Monthly Archives: February 2008

Herbal Cough Drop/ Throat Soothers

Tammy wanted my recipe for my special herbal cough drops, and since the mouse situation has finally passed, and I’m calmer *see sidenote at end, I thought I would provide it.

Suffice it to say that you should seek medical attention blah blah blah…but if you are stuck at home (as I was) or have a sick child and need help quick, these work great.  I’ll give you the concept, you can’t really call it a recipe, that I use, but feel free to adjust it to what you have at home.  I realize that not everyone has nearly every essential oil in their house in situations like this, so we’ll adjust.  With this concept, you can have herbal cough drops ready to serve in under 30 minutes. These are not just for sore throats. Great for dry coughs, upset stomach, headache, just change the herbs/essential oils and label your container accordingly.

Basically, it’s a hard candy recipe.  DO NOT ALLOW children to be in the kitchen while you are making these.  Boiling sugar HURTS.  Keep an eye on it, don’t let it boil over, etc.

Got all that?  Ok, here we go. 

About 2 1/2 cups of sugar.  White, brown, turbinado, it’s all fine. 

1 T lemon juice

1 1/2 cups herbal tea. * Ok…here’s where it get’s tricky. If you HAVE herbs at home (see below) use them to steep a strong tea, strain and use that. If not, check the kitchen cabinet for any herbal tea bags you may have on hand (celestial seasonings are wonderful) None? ok. Green tea? it’s got great antioxidant properties. no? ok…you’re still good. take a large glass bowl, pour in your water and raid the spice cabinet. Ginger, cinnamon, basil leaves, cayenne (smalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll amount!) sprinkle in the water, microwave for about a minute or so till it’s warm but not boiling, let steep and then strain thru a coffee filter (or not!)

Essential Oils: I use lavender (2-3 drops) oregano (4-5 drops) tea tree (5-6 drops) and Eucalyptus (2-3 drops) Add to the sugar, not the water.

Once your tea has steeped and strained if you desire, add it to the sugar in a pot, and bring to a boil. Bring to 300 degrees (hard crack) or when it makes a nice hard ball in ice water when dripped. Stir a LOT to keep the foam down. Tea will really foam.

In the interim, cover a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Set aside.

When sugar reaches the appropriate stage, either drip off a spoon to make cute little drops (as if!) or pour gently onto the lined cookie sheet. Allow to cool. Pick up the wax paper by the corners, flip it over and smash it down on the cookie sheet. Break into pieces when cool and store in airtight container. Take as needed. Voila.

Herbs for a sore throat

Marshmallow – Really nice and soothing.

Lavender – calming and reduces inflammation

Hops – GREAT if you are having trouble sleeping

Licorice – great for the throat, immune system, regulating blood sugar and stops upset stomach

Ginger – warming, see licorice

Peppermint – cooling, soothing, good for upset tummy (makes them taste good too)

Horehound – the drawback here is that most folks don’t have this on hand. 😦 Bummer

While you’re at it, make an herbal hand/air/room/surface spray. Clean up the remainder of the mung.

About a cup of water

4 drops of oregano essential oil
4 drops of tea tree e.o
5 drops of lavender e.o.
6 drops of lemongrass (you can use orange, mandarin, lime or pine instead) e.o.
2 T vodka (as a stabilizer)

Mix together in a spray bottle, spray around yourself and gently breathe in, spray hard surfaces that have been touched by the sick person, etc. This is safe, easy and healty to make, unlike waterless hand cleansers which are damaging to the system.

There ya go! Enjoy.

*Promised side note. apparently the noise I heard was mr/mrs. mouse caught in trap writhing and trying to get free. DD checked for me, and after I finished screaming, crying and vomiting, I attached myself to the couch for 7 hours until someone could come and remove the dying mouse from under my kitchen sink. ugh.



Filed under Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Herbs, Natural Health

New Photo Templates Available

I was kinda testing the waters with the free photo templates I posted, and I noticed that a lot of people do not have or do not use photoshop. SO…I have decided to upload the templates to Zazzle. Check em out!

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Heads or Tails – Wonder or Wander

My buddy skittles has this wonderful tuesday “meme” called Heads or Tails, are you doing it? You should. It’s fun, thought provoking, and sometimes VERY Therapeutic!

This week our theme is “wonder or wander”. I’m going with wonder, and you’ll see why…as my mind is so fully engrossed in a particular train of thought at this time, there is no other option.

I WONDER what it would be like not to have a phobia or panic. I don’t mean “oh no, I’m running late for a meeting” kind of stressful panic, I mean the kind that is completely debilitating, where you are unable to make any sort of rational thought or movement, the kind where the mind tells you it would be so much easier for the world to end NOW than to have to deal with this….whatever.

When DD was small, I had a severe case of Panic and Anxiety, which is what led me to WANDER down the road to natural health. It made such a difference in my life, and I used to WONDER why more people didn’t choose alternative methods. I have not (Thank God) suffered from this condition for many years…at least not on that level, due to the change in my outlook and methodology. And yet, there are still those moments.

This morning, well it was one of those moments. Picture it. It’s 4:30 am. (yes, 4:30) and I’m working happily away in photoshop, when I hear something. I immediately think “what is Jake doing now??” I go upstairs to check, as the noise is odd, and jake is passed out with DS in bed. If not jake, bodhi? no, bod asleep with DD. Coming back downstairs WONDERING what the…I heard it again. coming from the kitchen. If you read me with any regularity, you KNOW WHAT IS IN MY KITCHEN. I have stated many times before that I am terrified of mice. Now, I don’t mean like June Cleaver in High heels and apron with her fingers over her lips gasping ooh! a mouse! I mean complete and utter degradation of the human spirit. I cannot think, move or breathe. When the bodily functions DO return, it is like an atomic bomb went off. I cannot control my shaking, breathing, want to scream and can’t. Unconsciously I develop a “safe zone” which this morning was my computer chair. Feet CANNOT touch the floor, all lights must be on and NOTHING can be out of view, any movement (even a flashing light through the window from a passing car causes the heart to race, breathing to stop, tears to flow, since my mind has convinced me that it is not a mouse, but a giant mutant killer rat that will be emerging from the kitchen with his cohorts to attack and mutilate me at any moment (think “ben”). I could not leave the chair. It took almost 2 hours before I could get up again…and then it was a mad dash for the stairs to hit the shower. Now, you will ask yourself, I WONDER if she realizes that they are not just in the kitchen? Yes, yes I do, but I can’t actually accept that as fact, or I will have to sleep in my car.

I know that for some people, this seems so ridiculous, trivial in fact.  People make fun of me…hell, my kids make fun of me.  I’m sure I look pretty funny dancing on the couch screaming insanely clutching my head because there could be/might be/are (let’s be honest)  mouse/mice in my house.  It is a completely irrational fear.  I understand that, and all the other crap that people say…they’re more scared of me than I am of them…blah blah blah.  Bullshit.  If they were more afraid of me than I am of them, they would have explosive heart attacks and die on the spot hearing my footsteps on the stairs.  They do not.  So there.  For people who do not suffer from this type of panic/phobia, there is no way for them to understand that even though to YOU it may seem irrational, and I may even believe that myself, it doesn’t change what happens physically, chemically and emotionally in the body when faced with these fears.

When I was seeing clients in VA for hypnotherapy, I had several people who wanted to experience it to try and rid themselves of phobias, or irrational fears. I have been asked why I have not tried this. Alas, I have. Unfortunately, the MOMENT that the therapist began to say mouse…got as far as mou maybe, I flipped out. Session over. No thank you. And I am a very successful hypnotherapy candidate. Not for this, it is too deeply ingrained in my system I suppose.

Still, I WONDER what it would be like to enter a pet store and not hyperventilate when nearing that section. To be able to watch a commercial with a mouse on it and not burst into fits of shaking and near tears. To be able to enter my kitchen with out terror causing me to stand…toes on the edge of the carpet…unable to breathe….shaking uncontrollably, throwing random items onto the kitchen floor to make noise to scare them away. I WONDER what it would be like to be able to sleep at night again…not worried that they will walk on me or bite me in my sleep.

Ugh. Ok. I’m off to wander the net in search of something to occupy my mind…since I assure you I won’t be leaving this chair today.


Filed under Heads or Tails

I’m back?!?

Well, I’m up and around, how about that? Back….we’ll see.

I HATE being sick. Now, I realize that it’s been over 3 years since the LAST time I even felt “unwell” and I really can’t complain, but….dang it…I will anyway. It sucked. BUT I got these really pretty (read gross and disgusting, good for keeping the kids in line) white spots on my throat as a reward…how can you top that? lol!

By friday I felt well enough to drag myself up and make some tea tree cough drops (yes, I make my own), which went a long way in annihlating the nifty spots. Of course, had I felt better I could have made them monday or tuesday and I wouldn’t have ended up feeling like crap all week. ah well.

So other than cooking and getting DS up and off for school, and some limited homework help, I did a lot of nothing last week. At least physical nothing. Which, by saturday, was clearly visible in my house and my general state of mind.  I’m not a “do nothing” person…it doesn’t work for me. Spent the next 2 days cleaning up and grousing about how I have to do EVERYTHING and being not very pleasant I assume. It’s my right….cuz I’m sick (see, that CAN work to your advantage!)

Saturday, during the clean fest, I found….gulp, scream, gasp, ugh, gross! poops under my kitchen sink. That sonic boom you heard? That was me screaming “I HAVE POOPS…I HAVE POOPS” which of course prompted DS to run haphazardly into the kitchen announcing “we have mice? cool!” jerk. So sunday found me taking a brief foray to the store for traps for the little disease carriers. Of course, I cried the entire time I was setting them out….SURE that they were amassing an army and would attack me as soon as my hand reached into their home or when I’m asleep at night. I am NOT happy.

AND I spent an inordinate amount of time on the couch reading any and all old magazines I could get my hands on, and went out saturday and treated myself to a new one. I am such a glutton for punishment. I have a severe craving for the new Nikon D3, it’s a sickness really…and the mag had wonderful ratings on it, so of course, I was looking all hang dog about how great it was and I CAN’T HAVE IT! (sorry folks, $5000 is a bit out of my range right now!) So anyway….after laying on my butt for a week….sunday afternoon….feeling like a trapped rat (no pun intended)….. I’m rereading the mag for about the 100th time, needing to do something creative like the cool magazine people were getting to do. Follow along, as it’s amusing. I get up, go get my camera bag, pull out camera and lay back down.
Him: What are you doing? (staring at me as I lay on my back with camera in hand pointed at the ceiling, staring off into the ethers)
Me: I’m thinking
Him: Um…..ok??? About?
Me: (shooting the “don’t bother me I’m thinking” look) about pixels.
Him: Um….ok. Why?
Me: *going into a long explanation about pixel size on a photo, how I am going to reset the settings (I got good english skills!)on my camera, tweak some things and  shooting in RGB Tiff instead of jpg and can’t shoot in raw because my computer doesn’t have the software to read raw…etc etc.
Him: Oh. I see. Well, ok then.

advance 20 minutes. DD staring thru crack in bathroom door at me as I sit on the floor in the dark.
Her: mom?
Me: yeeessssssssssssss……………
Her: um….what are you doing? why are you in the dark? (as though perhaps I did NOT have strep, but some mental disease that has rendered me incapable of normal thought)
Me: *annoyed by her tone…I’m DOING something.
Her: uh…..ok. then to DS, “don’t bother mom, she’s on the bathroom floor in the dark.
DS: *through the door…Mom? Hey Mom? what are you doing in the dark.
ME: I’M DOING SOMETHING WHATDOYOUWANT? yes, it was all one word.
DS: uh…ok. (my family turned into cavemen last week while I was sick apparently…uh…uh…uh…)
Needless to say, when they finally left me alone, I had a bit of fun, first time in a week, and the results are:
heart.jpg  star.jpg

chokurei.jpg   initials.jpg

Nifty little creations with my mini maglight, recolored in photoshop. Technical stuff…camera at iso 200,  f/18, shutter speed 15 seconds. Of course DD was MORE excited about my bathroom darkness when she saw it included HER initials!  🙂   I was inspired…what can I say?

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Photo hunt – Wooden


Sick as a dog this week….so I’m going into the files for this one.  One of my all time favorite wooden things/places….Schofield Ford Covered Bridge….one of the many covered bridges right here in Bucks County!


Filed under Photo hunt, photohunt

The weekend

Three posts in one morning?  What has gotten into me???  lol!  I just want to go back to bed and hide and eat soup and drink juice  because I feel like crud…unfortunately it’s almost time to get DS up for school… I can’t.  ugh.   So, I thought I would share with my friends my crappy “I totally went defcon 4” weekend.  Warning.  This is NOT a pg-13 post.  There is no way I can keep it there…SO…be forewarned.

Let me start by saying that I am totally a momma bear.  Mess with me all you want to, but do NOT screw with my children.  I will bite off your head and shit down your neck.  My kids are my world, and I will fight to the death for them.  When I was fired from my job, one of the things that pissed me off the most was that DD had worked with me all weekend, and the bitch owner was sicky sweet nice to her, knowing that she was about to fire me and screw my kids out of my income.  grrrrrrrr.  The other thing that you should know about me, and anyone close to me DOES know this is…I do NOT say anything bad about anyone.  It’s just not my nature.  I have thumper theory…if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin at all. ANYWAY, I digress.

My ex husband (close enough) is a complete dick.  Hear that M?  I SAID YOU ARE A COMPLETE DICK.  This man, I swear, could fuck up a one car funeral.  THIS is just one example of WHY we are not together anymore you bag of shit.  I am not being mean, I am being honest.  I do not like you.  Not even a little bit.  Moving back to VA was the best thing you ever did, and as far as I am concerned, it’s not far enough away.  I hear East jabroo has openings.  see ya.

LAST SUNDAY he called DS and said he would pick him up this weekend, since it was a 4 day weekend for the boy.  I knew THEN that it wouldn’t happen….especially since DICKHEAD was DRUNK DIALING ME (oh yes he was!)  He said on the phone that I was being hostile to him.  Hostile?  me?   let’s see.  He calls me (and DD, calling her the wrong name during the conversation!) on a sunday night drunk at 6pm (who is that drunk at 6:00 on a sunday????????)  to tell me AND OUR SON whom he has not seen since NEW YEARS that he will be picking him up the following weekend (a promise he has made 3 times since the new year with no result),  and I KNEW THEN that the teeming fuck  would screw it up, as he does everything else. I said to him then, if I seem hostile it’s because you JUST TOLD HIM that you, no matter what, would pick him up. We both know that things happen, and you should NOT do that.  Wait until friday when you are sure.  He got all belligerent with me…puffing up and saying “I’ll be there.  If I have to take a cab I’ll be there”.  Fucker.  ALL WEEK your Son asked me what time you would be here on friday, and as usual, I had to say “we’ll have to see buddy”.  10 times every friggin day you asswipe.  ALL DAY FRIDAY SINCE HE WAS OUT OF SCHOOL, AS YOU WELL KNEW, he asked when you would be arriving.  Please call him mom, please.  EVERY 10 MINUTES YOU OOZING PUSBAG.  So when I finally let him call to see where he was, the jerk tells him he’ll  see him in the morning.  And then gets on the phone to me and says he’ll call me back later….”are you going out?”  Going out?  HOW THE HELL do you think I’m “going out?” When do I EVER get to “go out”.  I have no money for “out”.  I have CHILDREN TO SUPPORT YOU SHIT.  grrrrrrrr.  THEN, to his credit (HA!) HE did manage to call at 7am saturday morning to tell me that he hadn’t gotten his REPOSSESSED truck back yet, and was trying to work a miracle. He would call me back.  WHICH HE DID NOT.  He did NOT CALL HIS SON to tell him he would not be coming to get him, he did not explain himself to a very sad 11 year old boy who had just had his heart broken again, and as usual, I was the jerk who had to tell my son that “something came up and daddy can’t come get you”, LYING THROUGH MY TEETH to protect him from the truth of what a fuckup his dickhead father is, and he spent the afternoon crying about it.  YOU MADE MY SON CRY YOU PIECE OF SHIT.  How dare you?  How much of an inhuman asshole can you possibly be to crush a little boy like that?  How can you EVEN call yourself a father?  Sperm donor, maybe.  Father, no.  Fathers care about their children, take time for them, sacrifice for them.  You. just. suck.

It’s his loss.  My boy is  a great kid, smart, funny, sensitive, and he’s missing out on it.  4 days of his life he wanted desperately to devote to his father, who ignored it.  Hope it was worth it. As a side note, WE had a great time.  We had a nintendo fest, replaced the headlight in my car, watched the race, played games, went on a candy bar hunt..There’s a new Dale Earnhardt Hershey bar we want desperately, and lay around in our pj’s.  No laundry, no grocery store…just us.  LIKE IT SHOULD BE.
Although I’m trying not to be, I guess I’m  still really mad about it….(lol, ya think???).  That’s probably an understatement.  I’m sure I’ll get over it…maybe not as soon as I’d like…certainly not as soon as my son will.  Poor little guy.

I’m off to shower and try to clear my head.  ugh.


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Awesome awards

Siani was toooo kind to me today in passing on some AMAZING awards. And baby, I need em today. Crappy weekend…there was a MAJOR bout of Suzy Tourette on Saturday….now, I do NOT have tourette syndrome, nor am I making fun of the poor folks who do. My dear friend Shari, knowing me as well as she does, knows that I do NOT DO mad well. It’s a southern thing I think. And when the rare opportunity of my having to express myself when reaching that stage of mad arises, I have a tendency to…um….well, sound like a sailor. Not terribly ladylike, I admit, but it seems to help relieve the pressure when I reach defcon 4 (which truly is rare.) …I’ll go into it more later… AND DS was soooooooo kind in passing on his icky cold…which I never get…and now I feel like I’ve been hit with a truck full of mud. ugh. ANYWAY…..these wonderful awards have brightened my day, weekend and week considerably!


I’m passing these on to my favorite ladies, whom, even when I feel like crap (like today) I make sure I visit them…just to feel a little better. 🙂 If you’ve already received them…consider it a vote of confidence from another loyal reader!

State of Confusion

I know there are more….I just cannot think…my head is full of cotton.


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