The Legend of the Hearth Cricket

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With ancient roots in China, the cricket has long been considered to be a sign of eminent good fortune. The Chinese have traditionally kept the small black chirper as a pet within tiny cages. Over the years, Merry Old England came to adopt the thinking that a cricket in the home would ensure prosperity and health. On the other hand, a deceased cricket might be a foreboding sign of what’s to come. It was unthinkable for one to stomp on the insect…to do such a thing would be to flirt with disaster!

Inspired by this belief, the beloved 19th century English writer, Charles Dickens, titled one of his novels A Cricket on the Hearth. The book suggests that any Victorian possessing a superstitious nature should keep a brass cricket by their fireside in an effort to ward off ill fate from what would otherwise be a safe and happy…

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Chocolate: “A Light and Wholesome Breakfast”

Savoring the Past

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Chocolate is probably the most celebrated food in western civilization…okay, you’re right; there is bacon, but besides that…

Many of our most decadent desserts are made with it. We flavor our coffee with it and brew our beer to taste like it. It is our sinful indulgence. We dream of it. We die by it. There are entire corporate empires founded upon it. It is available at every check-out counter. It’s dark. It’s white. It’s milky and silky.

I recently bought a chocolate bar that had bacon in it.

And if you could top off the wonders of chocolate with something even more delightful, it may be with the news reports that certain forms of chocolate are said to be good for you. Numerous studies have been conducted pronouncing the health benefits of chocolate…as if we need that information to ease our guilty consciences or at at least justify our indulgences…

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How to Turn Your Dead, Useless Lawn Into Abundant Food!

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You can do this!  No labor-intensive digging required.  Lay down newspapers or cardboard and 6″ a soil and compost mixture over the top. Walla!  You have a fertile gardening bed which will be the envy of all of your neighbors!

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Housekeeping: Sage All-Purpose Household Spray | DIY Cleaners

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This is one of my favorite DIY household cleaning recipes. Vinegar has been a trusted household cleaner for decades and I started using this particular mixture a few years ago to clean our tile countertops and floors to avoid dulling residues. My dogs also suffer from allergies and I wanted to make sure the floors were safe for them too. It works swell on other surfaces as well. I’ll admit I love the Method and Mrs. Meyers line of cleaners because of their scents, but when those aren’t on hand, I fall back on my trusty homemade friend.

In summer I like to add orange or lemon peels. You can easily use essential oils to scent your spray as little or as much as you’d like. They work a little better since the scent is concentrated. I went with fresh sage for this batch because it was over growing and…

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Encourage Vitality with Herbal Spring Cleaning for Your Body

Grandmothers have known for centuries the power of both culinary and medicinal herbs to aid the body in cleansing and restoring vitality. Encouraging vitality is often a completely different concept than the traditional viewpoint of Western medicine, which typically reacts to a disease but doesn’t encourage wellness from the start. In centuries past, traditional elders knew the importance of aiding the body in keeping well.

It was just this past fall when I read the value of using springtime herbs to help eliminate the toxins accumulated over the wintertime. I think it’s brilliant that each spring, the right herbs to create a cleansing tonic pop up in our yards! I laugh because these healing herbs are the very “weeds” most people spray to kill.

In the midst of my current herbalist coursework, I have found that often things we consider a nuisance in our manicured lawns are herbal gifts ready…

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Becoming more independent through minimalism..

Today I’d like to share how minimalism can lead to a more independent lifestyle.  What I mean by this is, you can decrease your dependence on store bought items and reduce the amount of time …

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Dry Laundry Naturally

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You all know my feelings on laundry…  What you may not know is my complete dislike of the dryer.  Using the dryer costs a lot of money to run.  Using the dryer creates static, is too  hot (especially in summer) and makes clothes, linens and the like smell — well stale.

There are many benefits to drying your laundry naturally:

  • Saves Money
  • Smells Fantastic
  • Softens Clothes Naturally
  • Your Clothes and Linens Last Longer – A Lot Longer
  • Eliminates Static and Dryer Sheet Chemicals
  • Is a Great Biceps and Triceps Exercise
  • Is Environmentally Friendly
  • Whitens Your Whites
  • Reduces Wrinkles

In full disclosure, it isn’t as though I do not use the dryer.  A dryer is a convenience.  But, my drying preference is to hang clothes or line dry.  I do have some great cheats to help you get through those laundry blues.

Drying Racks

Drying racks are brilliant things for several…

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