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February 18, 2012 @ 10:21 AM

 Cleaning out cupboards and closets can be overwhelming and for those of us who were brought up with the saying....."Use it up, wear it out, make it do--- or do without". Throwing out things often feels wasteful and stressful. Here are a few of my "use it up" tips:

In the Kitchen:

Old Herbs: not useful for medicine anymore, these can still be used to add to animal bedding to keep away fleas/mites. Any aromatic herb will do--and make your pets smell good between baths.

if the herbs are good, but you only have a tiny bit left--and the nearly empty jar/bag is taking up space, make these leftovers into ice cubes for use in future soups/sauces.

If there are old dusty herbs hanging up, use them as .........

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February 17, 2012 @ 9:36 AM

I start Spring Cleaning a little early because when it gets the least bit warm, I'm going to be outside. Spring Fever is a physical, mental and emotional phenomenon and a thorough cleaning of your house can help your body prepare for more activity and can even help give you the mental boost you need to start a diet or any other healing regimine you might want to try. So, here is how I undertake the whole "cleansing" of home and self....

First, I create even more chaos than already exists. I let my eating habits go for a few days....finish up all those Valentine chocolates, fancy cheeses left over from the holidays, eat anything junkie--and I let myself enjoy it. Then, I choose an upstairs room and .........

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February 13, 2012 @ 11:32 AM

  When there are kids in the house, there is always an reason to be baking something......holidays, birthdays, bake sales....So, I like to keep it interesting by using appropriate herbs for each occasion. Yesterday, my grandson and I made Valentine cookies using a basic sugar cookie dough. To make it more meaningful, I used two herbs. For the cookies to be given to family and friends, we put a bit of ground Rosemary in the dough....Rosemary for Remembrance. When making cupcakes in the past, I put the rosemary in the icing instead. For cookies made for those you "LOVE", I added some rosewater to the dough AND the icing.

Rose petals are great in baking---if they are FRESH and organic. However, once dried, .........

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February 3, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

 I have written many times about living according to seasonal changes because going with the flow seems to always improve mental/physical health and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. That was all well and good, until I got my greenhouse last year. Greenhouses are "season extenders" or even, capable of allowing us to garden all year. That is the dilemma in which I  currently find myself. Those sungold grape tomatoes I am harvesting sure are tasty! So are the arugula, lettuces, radishes, onions, brocolli, chard, carrots, herbs and lemongrass. And I bet the zuchinni that is blooming will be a welcome dinner guest in a month. Not to mention, that I can start seeds earlier than those ............

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February 3, 2012 @ 9:28 AM

 Cookbooks are almost an addiction with me--especially ones with stories/sidebars/and definite points of view. Several years ago, I read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" and tried to cook many meals according to the monthly harvest/preparation and menus. I had a great time. I just found a new book--"Wild Flavors--One Chef's Transformative Year Cooking From Eva's Farm", by renown chef,  Didi Emmons.  http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Flavors-Chefs-Transformative-Cooking/dp/1603582851/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328291375&sr=8-1     The book is layed out  by season, with tips, commentary and easily executed recipes. For me, what sets this cookbook ............

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February 2, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

  There is still winter left, but I know how quickly time flies and all the work that comes with the first warm days of spring. But first, all the preparations need to be made...seeds bought, seedling flats readied, coming up with a garden plan, spring cleaning!! Last month it was time to sit with a cup of tea and go through seed catalogs. By now, cooler, less dreamy heads have hopefully prevailed and our seed orders were pared way back form the initial run amok visions and finally sent in. This month, with the more tangible evidence of light and rain, I am less a dreamer and more sensible about what will be possible this gardening year--but it still calls for many a cup of tea and a comfy chair to map out the garden and .........

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February 1, 2012 @ 7:50 AM

 Luckily, I know to leave notes for myself regarding things of great importance. Yesterday, I realized it was the end of the month already--the end of January and the end of the true winter season. Ancient Celtic pronouncements tell us to have all winter greens removed from the home by Candlemas--which is February 2 (better known to us in America as Groundhog Day)--or else negative spirits will make your life miserable for the remainder of the year. There is an element of logic and practicality to this...which is...everything to its season or time. We brought in evergreens during the darkest time of the year to remind the spirits and ourselves of the light/warmth and to do our parts to insure they eventually return. .........

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