Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Wishing you and your family
a safe and happy holiday seasonImage used with permission
Santa's Cookies by Alf Caruana

The presents have been opened
The phone calls to those far away have been made
The in-laws have been visited
And too much food has been eaten
Christmas Day is over for another year :-)

Hubby and I chose our own presents this year.

An Easy Cook Health Oven for me....

and a Bone "Rough Rider" mechanics creeper for him....

I won't be blogging for a couple of weeks
so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all

New Years Eve is our 20th Wedding Anniversary
Here's a much younger "us" being confetti-ed :-)


Friday, December 12, 2008

Growing Challenge #5

The Growing Challenge -
Grow one additional type of fruit or vegetable than you did last year, and grow it from seed.

I have been busy with other things this past week so there hasn't been much activity in my garden.

Progress report....
The corn is now taller than me and is forming some good looking cobs

I caught this predator in the act on a corn plant

I am picking Purple King beans daily

The carrot tops finally seem to be growing. I can only hope the actual carrots are growing as well!
Reminder to self - do not take photos into the sun!

Moon planting....
The pak choy and silverbeet I planted during the New moon have come up.
The carrot and beetroot seeds I planted in November came up, but something demolished them.
Due to being busy I missed the best moon phase this month for planting my next lot of fruit crop.
I guess I will have some bare patches in the garden for awhile :-(

One Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has been visiting daily


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Morning visitors....

This morning I was drawn outside by the noisy screeching of a large flock of Sulphur-crested Cookatoos.

What a racket they were making as they flew from tree to tree calling out to each other, then as quick as they came, they were gone.

Later, about 10 came back.... some were sitting in the old gum tree....

.... some were on the fence posts.... and some were grabbing the wholemeal bread I had thrown out onto the lawn.

As each one got a piece of bread it would land on top of a fence post to devour it's treat.

Have a great day.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Greening My Insides #5

The Green Your Insides Challenge is about greening your home, and paying attention to what you put on your body, in your body, and around your body.

What caused my dermatitis?
For nearly 20 years I have believed chemicals were the cause. The dermatitis began under my wedding ring while I was working in a take away food shop, and then crept over my fingers, across my hands and up my arms. My duties at work included preparing foods for the day (slicing lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cold meats, etc. for sandwiches & hamburgers), serving customers during the lunch rush, then cleaning the shop and kitchen. Saturday was the day I cleaned our house from top to toe.... and Sundays was family day.
I did all the cleaning at the shop and at home without gloves, so it's easy to assume the chemicals in the various cleansers were the initial cause…. and other things irritate it.

What irritates my dermatitis?
Friction - doing housework, driving the car, gardening, etc.
Heat - hot weather, driving into the sun, exercise.
Various things I come in contact with, often unknown.
The juice from vegetables makes my hands itchy if I don't wear gloves while slicing, dicing, etc.

What triggers a major breakout?
Most the time I can’t pinpoint the cause of a breakout, but on a couple of occasions the offender has been obvious.
A certain brand of shampoo/conditioner caused the worst reaction I’ve had (see Greening My Insides #1). Their advert says “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”…. believe me, it happened overnight! Within 30 minutes my face was itching and by the next morning a stranger was looking back at me from the mirror!
Touching lettuce triggers a breakout that lasts around two weeks. I discovered this a few years back when I was preparing a salad and forgot to put gloves on while I shredded the lettuce. Usually eating lettuce doesn’t cause a problem, but recently I prepared what I thought was a healthy lunch... shredded lettuce, grated carrot & beetroot fresh from my veggie patch, grated cheese, sliced boiled egg and ham. Within 30 minutes I felt a burning sensation in my top lip, which was followed by peeling for the next two weeks.

Last week I was thinking about my reaction to lettuce so I went to Google and typed - lettuce dermatitis – into the search box. I found an interesting article at which said - Lettuce is an occasional cause of allergic contact dermatitis particularly in food handlers, chefs and market gardeners. It tends to cause hand dermatitis, which spreads up the forearms.

My mind went racing back to the first chore of the day at work.... slicing a full box of lettuce.
Is the humble lettuce the cause of my dermatitis?
I will never be certain what the initial cause was, but it was food for thought, so I printed the page and put it in my handbag.

During my visit to the naturopath last week I read out what I had learned about lettuce while he was giving me the low level laser therapy. I asked his opinion on RAST blood tests and prick tests for allergies. He informed me he could test me with Kinesiology Allergy Tests. He felt he could eliminate many things to reduce the amount of testing via conventional methods if I wanted to follow up further. He tested me for lettuce, carrot & beetroot that day to show me how it worked. I reacted to the lettuce, but not to the other two.

During my visit yesterday we did more testing, and will continue to work our way through a few more during each of my future appointments. I am only going once a week now so this could be a slow process.

So far I have the following lists....

Food: beetroot, carrots, cashews, rice, rye, seafood, soya
Environment: flower pollen, grass, mould

Avoiding for now because I am on a cleansing diet, or the food is acidy.
chocolate, strawberries

Food: lettuce, sweet potato, wheat
Environment: parasites

Lettuce was obvious, and I suspected wheat, so no surprises there.
Sweet potato was a shock, and to think I was about to start eating more of it!
"Parasites! Do you mean fleas and things like that?" I asked.
"No" says the naturopath "The ones in your body"

Ok, they're curable so I can deal with that.... but now I keep imagining big fat juicy worms and other nasty parasites crawling around inside me!
There's no point worming one person in the family so look out hubby, teen son, dog and cat, you're all about to get a dose of worm medication :-)

I researched the symptoms of parasite infestation and was suprised to see Skin Conditions listed when I read Classic Symptoms of Parasitic Infections . According to this site intestinal worms can cause hives, rashes, weeping eczema, and other allergic-type skin reactions. Cutaneous ulcers, swellings and sores, popular lesions, and itchy dermatitis can all result from protozoan invasion.
Further reading informed me that parasites can infect virtually every part of the human body including the abdomen, blood, buttocks, chest, diaphragm, digestive tract, respiratory tract, feet, hands, genitals, liver, muscles, skin and upper arms..... and humans can play host to over 100 kinds of parasites.... oh my goodness, big fat juicy ones, long skinny slimy ones, itsy bitsy fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Do You KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE You? is also an interesting read.

Ok, I have learned more about parasites than I have ever wanted to know!
Be diligent people.... worm your family and animals regularly.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Growing Challenge #4

The Growing Challenge -
Grow one additional type of fruit or vegetable than you did last year, and grow it from seed.

During the past week I have been clearing the veggie patch of plants that have finished producing or gone to seed. The wet weather ruined the squash, zucchini & pumpkin so I will have to start fresh in that area.

Progress report....
The Sebago Potatoes are flowering....

and I am picking 28 spotted ladybirds off them daily!

The corn will soon be taller than me!

Moon planting....
New Moon: a good phase to plant leafy vegetables.
Seeds sown: wombok, pak choy, silverbeet & spinach.

I probably should have waited for the next moon phase, but I also planted out this choko my father-in-law gave me.....

Speaking of the moon.... did you look up last night and see the alignment of Jupiter, Venus and the moon?
It looked like a giant smiley face in the sky!

Have a great day