Herbal Oil for Salads and Sautes

Enjoy this spicy oil for Mexican salad and rice dishes, or add it to a fresh garden salad.

1    cup oil

3    (2-inch) sprigs each of oregano and basil or rosemary and thyme

1    tablespoon each fresh oregano and basil or rosemary and thyme

1    (1/4-inch piece ginger

1    chili

1/2     teaspoon seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle

Gently heat oil 3 – 5 minutes. Pour into a glass jar with six 2-inch sprigs of herbs for each cup of oil. or one of the following fresh herbs, ginger, chili, or seeds. Cool, cover, and refrigerate up to six months.

*Note:  Only add garlic to oils to be used within three days,. Garlic forms a botulism in oil that can cause severe  diarrhea.

Herb Vinegars and Oils

Combine your favorite herbs and spices in a delicious herb vinegar or oil to flavor salads, vegetables, pastas, and marinades. Add six two-inch sprigs or one tablespoon of fresh leaves to every cup of heated vinegar or oil. Cool, cover, and store in a glass bottle in a cool, dark place up to one year. Reuse the vinegar bottles to store herb vinegar. When adding garlic, chilies, or chives, use one for every cup of vinegar.

Candle Annointing

Candle Annointing

 
Annoint your candle with the oil that you have chosen. This is done by placing a little of the oil on your fingertips. Grasp the candle at its midpoint with your left index finger and thumb, and use your right index finger and thumb to stroke oil on the candle from the midpoint up to the top of the candle. Next, grasp the candle at its midpoint with your right index finger and thumb, and use your left index finger and thumb to stroke oil on the candle from the midpoint down to the bottom of the candle. Continue in this fashion until the entire candle has been annointed.

All-purpose Candle Annointing Oil
1 cup rose petals
1 cup violets
1 cup water
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon clove oil
2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
1 tablespoon powdered myrrh
1/4 cup wild fennel seeds

Passion Oil

Passion Oil

Try you hand at this oil for attracting a sexual partner and engaging in an erotic and sensual time!

Take an 1/8 cup of a base oil (almond or olive works great) and blend with it equal parts of: patchouli, jasmine, cardamon, vanilla, ginger and ylang ylang (use at least 3 drops of each) into a small ceramic or glass bowl.

When you add each essential oil to the mix, blend it by moving the bowl and swirling the oil in a clockwise and/or counterclockwise motion.

Apply the oil externally to your genitals, chest, neck and wrists. Store what you do not use in an airtight container and place out of the reach of sunlight (not in the bathroom).

Green Outdoor Weekend Activities

Green Outdoor Weekend Activities

posted by Greennii
 

Spring has finally arrived here in Northern California and all this sunshine begs for fun things to do outside, which often also happen to be green. I tend to go outside at even the slightest hint of sunshine (then again, I’ve also been known to walk the dog in the rain just for fun), and do whatever it was I was doing inside, out under the sky. For instance, I’m sitting at an old-fashioned school desk, replete with wooden cross-bars under my seat for holding my books, and peeling green paint; outside; half under the Wysteria-covered arbor and half in the sun (the computer screen is oh-so-much easier to see in the shade); occasionally throwing the ball for my dog, who earlier got a little bath during the watering of the lettuce.

As I sit here considering the glistening, black-bottomed pool, I’m also considering the possibilities for the weekend:

1. Plant some organic lettuce. It’s so fun to open up your front door (or back door, or kitchen window) and snip off a few pieces of lettuce for your sandwich, a garnish or your dinner salad. I love lettuce and would have thought it beyond me to grow such a delicate, frilly, easily wilty plant, until my husband forced me to do so by planting a half-dozen little teeny baby lettuce plants and then promptly leaving them in my daily care. Turns out, lettuce is easy! Oh joy! So hop on down to whatever nursery is nearby and pick up a couple of six packs of the lettuce varieties which suit you. Then, rummage around in your backyard, ask your neighbor, scour the garage sales and thrift stores, and find yourself some shallow, wide pots (you could also plant each lettuce in its own pot, which would be very cute, but perhaps space-consuming). Stop by your local ACE and pick up some organic potting soil (or grab some where you get your lettuce). You’re ready to plant! Lettuce wants its little neck sticking out a bit, so don’t plant all the way up to the leaves. Keep the soil moist. Cut leaves from the bottom as soon as the plant starts growing.

2. Visit the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, held the first Sunday of every month, which just so happens to be next Sunday, April 3. Take a list with you of things you were otherwise going to buy brand new and see what you can find. I have not yet been, but I have it from a reliable source (read: friend who loves antiques and has discerning taste) that this is the best show in the Bay Area.

3. Go to any of the local farmer’s markets held all around the Bay Area. Most have food (the kind someone makes for you, not the kind you buy and take home as ingredients) vendors, so you can take your appetite and eat there. Take your refillable coffee mug along and get your morning dose from one of the local coffee shops along the street. Use these guides to find the market closest to you:

4. Unplug your life (and that of your family or a group of friends) and go outside with a picnic made from the organic stuff you bought at the farmer’s market (or at least from a small, local market). If you drive in a group, you’re lowering your carbon footprint, as well as not using all those electronic devices you’d be using if you stayed at home. Check out any of the local beaches, state parks or local parks and enjoy nature. The California State Parks system is vast, and their website has great ideas and guides for getting outdoors:

I’m likely to do at least two of the above, unless I decide to help my husband and our friend finish changing a Land Cruiser from right-hand-drive to left. I’m guessing the beach will win out over that. At least for me and the dog.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Chicken Soup for the Soul – The Long Road Home

Chicken Soup for the Soul

The Long Road Home

As I arrive home from college for the first time, I realize many things have changed—in my family and in myself.

BY: Lia Gay

I find myself packing again.  Well, let’s be completely honest, this isn’t really packing it’s shoving three weeks’ worth of dirty clothes into a suitcase and having my roommate sit on it so I can get it to close.

This time is different; this isn’t the same nostalgic trip down memory lane as when I packed before college.  This is the “night before my first trip home frantic pack.”  So you get the idea—my plane leaves in two hours, and no, college didn’t teach me to procrastinate.  I was experienced in that art long before I stepped onto my college campus.

So now that I’m packed, I have a minute to examine my emotions about my first trip home.  I’m excited.  My best friend, Matt, picks me up, groggy, for our 4:00 a.m. drive.  My expectations are that I am going home to what I left: my parents, home-cooked meals, friends with whom I shared distinctive bonds and my long-distance boyfriend, whom I have been dying to see.  I am happy at college, but a trip home, to my family and friends, sounds like just the thing I need to prepare me for the pre-finals crunch.

I think I will catch up on the missed hours of sleep on the plane.  Instead, I look around and realize that most of the exhausted passengers are students just like me.  Below us, in the cargo bin, sits a year’s worth of dirty laundry at least.
I miss my connecting flight, so I am later than expected.  I step off the plane to find my mom frantic, thinking I had been “abducted” on the trip home.  I look at her puzzled.  I guess in a mother’s eyes there is no logical explanation for being late, such as the obvious flight trouble.  I assure her that I am fine and that I don’t need to fly as an “unaccompanied minor” on the way back.
A few hours later, I’m back at the airport, waiting for my boyfriend’s arrival home.  He steps off the plane with the same groggy but excited look I wore hours before.  We drive over to see my dad, who seems calmer than my mother had been.  I ask to see my room, expecting to find my shrine, my old pompoms, prom pictures, candid photos of friends and dolls scattered about.  To my surprise, everything is gone; there’s not even a trace I had ever lived in the room.  I’m starting to wonder if I really had been abducted on the way home.  It’s as if the second I became a “college” student, I had ceased to exist.

I start to wonder what else had changed since I’d been gone.  My parents are in an awkward transition, wondering how to treat me now.  They wrestle with whether to treat me—still their daughter—as one of them, an adult, or as the child they feel they sent away months earlier.

I run into two of my best friends from high school; we stare blankly at each other.  We ask the simple questions and give simple, abrupt answers.  It’s as if we have nothing to say to each other.  I wonder how things have changed so much in such a small amount of time.  We used to laugh and promise that no matter how far away we were, our love for each other would never change.  Their interests don’t interest me anymore, and I find myself unable to relate my life to theirs.

I had been so excited to come home, but now I just look at it all and wonder: Is it me?

Why hadn’t the world stood still here while I was gone?  My room isn’t the same, my friends and I don’t share the same bond, and my parents don’t know how to treat me—or who I am, for that matter.

I get back to school feeling half-fulfilled, but not disappointed.  I sit up in my bed in my dorm room, surrounded by my pictures, dolls and mementos.  As I wonder what has happened, I realize that I can’t expect the world to stand still and move forward at the same time.  I can’t change and expect that things at home will stay the same.  I have to find comfort in what has changed and what is new; keep the memories, but live in the present.
A few weeks later, I’m packing again, this time for winter break.  My mom meets me at the curb.  I have come home accepting the changes, not only in my surroundings, but most of all in me.

ALL PURPOSE CANDLE ANOINTING OIL

ALL PURPOSE CANDLE ANOINTING OIL

–1 cup rose petals 1 cup violets 1 cup water 1 cup olive oil 1 tbsp clove oil
–2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon 1 tablespoon powdered myrrh 1/4 cup wild fennel seeds
Gather rose petals and violets at sunrise. Place them in a clean ceramic crock.
Cover with water (fresh rain water, preferably) and let crock sit in a sunny location for
three days until an oily film (the essential oil of the flowers) is seen floating on top of the water.
Remove oil from water by carefully absorbing it into a small cotton ball.
Squeeze out oil into a clean, long-necked glass bottle. Add olive and clove oils, and swirl
gently in a clockwise direction to slowly agitate oils. Next, add cinnamon, myrrh, and fennel seeds.
Seal bottle tightly and store it in a dark, cool place.
After four weeks, strain through cheesecloth and use to anoint candles.