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Friday, November 21, 2014

A Tisane For Cold & Cough

This is about as flash as I can be this week.
When I feel the hint of sickness lurking near my respiratory tract I take a dose of elderberry tincture straight away and knock it on the head. Now we are in spring and my supplies are all gone after sharing with lots of family in need this year and I am watching the flowers covetously planning a bigger bottle up for the still room.

I did find this calico bag of dried berries that I had stashed having never got around to tincturing them. The stem and seeds are emetic so it is important to remove them; adding vomiting and diarrhoea to your woes would be disastrous. Take the dried berries into your palm and clap your other palm over the top and move them gently together in circles. The stems will quickly and easily separate and if you do this action holding your palms vertically the stems will even fall away so you don't even have to winnow. 

I steep the elder berries in a tea pot with a stainless steel strainer (non reactive to food acids and alkaline) and give them a light press and stir after they have re-hydrated. The fine mesh holds back the seeds. I also add sage and thyme fresh picked from the garden but you can also use them from dried form. Both of these herbs are known to aid coughs, sore throats and irritated and inflamed linings. They also have anti-septic and anti-viral properties. 

It really is well worth planting beyond the basil and parsley and reading and extending your knowledge of herbs. I do stress the thorough reading and researching too, just because something is natural doesn't mean it can be treated casually. There is powerful medicine in plants and it is well to know their effects especially if you are on medication or have pre-existing disease.

I wish you good health.

Friday, November 14, 2014

4 Steps To Blissful Gliding Drawers

Do you have old wooden drawers that stick and you shove and pull and silently curse every other time?
Well this simple maintenance tip will rid you of one little stressor of every day life.

It will work for most drawers unless they are too far worn or just poorly made in the first place. This maintenance should ideally be done at least once a year but it's one of those bottom of the list type of jobs, once you have done it though you'll wonder why you procrastinated for so long.

Step 1
It's always good to have a yearly assessment of your garments or a junk drawer clean out.
Pull everything out and be ruthless with "stay" and "go" piles. The first major no-no for good drawer health is over stuffing causing it to not close properly and catch on drawers above. Weigh it up! A drawer carry too much weight is going to really grind as it slides back and forth. Don't be tempted to just keep stuffing, because that is precisely what you'll do - Stuff it!

Step 2
I do one drawer at a time as many drawers are custom worn to their own space and if you remove them all at once it can be a bit time consuming trying to work out which drawer fits back where.
Take the drawer out and give it a good wipe over, inside and out. A plain damp cloth is fine.
Now is the perfect time replace the lining if you use any. A sheet of shelf paper, old wrapping paper or contact works fine.

Step 3
Fit a nozzle/small brush head to your vacuum cleaner pipe and reach into the drawer carcass and suck all the time worn wood dust from the crevices and runners. All this accumulated wood dust is also compounding the gliding problems and wearing down your drawers.
You may also notice some cobwebs waaayyy back there and the vacuum makes these easy to reach too. A very light mist into the interior of clove bud oil and water will deter spiders and soft insects and kill any mould spores (see this post for more info and mixing ratio)

Step 4
Now here is the real biggie in this process.
Apply bees wax
Take a small piece and run it backwards and forwards on all the running parts. As you rub the friction heat will also help it to meld to the wood. This fine layer of wax is key to your drawers gliding like a swan on water!
I get my beeswax from a local honey supplier and use it in my salve making but you can get it from craft stores also.

And that's it. 
A drawer left to wear down over time develops gaps and hangs and causes frustration. You have enough to deal with without having to fight your drawers every day in every room. 

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