Friday, August 01, 2014

The Deer Family

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

In October of last year, I went to my acupuncturist about the issues I continue to have with my belly. I have had pain since June of last year, when I had a gallbladder attack, and then subsequently surgical removal of that organ. That surgery seems to have triggered a lot of problems in my abdominal area. One of the issues appears to be scar tissue or adhesions that have grown around other organs.

My acupuncturist suggested a castor oil pack on my stomach. Castor oil packs are very popular with follows of Edgar Cayce, a fellow who is considered by some to be the father of holistic medicine. The castor oil packs his followers advocate are made certain ways and reused.

Cold-pressed castor oil is relatively inexpensive and the castor oil packs as shown on this site seemed rather difficult. I tried it and found it too messy for my prissy little self, because it advocated reusing and dripping castor oil, etc., and generally being icky. Since I couldn't stomach that (ha), I put castor oil on some padding, placed it on my stomach, covered it all with an old plastic bag, put the heating pad on it for an hour or so, and then tossed it all out every time.

While I still have stomach pain so can't vouch for my method as a cure, I have discovered that castor oil has some interesting uses.

1. It softens the skin. In the area where I have used castor oil for any length of time, my skin is very soft.

2. It makes keratosis (old people's barnacles) and/or moles vanish or grow smaller. I discovered this by accident. I had a keratosis on my stomach in the area of my pain, and after using the castor oil for a while, I realized it was gone. So I put castor oil in a few other places where I had what I called moles or other skin irritations, and was amazed to see them clear up.

Those are the two benefits I have specifically derived from castor oil. However, this stuff is apparently good for many things. I do not vouch for any of them and urge you to use castor oil at your own risk if you so desire. Research it well. I would not advise ingesting it although the health food sites that sell it say it can be ingested internally. I am not that brave.

Anywhere, here are other things castor oil may or may not help:

3. Athlete's foot

4. Ringworm

5. Sunburn

6. Acne

7. Skin abrasions

8. Wrinkles

9. Styes

10. Constipation

11. Arthritis

12. Migraines

13. Yeast infections.

Always check with your doctor or health care specialist before using any new product. This is not an endorsement, just something to keep in mind if you're interested in alternative health care.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 355th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Losing the Blue Spruce?

I don't know if you can see it well in the picture, but our blue spruce, which we planted about 25 years ago, have acquired a disease or fungus.

The trees are about 30 feet tall and have been beautiful additions to our yard. I have enjoyed them tremendously.

We noticed they were looking puny in late winter and at first thought it was the bitter cold, but after searching the internet we determined it was probably a fungus. We bought some stuff to spray on the trees and that seemed to help, but they are looking very scraggily. I'm afraid I'm going to lose these trees. We have four of them. Two look very bad; a third appears to be infected but not as badly as the other two, and one so far, fingers crossed, seems to be okay.

I love these trees and hate to think about cutting them down, but if they die we will of course have to. And then we will want to plant something else back. I like the evergreens because they give constant shade, but I would be afraid the fungus would still be there. So I don't know. We will have to wait and see.

As with the oak tree root fungus in the previous post, this appears to be caused by last year's overly wet weather. One of the insidious results of climate change, I fear, will be the changes in the forests. Whether we take note or not, Mother Nature certainly will.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oak Tree Root Fungus

The weather patterns we've been experiencing in the last decade are causing problems for our trees. I've mostly lost my boxwoods, and the other day I went out and found this fungus at the root of one of our oaks.

This is, I think, Armillaria root fungus of some kind(*edited to add: a friend thinks it might be this kind of fungus:*); there are apparently lots of varieties. The fungus is a symptom of a stressed tree. It develops under warm, moist conditions. Last year we had too much rain and now we're having too little. Obviously the trees are stressed.

There doesn't seem to be a cure for this fungus that I can find. It was huge - that's my husband's size 13 foot beside it in the first picture. He took a hoe and with his one good hand he hacked away the fungus, but I don't know if that will help anything.

It says it can take years for the fungus to kill a tree, but sometimes it happens quickly.

We are having issues with our blue spruces, too. I will write about that on Wednesday.

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Fox Photos