Re Purposed Crutches Into A Pea Trellis


A Reblog from the “Homestead Survival”  |  Thanks to Deb Mathenia for FB share  A creative reader at helpful gardener shared this amazing idea to re pupose an old unused pair of crutches instead of purchasing a trellis …. she made one.

This is a very frugal concept.

1. Dig a hole on each end on the length of the garden row.

2. Position crutch horizontally and firm in the dirt firmly around it. Use your feet to firmly pressed down around the crutch. Repeat with other crutch.

3. Tie twine to the bottom of one crutch. Loop several times around then string the across garden row to other crutch. Repeat looping and stringing twine across to other crutch as you jump two inches with every vertical layer



When life gives you lemons, make Lemoncello!!

ObstaclesBy: Claire Capetta | A Reblog |  > Firstly, I want to apologise for my lack of writing recently posts recently. Last year we were happily renting a beautiful apartment in an old colonial in the village untill we found out that the Landlord lost it to the bank… A Foreclosure. We were given a 30 day notice to vacate and the only place available down by the water. We moved in and 10 days later we rode through Sandy, losing much of our papers, documents, Christmas decorations and all sorts of various items packed up still waiting to be organised. We lost a lot but grateful as we could have lost so much more as many other people did. But this you already know…

Now for some reason the storm must be good for ants because we became overun with them… everywhere! We notified the Inpiration, writing, motivationLandlord who told us they were our problem to solve as was apparently the leak from the tenants tiolet upstairs into our bathroom. We also didn’t like the fact that we were paying for the electric for the ‘shared washer/dryer” the whole basement which was shared use along with hall light and outside light so when it came to signing another 6 month lease he appeared surprised when we declined his offer… Strange huh? What were we thinking? lol

Well, we thought we could easily find another aprtment with no leaks or ants… How wrong we were! Therefore I’m now trying to catch up with all my social media, writing etc from a motel room… Hurray! This is our third week but this weekend it’s all sytems go as a new apartment awaits us this Saturday and the best part about it is… The Landlord will let us rent month to month… Happy dance!

Why? The wonderful thing about having a huge upheaval, putting your belongings into storage and paring everything down to clothes and essentials for a 3 week period has given us time to reflect as to what truly is important to us. We have been looking to buy a house here but I’m tired of the cold winters and huge price tags for everything from property tax, price of houses, gas. The list is endless! Now don’t get me wrong we are not paupers and we have loved New York’s summertimes and travelling around the city, I mean, you gotta love the city, especially in Summer. But when we sit and think about what we would get for our money else where it’s crazy! We both work from home so we are not tied down and then suddenly this light went on! If we move state we can affrod to buy a house here in the US and the UK. We can travel back and forth… Whoa! Loving the light switch!

Inspiration, motivation, aha moment, life

So we are taking a road trip (something I have always wanted to do!) with a 2 night stop in Washington DC then onto North Carolina to see my sister-in-laws for 2 days. We will be stopping for a couple of nights in Savanah, Georgia then onto Florida where we are going to look around and see where we want to live because yes… We are moving to Florida! Happy, sunny Florida here we come!

I have it all worked out too! I will be doing the concert here in New York and the show, Transformation from Abuse will be filmed in Miami… I am also going to start taking bookings for speaking at events too! Whoo Hoo! See? As they say ‘When life gives you lemons, make Lemoncello!!


In the meantime on the 1st and 2nd of June will be hosting an Author Table at our local Spring Fair! Can’t wait! So many good times are awaiting for us and I sincerely hope they are for you too! I hope you had a wonderful Spring, that it is treating you well and wonderful adventures await you too!

I missed you guys and I will be back on track catching up with everyone’s exciting adventures :-)



My debut my first novel, ‘A Broken Ring’ about A Woman’s Journey from Abuse to Empowerment was released on the 23rd September on Amazon.
Believing in empowerment and inspiration from adversity and abuse!Claire CapettaBloglink:

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For The Love Of Tea! – Health Benefits And Beyond

Reblogged from: Reaching Utopia by

tea types octagon

> Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world besides water. There is nothing better than curling up on your couch with a cup of this ancient brew. Not only is it comforting and tastes great, but it has many health benefits that are worth the drink.

People are told time and again that tea is great for your body, but why? All tea originates from the plant Camellia sinensis. This plant contains substances called flavonoids and polyphenols which contain antioxidants. The antioxidants are the important part that helps your body stay healthy. The concentrations of these antioxidants are higher in the tea plant than in fruits and vegetables. The most significant polyphenol is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG could be the markers to fight off Alzheimer’s (due to decreases in beta-amyloid plaques), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease (due to rises in dopamine levels). It prevents brain cells from dying and if damaged, promotes repair. It also binds with iron and blocks pathways that cause brain deterioration. Also if you’re looking for a new inexpensive way to have glowing, fresh skin, look no more. EGCG can regenerate skin cell growth for newer skin more quickly.

We all know the four major categories of teas- green, white, black, and oolong. Have you ever wondered what makes the flavours their own if they all come from the same plant? Each tea group goes through a different process to make it its own. Green tea leaves are steamed which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. Black and oolong tea are fermented which makes the EGCG turn into other compounds. White tea is said to be the purest in antioxidants due to its process of being steamed to inactivate polyphenol oxidation, and then dried from new growth buds and young leaves.

pouring tea

Due to the fermentation processes, the health benefits of tea are higher in white and green teas. This is because of the less EGCG that is taken away from the oxidation process. So if you are looking to get your maximal health benefits from tea go with the green or white before a black or oolong.

Research shows that antiviral and germ killers are higher in white teas than in green teas. Although green tea helps the metabolic system by getting rid of sugars quicker and not storing them as fat. Green tea kills cancer cells and inhibits growth of cancer cells. It does this without even damaging healthy tissue. Not only does this amazing brew fight off bad cells but it also helps you with weight loss!

Tea helps in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood vessels, fighting against cardiovascular disease. It is possible the reasoning why cardiovascular disease is reduced by tea is because flavonoids decrease inflammation and cholesterol which reduces the chances of blood clot formation. There is 11 times more flavonoid intake by tea drinkers than non tea drinkers. If you drink five or more cups of tea a day you are 31% more likely not to die from cardiovascular disease.

There are some things to keep in mind the next time you brew a cup. Decaf teas have less flavonoids so try to go for the natural blends. Iced teas have more sugars so either go with the naturally hot brew or try making your own so you can limit added sugars. The more processed the tea the less polyphenols present so try to go with a more organic and natural tea. Instead of added sweeteners try throwing in a slice of lemon, or a squeeze of some citrus juice, it boosts the absorption in the GI tract. Pepper does this as well if you want to add a little spice like a chai blend.

Overall you cannot go wrong with drinking tea. Even fitting a cup a day into your life will reward you with some amazing health benefits. From renewing your skin, to fighting off cancer and degenerative diseases, tea’s natural antioxidants are helpful and tasteful. So what are you waiting for? Go and make yourself a cup!

tea glass

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Cinnamon – A Natural Medicine

A natural medicine - Cinnamon

A Reblog  |  Published by Editorial Staff of  |  The magic stick of cinnamon can have astounding effects on human health. It is believed that in ancient times cinnamon was more expensive than gold. Its name has also been mentioned in the Bible. The well known herb is actually a bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is dried and then rolled into sticks called quills. The dried cinnamon barks are also grounded to make cinnamon powder. This small tree is mostly grown in Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Egypt. Found in it is an essential oil called cinnamonaldehyde, which gives it a magnificent taste and aroma.

There are 4 varieties of this spice; out of which two are the most popular ones, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is also known as true cinnamon; it has a sweet taste and is more expensive than Cassia cinnamon. You can find them in specialty stores. Its quills are soft enough to be grounded for coffee.

Cinnamon mostly found in North American supermarkets is Cassia cinnamon and is relatively cheap. It is dark in color and its quills are hard. It has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine and in Indian Ayurvedic medicines. Let’s find out why is it known as a natural medicine?

Cure for diabetes
Research has proved that cinnamon is beneficial for curing Type 2 Diabetes. The evidence was first revealed in the journal, “Diabetes Care” in the year 2003.

This study was conducted by US department of Agriculture, on 60 participants from Pakistan with type 2 Diabetes. Each participant was given 1 mg of cinnamon for 40 days. It was evident from the research that the blood sugar level, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol was significantly reduced. The beneficial after effects of the cinnamon persisted for 20 days even after stopping its use.

However it is highly recommended that patients taking prescribed medicines for cholesterol should not substitute them with cinnamon supplements.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
Preliminary lab research and animal studies helped to find the antifungal and antibacterial properties of Cinnamon. This amazing spice helps to fight Candid albicans, a fungus that is known to cause yeast infection. The bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, is also curable with the help of cinnamon, responsible for causing stomach ulcers.

Cinnamon bark and esential oil

Some doctors claim that memory and performance of certain mental tasks can be improved just by smelling cinnamon

arrow green with textCinnamon as an anti-inflammatory spice
Today the growing problem is increased intake of processed, fatty and fried foods that cause inflammation of internal organs and tissues, and further cause heart diseases. In a book called “Natural Health, Natural Medicine”, Andrew Weil claims cinnamon to be beneficial for decreasing inflammation of the artery walls that causes atherosclerosis and other heart diseases.

Rich source of Minerals and Dietary fibers
Cinnamon contains essential minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium. The perfect combination of fiber and calcium has proven to protect the colon cells from getting damaged by removing bile; as a result it prevents colon cancer.

Cures Constipation
The dietary fibers found in cinnamon have also been found helpful in curing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and constipation.

Improves Memory
Quiet unbelievable, but true! Some doctors claim that memory and performance of certain mental tasks can be improved just by smelling cinnamon. It is also beneficial in curing Alzheimer’s disease. Migraine and headaches can also be relieved with the use of cinnamon.

Cures Cough
Cinnamon has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time. It is a natural remedy for common cold and coughs. You can treat your sore throat by drinking a cup of cinnamon tea. Take a cup of water and add a cinnamon stick to it, bring it to a boil and remove the stick. Use this tea twice a day you will feel better within 3 days; otherwise consult a doctor.

For cough take a teaspoon of warm honey with a pinch of cinnamon powder in it. It will cure your cough in a few days.

Relieves Toothache
An easy home remedy for toothache lies in cinnamon. Make a paste of 5 teaspoon honey with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and apply it to your aching teeth 2 to 3 times in a day. You can store this paste at room temperature in a container.

How can you use cinnamon?
Cinnamon can be added to a number of foods and cereals in powdered form. A small stick can be added to give flavor to the soups. Even an herbal tea made out of cinnamon can be taken once a day.

Cinnamon is also available in the form of capsules which helps in its consumption process.


Six Writing Lessons From The Garden


A Reblog  |  By: Deborah Lee Luskin >

veg garden

I love to garden. It’s a meditative activity – something I can do while my mind freewheels. Last Sunday, I found myself thinking how preparing a small vegetable patch is like writing a book.

Lesson 1: Writing is Solitary.Scarecrow

For the first time in thirty years, I’m planting the garden solo. My husband helped me install the fence posts (just as he built the studio where I write), but he prefers to nurture the orchard. I’m on my own, just as I write by myself during the week while he’s off tending to his patients’ health.

Lesson 2: Selectivity is Good.

There was a time when we grew and preserved all our food – but no longer. We’re now supplied with locally grown produce from a neighbor’s organic farm, so I’m only planting high-value items that are harder to find in local markets – shallots and leeks, fennel, veg garden2escarole and Brussels sprouts – as well as items we consume in quantity – cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, hot peppers and a wide assortment of culinary herbs.

I’m leaving the prosaic vegetables – the zucchini and green beans, the carrots and potatoes – to the production professionals. In a similar way, I’ve retired from the teaching, managerial and editorial jobs that others can do as well as or even better than I can. No one else can tell the stories I imagine, so I’m concentrating on them.

Lesson 3: Limits are Helpful.

GardenPrep050513I started by limiting the scope of my garden. I’ve fenced off an eight- by sixteen-foot rectangle to keep the free-range chickens out, and to keep my intentions focused – and manageable. Our previous gardens were huge, time-sucking affairs, and sometimes we raised an equal quantity of weeds as tomatoes. Similarly, over the past year, I’ve drafted thousands of words about my character’s life. But recently, I’ve come to realize that the story I’m telling takes place over the course of nineteen months. So that’s what I’ll develop; everything else must come out, just like the weeds.

Lesson 4: Writing Takes Time.

At the outset, a hundred and twenty-eight square feet looks just as big as a 100,000-word novel, and turning it over with a hand fork appears as daunting as filling a ream of paper by pen. My husband offered to do this heavy task for me; he sundialwould have had the garden-plot ready in less than an hour. I thanked him and said I would do it myself. It took me three hours, during which time I meditated on how preparing the garden is like writing a novel. I stopped only for water and to take pictures for this post, which I was composing as I dug.

Lesson 5: Small Tasks Yield Success.

gardenprep10A week earlier, I’d covered my plot with a tarp to warm the earth and kill weeds. The weeds continued to flourish, however, and the prospect of turning the soil by hand and pulling the weeds out by the root was too much. So I put the tarp back in place and

Working a small section at a time.

Working a small section at a time.

uncovered only a quarter of the space. After I turned those thirty-two square feet, I peeled the tarp back again, turning and weeding the next section. Now, the job was half done. I folded the tarp back again and again, always giving myself a small, measurable task that I could reasonably accomplish. Writing a book is just the same: I break each chapter into sections, and each section into paragraphs, each paragraph into sentences, each sentence into words. Each time I stuck the fork into the soil, it was a reminder that books are written one word at a time.
Lesson 6: The End is the Beginning

By the time I had raked the soil into beds and outlined the footpath with string, my neck was sunburned, my back was sore, and I was ready for a bath. I was done – for the day. I now had a well-defined garden plot with clearly outlined beds as weed-free as a clean piece of paper. Even though I was done-in, I’m anything but done. In fact, I’m just ready to start.

GardenPrep8Ellen, the novel I’m crafting, is further along than my garden. But the garden is a good reminder about how to maintain forward progress on this first draft. My afternoon preparing my garden yielded these six truths: 1) Even though I work alone, I’m deeply engaged with my characters; 2) every time I cut out a scene or a character or an unnecessary word, I gain a clearer sense of what aspect of the story to nurture; 3) knowing the limit of the narrative has helped me focus on the story I have to tell; 4) drafting the novel is taking a long time – and I make progress daily; 5) I experience the elation of success when I set myself small, measurable tasks; and 6) every time I finish a section, a chapter, an entire draft, I’m ready to begin another section, another chapter, another draft.  And even when that’s done – even when the writing and revision are finished – there’s another whole set of steps to see a book to completion, but those are chores of another season.

This growing season has just started. I tell myself, if I write word by word, weed by weed, my effort will blossom, and in time, I’ll see my book in my readers’ hands.

Meanwhile, I have a lovely garden bed ready for seeds.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer

Author Deborah Lee Luskin gardens and writes in southern Vermont and can be found on the web at