Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cough remedy in your kitchen cabinets

I got up early this morning to make this terrific concoction. Hubby is coughing and doesn't sound good. I've recommended this to everyone I know as cold and flu season is upon us. It even worked for ME - and usually if I am coughing or sniffling, I know I'm in for it.

photo from Nancy Vienneau's blog
So, I attach the link and say "Thank you BIGTIME" to Maggie, wherever she may be. And to Nancy and Pinterest!!  Who knew?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My blue skyes have been dimmed - Why I've been away

I was working very hard at being a consistent blogger. And then the ceiling caved in. October ended and here on the East Coast we got whacked - Hurricane Sandy and all of her fury tore our neighborhoods up, lifted up houses and threw them down in pieces, flooded our basements and floated many dreams away. We personally had small damages - a fence section down, a branch fallen, lots of leaves and branches to rake, only a few hours of power outtages. Our neighbors and family members didn't fare as well as we.

And then the boot fell for me, personally. I came home to find my beloved 12-year-old Siberian Husky, Skye, dying. From the time I walked into the house and realized what was happening to the last few seconds I gazed into his eyes at the Animal Hospital - it all went so quickly, it was truly a whirlwind - our own personal Sandy.

I haven't been the same for several weeks. The sadness of the hurricane wore at me, but my own depression from the loss of my pet has hurt me and made me vulnerable and emotionally frail. I do not deal with loss very well. Not many of us do. I tend to hold on to the things that I love so tightly that letting go is adverse to my nature. There have been many kind words, surprising support from my friends, family, and coworkers.

Skye was a beautiful animal and many knew him because he was such a part of my life. Each day does get better. I cry less, but I still cry. The reality is, I can't bring him back, no matter how much I wish I had the magic spell I could cast. If you have never had a pet, this is all jibberish to you. But if you are owned by your own pet or pets, you will commiserate. I'm sure many of you have beautiful stories to tell.

For now, I'm trying to find something to fill in the giant hole in my heart. I have another dog who is feeling the loss. We cuddle and we cry together and I take him for walks where he searches in familiar places for his lost friend - which makes me cry all over again.

So, this is why I haven't been blogging. Or exercising. Or watching my diet. But I will be back. I will be thankful on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for the 12 years I got to love this magnificent creation. And then I will be back and I will be stronger. And I will love again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How my Christmas cactus bloomed for Halloween

My so-called Christmas cactus has baffled me over the years. When I first bought it, it was at holiday time and it was in full bloom. Then, for several years, nothing happened. It didn't die, but it didn't bloom. I continued to fertilize it and to move it around the house to find the right window and sunlight for it.

One year, it bloomed at Easter! Naturally, someone told me I must have an Easter cactus... One year, it bloomed around Thanksgiving and I assumed it was just an early bloomer getting a jump on Christmas. A co-worker told me her relative keeps hers by a cool window sill and it loves the cold... Mine does not like the cold window at all.

About two years ago, I decided that the house plants would go outside on the deck for the summer. Suddenly, my plant jumped into bloom mode. At the end of September, the beautiful little pink buds decided to show themselves. For me this is what works best -- a full summer of heat and sun with some fertilizing thrown in along the way.

Here is this year's beauty - just in time for Halloween. (I pulled the plants inside just before Hurricane Sandy hit town.) Maybe she's a little confused, as I am, but she's still downright amazing!

Blooms at the beginning of November -- Merry Halloween?

Gardeners -- what's your take on this? What experiences have you had with the mysterious 'Christmas' cactus and what would you recommend?