Thursday, August 15, 2013

Practicing what I preach

Looking out over Bull Shoals Lake
My idea of a beautiful day--looking out over Bull Shoals Lake

Time for a change--mine!

For the last several years I have been joining what appears to be a movement toward a healthier lifestyle. Though the changes I'm making in my daily life are minuscule, I recognize that if everyone did just small things, the cumulative effect could become epic.

I'm starting a feature in CH Musings called "Practicing what I preach." I hope to share information, healthy recipes, and tips toward making life better for all of us. My hope is that others will join me with their own tips, ideas, and comments. Feel free to email me with your thoughts.

I'd like to explain why this is important to me. First of all, I'm nearing 62 years old. When I refer to a good life, it doesn't have anything to do with going out to dinner, seeing a movie, taking a cruise, or traveling in Europe. My life is much more simple than that. First, I couldn't afford those things. Second, I have no desire to do them. My desire is to make my life easier. I have already shared the things I enjoy in CH Musings; things like writing, quilting, gardening, watching the wildlife on our five acres. Mother Nature is my muse.

I am troubled by the direction the world is going. I abhor the marketing frenzy that has seemingly taken over. I believe billboards along the highway are ugly. I'd much prefer to see a pretty landscape. I hate commercials in a television drama. They are always at just the wrong time. I dislike the idea that a perfectly manicured lawn is pretty much mandatory in so many communities. In fact, I could be categorized as more of a wild forsythia rather than a neatly trimmed boxwood. I am really bothered that common sense has diminished, not just in our national policies, but often times in our own decision-making.

I believe one of the most important aspects of our lives, is our health. Beyond that, it is just great to feel good. I never watched what I ate or cared about such things until I reached that certain age. Perhaps that is what is meant by the golden age. It certainly isn't because life is beautiful all the time. Rather I believe the golden age is when the wisdom we pick up along the way begins to reveal itself to us.

There is no question in my mind that the food we eat and the water we drink must be of the highest quality to maintain our health. I feel that is sometimes in jeopardy. I don't think our food should be manipulated in a science lab. I dislike poison being put into canned goods just to make them pretty and keep them on the shelf longer. I believe in real, natural food. Fresh is best. In that regard, I am a fan of growing as much food as our own gardens can produce. My personal challenges in that regard are ongoing, but I refuse to give up.

I have never liked taking pills. I don't like artificial flavorings or chemicals. Sometimes it is harder to work through a problem without the quick fix, but often times working hard to achieve a desired goal makes the success all the better. Victory really is sweet.

These are the basic ideals that drive me. I have so much still to learn, but the resources are available. I can't say how many times I looked at some ingredient in the refrigerator and went online to see what I could make out of it. That has lead to some pretty wonderful things--things that I now make all the time.

Sometimes a solution to my problems are so simple, I wonder why I didn't think of it before.

For example, I went out to check on the garden. I Noticed lots of tiny flies on my tomato plants as well as some little worms eating the leaves of my radishes. I made up a natural pesticide that seems to be working.

Here's the recipe:

Natural Pesticide

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of hot pepper--
2 cups of water

Combined these ingredients into a jar. Let it sit for 24 hours. Strain through a coffee filter and into spray bottle.
***

I didn't have hot peppers at the time so I added several tbsps of hot pepper flakes.

This will be my second application. My tomato plants are looking really good.
The spray smells strong, but in a natural way. It is so much more pleasant to smell garlic than that chemicals.

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