunburn).  I keep a bottle in my kitchen. It works well on bug bites. Several drops in a warm bath helps relax the body after a hard day of play.  A drop on the shirt collar of a over stimulated toddler can soothe the crankiest of kids. 

Aloe Vera is fabulous on sunburn.  For me personally I rank lavender slightly above aloe for soothing relief.  We keep a bottle of pure aloe in the refrigerator for extra coolness on a hot burn.
I can sing the praises of peppermint all day.  One drop of its essential oil on the tongue will cure the hiccups because of its antispasmodic properties.  A couple of drops of its oil is soothing on the tummy.  You can also buy peppermint tea as well.  I put a drop on the back of my son's neck when he gets carsick and it helps every time.  A drop on the back of the neck cools the body and I have used it successfully when myself and others were overheated. Many have told me this is great for hot flashes although I haven't experienced this for myself.  The drops are antibacterial and can be used to disinfect anything.  My favorite use is in motel rooms on the cups.  It works wonderful on bug bites.  My son is allergic to fire ants and unfortunately we have many where we live.  The bite will swell up to the size of a base ball on him.  I put a few drops on his bite and within 2 minutes the swelling had gone down. You can use it to wake up.  Inhale deeply and it will stimulate the brain.  I am ashamed to say I have used this technique when traveling.  I do not recommend it for this purpose.  When driving finding a place to sleep is always best!   Peppermint oil is always in my purse.  There are so many uses for it and it is my first line of defense when something new comes up.  Let me know your favorite uses for peppermint oil!

Arnica Montana is a homeopathic remedy that I carry at all times. It is in all my first aid kits.  It stimulates the body to heal quickly especially bruises.  You place the dissolving tablets under the tongue.  There are also cream or gels you can purchase as well as liquid.  Whenever my children or I fall this is our first line of defense.  We also use it successfully for headaches.  If you buy the gel or cream, which I do DO NOT apply to an open wound.  It is great for sore muscles as well!
Five Flower Formula or Rescue Remedy are essential for emotional and physical stress.  You can put a few drops under the tongue, on the skin, in a bath or in your drinking water.  This works wonders for quieting the mind and stressful situations.  It has even been shown to counter physical shock.  You can buy it in pastilles which is the method my children prefer to take it.  I often use it for headaches with my children and a backup remedy for motion sickness.  If you have a nervous traveler like my son you may find it very beneficial for vacation.

Nux Vomica is a homeopathic remedy for vomiting.  When you have overdone the ice cream, hot dogs and nachos at the amusement park this will be what you will want to have.  These dissolve under the tongue and is very effective.  Also use this car sickness.

This is the last essential I will share with you today.  Poison Ivy Scrub.  A few different brands make this and It works!!  Buy the ones that say it will remove itching in less than 30 seconds.  We keep bottles in both baths and in the camping gear.  My daughter mowed through poison ivy last year.  She was covered from head to toe in the rash the day of prom....IKES.  She was in tears and a friend told us of this product.  You bathe using the product it removes the oil of the poison ivy which is what causes the rash.  We had to bathe three times due to the severity of her case and she was poison ivy free that evening for prom!  It was truly amazing.  We have used it a few times since and had the same great results. 

Have a great summer my friends and soak up the sunshine :).  Let me know your favorite summer remedies. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Four Truths and a Lie

4 Truths and 1 Lie

I just had some fun over at Morning Glories and Moonflowers! She listed 4 truths and 1 lie about herself. I thought I would try and stump you!:) Here we go...

1. I love the ocean.

2. I like to bake.

3. I start singing Christmas Carols in the summer.

4. My favorite band is Sugarland.

5. I adore old musicals.

The lie is #4.  Even though I love country music the lead singers voice drives me crazy and the way they never end a song but drag it to its death makes me want to pull my hair out.  Sorry all you Sugarland fans.