Category Archives: Food and Cheer

Exploring food, recipes and over all fun we can find in our kitchens that help promote healthy bodies, mind and soul.

Garden and Landscape Ideas for Spring

awomntehuantepecPicBThe Spring season brings us birds and songs along with joy, for the garden enthusiasts. Rain arrives to wash away last bits of snow and greenery starts peeking out, from the grass and trees. We can’t forget the rising temperatures either and un-packing our spring and summer wear! What other plans do you have for your yard?

Gardening projects can provide us with sources of food and flowers add color for visual beauty, which many passer-bys can also enjoy. Ground is turned and prepared, for extra plant nutrients from compost or manure mixtures that spent winter just ‘prepping’. Healthy soil creates their own micro-ecosystems which enables robust growth, of plants and nutrients. Maybe we should consider ‘ Do not Disturb the Soil’ signs for them?

Spring is a beautiful respite after a long, cold winter. Next to our gardens we should consider adding some fun and whimsy, to the yard. Decorating with garden ornaments can be whimsical and fun next to providing a purpose. This can be accomplished with looking at yard decorations, ornaments and structures, such as:

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A few of these projects will vary in cost depending on which one you choose. Others, such as those in the decorations list, can be done with a few simple items found around your house. This can also be a recycling, upcycling or re-purpose opportunity. It’s important to pay attention to your materials since these are outdoor therefore pay attention to weather proofing.

A few tips when making your own yard decorations is to use waterproof silicone when glueing and outdoor waterproof sealants, such as marine grade products or other outdoor adhesive. This will help to increase the longevity of your decoration for a few years versus having to regularly buy or replace items every year. It will depend on the particular project, since some may not require weather proofing treatments at all. Also, ensure it’s not hazardous to health of humans or animals.

One other consideration with landscaping is backyard conservation. We are not alone on this planet since we do share it, with insects and animals. Participating in backyard conservation helps soil, water quality, wildlife habitat and natural resources. You may even earn an official ‘certification’ when qualification and results are met. A few resources to explore are as follows:

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Audubon
Wildlife Habitat Council
Nature Canada

A home is our castle, so why not inject a bit of our creative and playful side of our personality, into our yard? Your neighbors may observe your latest yard decoration or ornament and conversations may break out. A stranger may knock at your door or leave a letter, to ask about a particular feature. Creating landscape beauty at home, can help to inspire others, to begin or grow their own yard landscaping projects.

Active Learning

Extra Resources

Build a Timber Fence
Create an Eccentric Mosaic Garden Ornament
DIY Outdoor Decor-Outdoor Living

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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A Letter of Cheer for One

Hello my Dearest Friend,

The holidays are coming upon us quickly and the snow seems suddenly deeper to get through. I may need to pull out a pair of cross country ski’s or snowshoes soon.

I struggled with the shopping cart at the malls, in the parking lot with fresh snowfall. I believe that I even lost a glove somewhere along the way. Not too sure I want, or have the energy to go look for it!

I mailed a few cards out earlier this month, so glad that I have a few of the holiday tasks done. I believe that I have everything I need, for the Christmas dinner and the other night,I delivered a few more Christmas cards, to some friends.

I loved the walk and am sure you would’ve loved all the twinkling and colorful lights, on all the houses in the neighborhood. It was snowing and I could swear! the neighborhood looked totally magical.

A few days past, I was walking by a church and could hear the choir. They sounded so beautiful and a lot of people were stopping to listen, then nod and smile at each other, as we continued on our way. There was laughter another day, as somebody dressed as the Grinch was walking around saying, ‘bah, humbug!’ but handing out candy canes and dancing with Santa Claus. I wasn’t too sure what to make of that but definitely an unusual sight, don’t you think?

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A few youths of the Air Cadets were manning the Salvation Army Christmas kettles. I gave them some change since that’s all I had in my pockets, at the time. Isn’t that a wonderful community gesture for our youths?

I bought a load of canned goods for the local food bank and one store was offering purchase of gift cards for low income children and youths. I couldn’t resist so yes, spent money there too.

I spent all summer buying gifts and believe they’ll pile higher than the tree. I’m not worried about those. All monies can now go towards helping others next to filling the pantry for holiday dinners.

A few invitations for New Year’s parties have come in also. I can’t decide where to go other than maybe make my rounds to each one? I am hoping I’ll have a seriously grand sleep through the night. I don’t think Santa will even wake me.

I know you are far away and not home my friend but you are not forgotten. I tell many people, where I can and who are interested, to make donations to a military charity. I know holidays can be tough for those without family, except their brothers-in-arms.

Take heart though because there’s quite a few of us here at home hoping that our holiday donations make it out to You, and at least one, will have your name on it. It is a small gesture from us to you but most of all, our wish is to see you return home safely, for a job well done. It is our greatest hope.

I know you keep the oddest hours and must run, my friend. I hope I sent some ‘sense’ of home to you. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Please take care and stay safe. Thank you for all you do, God Bless.


Learning in Motion

Royals share Christmas with military

Further Learning Resources

Any Soldier

Support our Troops – Care Packages

Benefits of Dancing :The most complete List

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and make a request about a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe to my RSS feed.

AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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Dainty Mug of Tea

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The legend of the first cup of tea is said to date back to 2737 B.C.E. China and the emperor Shen Nung. Today, tea is enjoyed by many around the world. Do you have a favorite tea?

Most popular blends of tea available today can be bought in the half or one pound as loose tea or in tea bags. Tea keeps longer than coffee but should be stored in airtight containers and far from food so not to absorb their flavors. Can you imagine drinking tea with a hint of additional flavoring, like potatoes?

Tea has a History

Herbal teas and Tisanes originated when England taxed tea and colonial American women protested. They made tea with infusions of raspberry leaves, sage, seeds, herbs and flowers. Many of these remain popular today such as comfrey, peppermint, verben, sassafras, rose hips and chamomile.

Tea can be drank around the clock and your decision whether hot, cold, black, green, pick-me-up or lay-me-down. Some tea’s will have caffeine that is slow release and lower than our morning cup of coffee. As for me, I will drink coffee in the morning but end my day with a cup of black or herbal tea, especially in winters. A few suggestions for tea are as follows ;

Mornings

Gyokuro or Sencha, Japanese green tea
English or Irish Breakfast, brisk taste with a modest kick of caffeine to get the day started.
Ceylonese, iced, add lemon and lavender to combat dryness within.

Afternoons

Earl Grey, usually with splash of milk and provides slow and low release of caffeine.
Rembeng Assam black tea, a rich malt flavor and a coppery finish, organic.

Evenings

Silver Needle White Tea, subtle and sweet, low caffeine
Peppermint, need I say how it tastes?
– Rooibos Red tea, no caffeine

Tea and Iced Tea Cocktails

Blueberry Tea, add Amaretto liqueur
Green Tea, add Grand Marnier
Peppermint Iced tea, lemonade, peppermint tea, lemon liqueur, garnish with mint sprigs.
Lavender Iced tea, lavender flowers, black currant tea, lemon juice, Cassis liqueur, brandy.

Traditions of Tea New and Old

Tea can be enjoyed by our children also. Offer them iced, no caffeine tea’s, herbal or fruit tea rather than soda beverages especially when they’re bored with water. Tea in England can be quite the posh and swanky event with their ‘low’ tea tradition, to ward off hunger, usually held after lunch and before dinner and far more elegant than vending machine offerings. ‘High’ tea refers to the working and poor class having tea around dinner.

Learning in Motion

Learning Resources

Top 50 List of Herbal Teas & their benefits, uses

How To Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Garden

Medicinal Uses for Herbal Teas: Evidence PDF

Herbal Tea – Bulk Herb Store

Tea Gifts | Uncommon Goods

Host your own Tea Party

Today as in the past, hosting or attending a tea party can be entertaining with the use of elegant tea accessories and done for graduations, bridal shower, baby shower, retirement party or gathering of close friends. A opportunity to decorate with linens, silverware, fine china, sweet delicacies or a casual affair with a pot of tea and plate of cookies. I appreciate those events that offer tea next to the coffee pot, how about you?

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and Share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by my RSS feed.

An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Find articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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