Thursday, July 9, 2009

Exiciting News!

We are going to be grandparents! Our daughter Kristin and husband Tim have officially made the announcement to everyone they know so I can share it with you now. Mid-January is the due date. Seems like she was just a baby herself.
Kristin with her bunny

I realize it has been a month since I have posted. During that time we have been busy with family time. We had our yearly trip to Minnesota, too. I have been very reflective lately about the last year of our lives. It was the one year anniversary of the accident on July 2nd. I didn't think it would hit me that hard, but it has, unfortunately. I thought I would be better (brain injury-wise) than I am. I am also still having issues with driving. Not so much when I am driving. It is when I am a passenger. Break lights ahead of us throw me into a panic. Poor Steve :-). He has to put up with my gasps when I get freaked out. I'm just not the same person as I was a year ago.

The farm is still surviving even though it has been a little neglected up until this past weekend. We stopped there on the way up to MN but it had rained so we couldn't mow. We also stopped on the way back right after it had finished raining. Both times I harvested radishes, lettuce, cilantro and garlic scapes which tasted so good, but had little time for weeding. If you can imagine, a garden without weeding
looks like this!

So we got down to business on the long 4th of July weekend and found the plants again. It is amazing how well everything grew without any care from us. We couldn't even see the rows of strawberries, but there they were, growing like crazy & putting out runners. I picked some blueberries & raspberries too. I cut off the rest of the garlic scapes & will be making garlic scape pesto this week.

(Makes about 1 cup)
10 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds & half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop & blend all the ingredients & then add the remainder of the oil & if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop. If you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.
If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.

It took all day Friday and Saturday with Steve & I weeding and I continued on Sunday while he worked on the Triumph TR6 which needed a water pump.

We now have what we jokingly call "The Garden of Neglect". All the plants are weeded right around them but the isles are still weedy, but cut with a scythe. So it doesn't look like the "perfect" garden but it'll do.

The mowing is not going to happen. We don't want to ruin our lawn tractor. We'll get the weed eater out this weekend & trim around the barn, but the rest of it is fine until next year. The plus side of it is that the red clover is growing where we usually mow & I harvested the flowers for tea and tincture. Red Clover tea is medicinal. It is a sweet herb & is considered a blood purifier. It may be used to treat acne, bladder infections, boils, bronchitis, cancer, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous conditions, psoriasis, skin ailments and tumors. It is an excellent blood cleanser. Here is an article about it...

"Red clover benefits on health include improving blood circulation and cleansing the liver. Red clover contains, among other things, isoflavones, which are plant based chemicals that simulate the effects of estrogen in the body. This fact has been shown in numerous studies.
Isoflavones are known to be effective in the treatment of menopausal conditions such as hot flashes, osteoporosis and cardiac health. Thus, red clover benefits menopausal symptoms.

As mentioned above, red clover’s isoflavone compounds mimic the effects of the female hormone, estrogen. Four different isoflavones have been identified in red clover, namely - genistein, daidzein, biochanin, and formononetin. This is why red clover wins hands down when compared with the similar attributes of soy, since it contains more isoflavones than soy.
Other Constituents and Nutrients of Red Clover
Besides isoflavones, the other key components of red clover are phenolic glycosides (including salicylic acid), flavonoids, salicylates, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides, mineral acids, volatile oil (including methyl salicylate and benzyl alcohol), sitosterols, starch as well as fatty acids.
Due to its roots running deep into the inner recesses of the earth, red clover is found to be rich in minerals and this fact is obvious from its constituents of caffeic and acids, beta-sitosterol
, coumarin, eugenol, flavonoids, salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, molybdenum, beta-carotene and vitamins B, C, and E.
Being power packed with all these nutrients increases red clover benefits on health and makes it perennially in keen demand as a medicinal herb of immense curative powers.
Red Clover and Cancer
Red clover benefits cancer sufferers, too. The National Cancer Institute has validated the
fact that red clover, due to its anti-cancer properties, is effective in combating cancer.
Traditionally, red clover has been used as a cancer combatant. Modern studies on isoflavones have further shown initial evidence that they may prevent the growth of cancer cells in a lab environment. Hence, it has been postulated that red clover may prevent some forms of cancer, such as endometrial and prostate cancer.
A note of caution is, however, advised, as red clover mimics the effects of estrogens, and estrogens are sometimes a contributor to cancer.
Red clover benefits against cancer can be harnessed externally, too. It is frequently used externally in poultice form, as a local application for cancerous growths, and found to be
Please note that cancer is a serious and multi-factorial disease. It thus needs to be dealt with using a full-spectrum, holistic approach. Using one or two herbs is unlikely to reverse the situation.
Red Clover and Heart Health
It has also been found that red clover benefits heart health; it may be invaluable in the areas of promoting cardiovascular health and protects against heart disease in several ways.
The isoflavones, as we all know, that are a major constituent of this wonder herb and its medicinal properties, is associated with an increase in high density lipoproteins (HDL), w
hich is good cholesterol, in pre and post menopausal women.
It is believed that red clover promotes flexible and strong arteries, clinical term for the same being ‘arterial compliance’, which in turn helps prevent the onset of heart disease.
Also, since red clover is rich in coumarin, this herb is believed to possess blood thinning properties; thus, red clover benefits include improving blood circulation as well as preventing the formation of blood clots.
Red Clover and Menopause
The beneficial healing quality of red clover is also known to significantly lower the symptoms of menopause, including occurrence of hot flashes in menopausal women.

Menopause brings with it increased risks of reduced bone density in menopausal women, with its allayed risks of onset of osteoporosis. Studies on red clover have validated that isoflavones present in this herb slow down bone loss and also boost bone mineralization in menopausal women.
Other Health Benefits of Red Clover
Red clover is internally taken and found to be effective for serious ailments of the ovaries, breast, stomach, and lymphatic system.
Used as a gargle, red clover provides effective relief of oesophageal disease.
Red clover flower heads: The medicinal attributes of red clover flower heads contain coumarins, which are blood-thinning agents, or substances that reduce blood clotting.
Red clover oils: Have mild anti-inflammatory properties useful in treating skin inflammations like eczema. Also contains compounds that help soothe coughs and bring down
airway congestion; red clover has thus been used as a remedy for coughs.
Red clover herb: The health benefits of red clover have been validated by contemporary Chinese researchers, who have proven that the herb kills certain viral and fungal infections, has an estrogen-like function, and is an antispasmodic and expectorant.
External or Topical Uses of Red Clover
The benefits of red clover can also be reaped externally, where it can be applied topically, usually in combination with other herbs (e.g. burdock), to help treat skin wound
s and conditions, including bites, stings and growths.
Amongst its other uses, red clover is also used as an ointment to treat skin infections like eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.
Red clover compresses can also be used to treat the symptoms of arthritis and gout.
When gargled, red clover benefits mouth ulcers.
In addition, it can be used as eyewash to treat conjunctivitis.
In addition, red clover benefits and is externally used for various ailments like leprosy, ulcers and pellagra.
Due to the anti-cancer effects of the herb, red clover poultices are used on cancero
us growths which are visible on the surface of the body.
Other uses of Red Clover
The benefits of red clover extend beyond medicinal purposes and human health. Red clover
benefits extend to agriculture, too, where it is used to improve soil quality - it is in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in root nodules, thus enabling the plant to 'transfer' nitrogen from the air into the soil.
Or, to put it another way, the roots of red clover have special nodules that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria can ‘grab’ nitrogen from the air and make it available to the plant.
This makes the growing of red clover an effective measure to increase the fertility of soil and control soil erosion."

On the home front....I made blueberry jam the other night. Yum. Can't wait to have some of that on fresh bread. Tonight it's time to make more laundry detergent. I'll post the recipe for that later.

One last thing...sorry I haven't been reading everyone's posts lately. I really am behind on a lot of things. Hopefully, I'll catch up soon.
Fourth of July Sunset


Happy Days said...

Barb, good to hear from you. Have missed your posts, but remembered you said you both would be busy and were going on your trip. Still missed you. Enjoyed your post, esp. the info on Red Clover. Didn't know it did all that! Nice to know. Some lady T-boned me several years ago and I do the same thing when we are traveling or in the car together. I put my foot through the floor sometimes and gasp at rear tail lights. I think that it is instinctive now. I wasn't prepared the first time but am now!! Glad your back!...debbie

Happy Days said...

What an idiot I am!! I forgot to Congratulate you on becoming Grand-Parents!!! OOOOH, there is NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!
It's wonderful! I am so happy for you both!!...debbie

PatQ said...

Welcome to the Grandparents Club! It's the best club in the world. How exciting. I've missed your blog. Tom said he ran into Steve the other day. I'm off for another week, you want to do lunch?

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´ve been waiting for You to post here again:-)
It´s not easy not to react like You do after a serious accident. It´s not easy even if one doesn´t get injured either. I was almost hit by a lorry once, thet didn´t see my little car when he changed lane. I still get that pnicy feeling when driving beside a lorry and this happened over fifteen years ago.

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Oh! I forgot to congratulate You for becomming grandparents! Congratulations!

Sue said...

What wonderful news-congratulations on being a grandma soon!
And so good to have your posting back. Missed your many adventures.

Kritter Keeper said...

good to have you back! congrats on your january gift from God! thank you for sharing about the red clover. very interesting!

Red Dogs Farm said...

Regarding the lawn or pasture, stop by Nelson's Agri Center in town. They have walk behind brush cutters, and you can also rent a Zero Turn mower for about 75.00 for hours with delivery included. Should take care of any growth over the past few weeks.

Was in the same spot regarding lawn for awhile. Time to get up there to mow, the time needed to mow, and fighting weather and fuel prices. Check into one of the mowing services such as Hakkenson's - costs us currently $50 a week to have our placed mowed. Two guys on zero turn and they trim up. Makes a big difference when your not faced with hours of mowing and grass up to your knees - not to mention you get rid the burdocks.

Also are you taking the alternate detour around the blockage on 14? Not the state detour but running the county road just south of 14 between Cross Plains and just west of Black Earth? If not, take a glance at a map, alot shorter and nice drive, curves, but pretty area.

Red Dogs Farm said...

meant to say $75 for four hours on the zero turn, and if they drop it off in the afternoon, they usually dont pick up till morning.

also the bypass is Cty Rd KP

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks for the congrats on the baby. I can't wait to be a grandparent!
Red Dog Farm...thanks so much for the info on the mower. We'll have to look into that. Seems like we might have rain today when we get there but the rest of the weekend looks great.

angie said...

Glad to hear of your exciting grandparent news.

We have the same problem with our Wisc garden. I couldn't find it. But when I did, I found tomatoes and potatoes growing!

It is nice to have you back!