Tuesday, August 13, 2013

EMPs, Preppers, and other stuff....

I’ve been reading, listening and thinking… a very dangerous combination for me, I know! However, I listened to One Second After by William Forstchen, Ph.D. (2009). This book has so intrigued me and frightened me of the real possibility of an Electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack on our country. Although this book is a work of fiction, it is based on very real facts and scenarios. Mr. Forstchen states that EMP “is a rather unusual and frightening by-product when a nuclear bomb is detonated above the earth’s atmosphere” (Forstchen, 2008). There is no fallout from this particular nuclear attack since it is detonated up in the air; however, it just kills all electrical and electronic equipment. No more post-1965 Cars, TV, computers, bank systems, electrical appliances, and the list goes on…. This type of attack would shut down life as we in this country know it and set us back to lifestyles of the 1700s. This has really sparked quite a bit of conversation in our household about getting back to basics. The preppers have received a lot of smirks and eye-rolling as the “voices of doom”; however, there is a lot to consider if and when our country is attacked with EMP.

 Access to medicines, food sources, heat, and cooking will be gone except for non-electrical and non-electronic means. This brings me back to getting back to the basics. I am terrible at goal setting as you well know; however, I realize the importance of setting some very definite goals to prepare for such a disaster. First, educating ourselves in holistic medicines, such as essential oils, herbal remedies and teas; growing our own food and learning to recognize the safety and uses of native plants are the basic beginning of being prepared. I have long had a subtle interest in herbal and home remedies but this very real threat to life as we know it, has me really beginning to study and explore the holistic methods of old. Information must also be printed out in hardcopy since all information stored online or other means of electronic storage will be totally inaccessible should an EMP occur. The preppers really are thinking ahead when we consider that even our water supply would be gone unless we lived close to a lake, stream, river or ocean. Storing water is another smart idea since it is so crucial to our survival. I know this sounds very negative but it is a critical concern for all of us. We need to prepare ourselves for natural and manmade disasters by being as educated and aware of current happenings even though they are not in our own city, county or even country. I promise this blog is not going to turn into a political sounding board or the voice of doom but I do want all of us to be aware and prepared of what is a very real threat. We have to be able to keep life stitched together no matter what happens in our world!

 So, now let’s turn to some interesting tidbits about oils and herbs, then I’ll share some stitching stuff! I want to share one herb and one essential oil every post. I set a goal back in January to blog regularly and I’m very fair behind that goal! (I’ve already admitted to being bad about goals, remember?)

 I know we have all picked dandelions and blown their seedheads to make a wish, but dandelions have very real medicinal benefits to our bodies. Dandelions (Taraxacum Officinale) is rich in potassium and a natural diuretic. It also helps in detoxification and reducing stiffness in joints. Dandelions are also known for inducing the flow of bile from the liver; making it effective in treating cirrhosis of the liver. It has also been known to reduce serum cholesterol and uric acid in the body. European herbalists use it to treat diabetes, liver disease, and anemia. Dandelions have 7,000 units of Vitamin A, much higher than a carrot. The Chinese use the dandelion seed as an antibiotic for lung infections and breast cancer (Ritchason, 1995, p.71-72).

 Throughout the United States and Canada the dandelion is considered to be a weed; however, it is quite the useful plant for culinary and medicinal purposes. The Dandelion can be used in salads, soups, wine and teas. It can even be used as a coffee substitute. The Health Extremist website has several uses listed for it. You can find a link to the website in the references below. Be sure to explore and research all the wonderful recipes and ways to utilize this very common herb. Be sure not to use dandelions that have been treated with herbicides (Lownsberry, 2009). Dandelion is not just a weed anymore.

 Next up… Essential oil! The oil I would like to discuss today is Lavender! It is not just for your grandmother either!                                      
 Lavender is so versatile! It is best known for the relaxing effect on the body; however, it can be used to clean cuts, bruises, and even skin irritations. Lavender is a calming agent. Just inhaling the scent will calm your mind, but rubbing it on your feet, temples, or wrists will provide an immediate calming effect on your body. Use it this way next time you are going into the board room, flying, or need to get some sleep. Lavender is also effective for rowdy kids who need a nap! Smooth some lavender oil on their pillows and watch them slip into restful sleep. Lavender is also effective in stopping the itch and swelling of a bee-sting or insect bite. It is also great to reduce the pain due to a minor burn.  Mixing Lavender with coconut oil makes a great massage oil that is great for that neck and scapula! Lavender is also great to use in cooking! Try adding it into lemon chicken or your honey marinade next time you grill! (DoTerra Essential Oils)

 Now for some stitching! I’ve gotten a bit excited with my organization project of our little house because I finally have some storage space dedicated to my stitching supplies and tools! Yes, most of them have been unpacked.  I'll post more on my sewing room organization later!  In the meantime, I have three things on my knitting needles and crochet hook! One is a baby jacket, that I finished the yoke on last night. The pattern for this is on Raverly.com and is a freebie! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/five-hour-baby-sweater

 The second is an entrelac scarf. I bought Entrelac by Rosemary Drysdale several years ago and had attempted it until the puppies made hay (I do mean literally!) of the pink and white project. I hadn’t thought about it much until someone shared a project on Knitting group on FB @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/23541384636/. So now there is a group of us from the FB group having a KAL (knit along) using this pattern and video:
Free Entrelac Scarf Pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/entrelac-scarf
 Free Entrelac Video Tutorial: http://verypink.com/2011/12/22/learn-to-knit-entrelac/

The third OTN (on the needles) project I have going is this cute little crochet baby owl. I’d show you pics of the work in progress but I just have completed his head and one ear; neither are stuffed yet! So for now ….
Designed by Little Muggles 

Lastly, I have finished Maddy's poncho and sent it off to her!  It was a free pattern but I did adjust it down to fit Maddy.  Click here link for the pattern.   

 Just a quick update on my home organization. It still isn’t! There has been some progress made but it is far from perfect! The Master’s will be finished this week so hopefully, I will be back on my goals: (1) house that is decorated, comfortable and organized; (2) Weekly menus; (3) regular blogging; (4) Writing; and (5) Being more creative! 

 Till next time!

 Hugs & Smiles, 

 Leigh Anne Haygood 


Doterra Essential Oils (n.d.). 101 Tried and Tested Uses. Retrieved from http://mydoterra.com/leighannehaygood

Forstchen, W. (2008). “EMP 101” a basic primer & suggestions for preparedness. One second after: What is an EMP? Retrieved from http://www.onesecondafter.com/pb/wp_d10e87d9/wp_d10e87d9.html 

Health Extremist. (2013). What to do with Dandelions. Retrieved from http://www.healthextremist.com/what-to-do-with-dandelions/ 

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens (n.d.) Taraxacum officinale (dandelion). Retrieved from http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Taraxacum-officinale.htm 

Lownsberry, M. (2009). Yahoo Voices. Great Ways to Use Dandelion's as a Food Source: The Incredible Dandelion. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/great-ways-dandelions-as-food-source-3497839.html?cat=32

Ritchason, J.(1995).  The little herb encyclopedia.  Pleasant Grove, Utah:  Woodland Health Books.

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