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Weekly Photo Challenge- Create

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Bellagio Botanical Gardens, Las Vegas, NV

This picture, found at the Botanical Gardens this month in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, is made of real plants and flowers. When I stumbled upon it, I found it amazing.  Imagine the time, thought, and energy it took to create something so unique and beautiful.

The Garden was a creative playground of flowers and plants.  Lady bugs, bees, and butterflies were abundant here as in any good garden.

Bellagio Botanical Gardens, Las Vegas, NV

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

10 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

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Tea Tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infection oil. It comes from the Narrow leaved tea tree that is native to Australia. It can be used in a variety of applications to heal and cure many ailments.  Many pharmacies carry Tea Tree oil; ask your pharmacist. Below are the ten most popular uses of Tea Tree Oil.

1.   Athlete’s Foot:  The oil can be applied directly to the feet or put in a small spray bottle with water.  A few drops diluted with water can be spray on clean dry feet daily.

2.  Cold Sores: Reduce the healing time of cold sores by applying Tea Tree Oil. 

3.  Toe Nail Fungus: Apply Tea Tree Oil directly to the infected toes.  This can also be done by adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to a small spray bottle filled with water.  Be persistent!  Toe Nail Fungus is stubborn and will require daily treatment to remove.

4.  Insect Bites:  Apply a drop on the bite to make the itch go away.

5.  Warts: Apply a drop or two directly to the wart daily until the wart disappears.

6.  Disinfectant: Add 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a clean pint spray bottle, and then fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Shake and spray counters, toilets, etc.

7.  Laundry: Add a teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil to a smelly load of laundry and odors are gone!

8.  Acne: Dab a drop of Tea Tree Oil on a pimple to dry it up quickly. Many brands of face wash include Tea Tree Oil as a main ingredient, too.

9.  Ticks: Apply a drop or two directly on the tick site. Use tweezers to remove the tick.

10.  Bad Breath, Inflamed Gums, and Plaque: Add 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a cup of water. Use the solution as a mouthwash two to three times daily.  Always spit out the Tea Tree Oil mouthwash. Do not swallow it!  You may also add 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil to toothpaste when brushing.

 

More Great Places to Get Information:

An A-Z List of Tea Tree Oil Uses. (2012). Retrieved from Squidoo, LLC : http://www.squidoo.com/uses-for-tea-tree-oil

Home Remedies Web. (2006-2012). Retrieved from Home Remedies Web: http://www.homeremediesweb.com/tea_tree_oil_health_benefits.php

Tea Tree Oil and Its Uses. (1998-2012). Retrieved from The Herbs Place: http://www.theherbsplace.com/Tea_Tree_Oil_Uses_sp_153.html

“Bug Off: Making Homemade Insect Repellent is Really, Really Easy http://scottandjoanbailey.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/bug-off-making-homemade-insect-repellent-is-really-really-easy/

“20 Great Uses for Tea Tree Oil  – http://hazellcottrell.com/2012/05/31/20-great-uses-for-tea-tree-oil/

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Don’t Play With Fire, Play with Yucca Plants

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I love plants and flowers, and even consider myself a very amateur gardener.  But, there is one plant that voraciously grows in my garden that I want to destroy!  Yucca plants!  These gnarly examples of vegetation are the hardiest, toughest plants I have ever encountered.  Weeds are easier to be rid of than Yucca plants. I realize that the Yucca flower is the state flower of New Mexico, and that it has cool names such as Spoonleaf yucca. Filament yucca, and Adam’s Needle yucca.  However, I personally think it is just plain Yuk…A .

Yucca plants are prevalent in the hot dry areas of the Western United States.  They are often planted as ornamental plants and use widely in landscaping. (This must be why my stepfather planted them in the garden.)  Supposedly, they are easy to keep and their flowers are unique.  I think they are ugly, but that is just me.  Moreover, the roots of the Soap tree Yucca were loved and used by Native Americans as shampoo in rituals. So these plants do have a purpose, however, they serve no purpose in my yard other to annoy me to no end.

I have cut them, pulled them, beat them, sprayed them but nothing seems to make them go away.  I have been told that you must get the entire root system out of the ground or they will come back.  So, I have spent countless hours digging below the surface of my garden to accomplish this goal.  Nevertheless, the next year they are back.  And, it is not just one; there are baby yuccas all over my garden. These things are mutants!

I should probably dig them up and sell them on the open market.  I hear people actually go to the garden center and ask for these yucky plants!  Maybe I am missing out on a real money-making operation.  Be it as it may, I have no interest in keeping Yucca plants in my life. Therefore, out they must go once again.  I am sure they will be back next year, and I will be ranting about yucky yucca plants for the remainder of my life.  They truly are the bane of my existence!

**Here are some places to check out if you wish to remove your Yucca Plants. Some of these sites are not for the faint hearted. Killing the Yucca plant is apparently serious business. Good Luck!!

Gardening Know How- http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/xeriscape/removing-yucca.htm

Do it yourself- http://www.doityourself.com/stry/removing-a-yucca-plant-from-your-yard

American Family~How to KILL a Yucca plant- http://american-family.org/2007/08/02/how-to-kill-a-yucca-plant/

Ehow- http://www.ehow.com/how_4517250_remove-yucca.html

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Litter Bugs are in Season

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Litter Bugs are those annoying people who carelessly drop small refuse or waste materials in the public way. Their litter makes parks, beaches, roadways, and sidewalks dirty and expensive to clean up.  . Litter Bugs can create dangerous situations for animals and people, too.

According to Keep America Beautiful, litter clean-up costs Americans almost 11.5 billion a year.  Municipalities, businesses, schools, and the taxpayers foot the bills for littering. In addition, it is not just garbage on the street that causes clean up to be so expensive. It is the effects of the litter on storm drains that become clogged and cause flooding, the toxic contamination in the water supply, and dangerous materials on roadways.

Animals are at risk from human littering as well.  Plastic bags that come from the grocery store have found their way into some very unusual places.  As quoted from The Greenhouse Neutral FoundationThere is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each square mile of ocean. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.”  “Animals can swallow or get entangled in many of the litter items people leave in the environment.” Says Melissa Kilgore at the Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They can also ingest toxic substances like motor oil and pesticides, which are often dumped into storm drains and end up in our waterways.”

So what do we do to rid ourselves of Litter Bugs?

  • Do not become one yourself! Throw your trash in a garbage can.

  • Keep a trash bag in your car to hold all those McDonald’s wrappers and cups. You can always empty the bag at a gas station.

  • Limit your use of plastic bags from the grocery store, department stores, and home improvement stores.  Invest in reusable bags.

  • Dispose of chemicals, paint, and motor oil safely. Call your local refuse company or town hall and find out where to dispose of these products.

  • Be a good model! Show others how to dispose of their trash. Teach young people to keep their environment clean.

  • Volunteer to pick up litter in your neighborhood. Every little bit helps to keep our neighborhoods safe and neat.

 

Works Cited

Grist, A. s. (Director). (2007). The Crying Indian Commercial [Motion Picture].

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. . (2006). Retrieved from Keep America Beautiful, Inc. : http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=focus_litter_prevention

Kilgore, M. (1999). Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Retrieved from Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: http://www.chintiminiwildlife.org/Education/LivingWithWild/Litter.htm

Stop Plastic Bags. (2012). Retrieved from The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation: http://greenhouseneutralfoundation.org/articles/2009/12/15/stoplasticbags-a-global-petition-to-ban-the-bag-3/

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

25 Activities to Keep the Summertime Blues Away

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It is summer vacation, and the kids are home from school. Once the initial excitement wears off, what will you do to keep those Summertime Blues away?  Here are some ideas to keep the kids active and have some fun while you are doing it.

1. Plan a visit to your local museum.  It is air-conditioned and interesting.  Call ahead or check the museum’s website to see if there is a discounted day or “free” day to visit. This will help to keep costs low.

 2. Pack up a cooler with some sandwiches and drinks; grab an old sheet, blanket or beach towel; and head for your nearest park for a picnic.  The kids love eating outdoors, and they can also play at the park.

 3. Visit a local Zoo.  Many Zoos allow coolers and have outdoor picnic areas, so bring your own lunch and enjoy the animals.

 4. Take a walk in a nature center or a forest preserve near your house. 

 5. Plan a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt complete with a map and prizes.

 6. Have an old-fashioned water-balloon fight.

 7. Collect some rocks on your nature hike, picnic, or walk around town.  The rocks should be no larger than your palm.  Clean them up and spend an afternoon painting them.  Homemade “Pet Rocks”!

 8. Rainy Days are no problem.  Plan to have a “Rainy Day” Movie Festival.  Set up the Family Room or Living Room with chairs, make some popcorn, and watch your favorite movie together. The Library is a great resource for DVD’s and Video Cassettes.

 9. Backyard Camping can be a blast.  Set-up the tent in the back yard, and if you have a portable fire pit, cook up some Smores and tell stories around the campfire. 

 10. Service projects can be fun and can help teach kids to think beyond themselves.  Try picking up garbage on your street.  Plant some marigolds or other annuals in small clay pots and give them to the neighbors.

 11.  Have a game day.  It can be outdoor games like “hide and go seek” or indoor board games.

 12. Make hand puppets and put on a show.

 13.  Play in the sprinkler, go swimming or to the beach.

 14.   Set-up a time to visit with the local Fire Department or Police Department for a tour of the facilities.

 15.   Visit a Botanical Garden.  Check and see if there is an ongoing exhibit.

 16.  Spend the day at the local Library. They often have summer programs for children.

 17.  Make chocolate chip cookies together.

 18.  Take the kids fishing.

 19.  Have the kids help you wash the car. Get buckets, sponges, towels and clean away while having fun.

 20.  Go for a bike ride.

 21.   Volunteer to help at an animal shelter for the day.

 22.  Teach the kids how to play Croquet, badminton, or tennis.

 23.  Create a time capsule. Use a container with a lid. Place items in the container that represent summer. Maybe add a few pictures or post cards from your adventures. Close it all up and put it away to open next year.

 24.  Tie-dye items like T-shirts. Allow children to choose their own colors.

 25.  Use some sidewalk chalk and create a hopscotch board.  Have everyone play.

Useful Links:

Chicago Museums Free Days- www.chicagokids.com/free.html

Places for Kids New York- http://www.ny.com/kids/

How to play hopscotch- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch

How to make a time capsule-YouTube Video–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5eL81RXxXE

USA Zoo List by state- http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/zoos/

Volunteering Ideas for kids- http://parenting.kaboose.com/raising-children-who-care.html

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

Nature at Its Best

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A beautiful video of nature’s pollinators in all their glory. A must see!  The work that must have gone into this video is astounding. I could not help but share.

House Plants = Healthy Indoor Air

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Keeping our air clean and free from chemicals is a concern for us all, especially the air we breathe indoors. 

Today, buildings are better insulated and hold more toxic chemicals than at any time in history.  Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and petroleum-based materials reside in our homes creating a potentially harmful environment. Plants can help to eliminate some of these toxins and add ambiance to our residence.

According to research done by NASA, living green and flowering plants, clean pollutants in the air. We close up our houses in the winter due to the cold weather and breathe reconstituted air-filled with contaminants. These contaminants come from the furniture we sit on, the cabinets we open, and the carpeting we walk on. “Harmful indoor pollutants represent a serious health problem that is responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths each year”, according to a 2002 World Health Organization report. These impurities in our air has attributed to a rise in chronic and reoccurring sinus infections, chronic post-nasal drainage, asthma, bronchial infections, ear infections, and other illness cause by synthetic contaminants. Unfortunately, summertime does not alleviate the problem, due to climate controlled homes and office buildings where air conditioning is taking the place of heating systems when the weather turns hot.

The good news is that we can reduce the effects of the most common toxins by adding houseplants to our homes.  Plants produce oxygen, add moisture, and filter out toxins in the air neutralizing indoor pollution. By placing, a few houseplants around our homes and using specific types of houseplants our environment can be beautiful and healthy.

Below is a list of beneficial houseplants and the toxins they are best at filtering.

Plant Names

Toxin it Removes

Asparagus fern Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Aloe Vera: Eliminates emissions from most toxins 
Chrysanthemum: Reduces toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia 
Dieffenbachia: Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene
English Ivy: Eliminates petroleum-based products 
Gerber Daisy Adds oxygen to the air 
Peace Lily Removes chemicals from smoking 
Purple Waffle Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Schefflera Benzene, Formaldehyde, Toluene 
Spider Plants:                                Exceptional for reducing formaldehyde 
Variegated Wax Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride
   

 

©Jamie Nowinski 5/10/2012

Garden Gate Nursery. (2011). Retrieved from The Garden Gate Nursery and Floral: http://www.gardengatenursery.com/gardentips/gardendesign/58-healthbenefitsofhouseplants.html

Science, A. S. (2009, November 4). Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/11/091104140816.htm

Wolverton, B. C. (1997.). How To Grow Fresh Air. New York: Penguin Books.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

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A Dog's PurposeA Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book and its themes of courage, loyalty, and continuing life. The narrator of the story is Bailey the dog, who begins life as part of a litter of strays in the wild; and, Animal Control is out to find them. A loving woman who runs a rescue saves Bailey, however the County officials want the rescue shut down. Animal Control confiscates all of the rescue’s dogs and puts Bailey down. That does not keep this pup from being reincarnated into a new life with a new owner, Ethan. Bailey loves Ethan and grows up with him. Throughout the many lives of Bailey, she has memories of Ethan, and searches for him in each life. This story will make you laugh aloud, cry uncontrollably, and inspire you. If you have ever loved and lost an amazing dog, you will find comfort in this novel. I recommend this book to all dog lovers.

View all my reviews

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Gratitude

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Day Eleven:

Nature.  Do you like to go out into it?  What do you like to do?  Camping? Hiking? Walking in Nature?   What do you appreciate in nature?

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