Archive for January, 2018

Preventative Measures

The flu is running rampant this year, and from the doom and gloom on the news, it is a bad year. Being a nurse, I have always used preventative measures to avoid it. I get my flu shot, wash my hands with soap and water, and avoid people who are sick, which can be hard, since I work in a hospital. This year, I brought out the big guns. I stopped hugging people, except for one, and she really needed it. This is a hard one for someone who is a hugger, but perhaps the recipients might thank me in advance, since I have been eating lots of garlic, which is supposedly a potent antiviral. Potent is the perfect word for it, too. I diffuse germ-fighting essential oils in the bedroom at night, which makes the room smell nice and spicy. I rub a different oil on my feet every morning before getting dressed. This particular oil makes my socks smell like Italian salad dressing. Why on my feet? Because I read it on Pinterest so it must be true, right? I also use an organic olive leaf extract throat spray twice a day as another preventative measure. A few days ago, I quartered a big onion and placed it in bowls around the house. Apparently, onions have been killing viruses in households for more than a century. I’ve been out of nursing school for nearly that long, and I don’t remember learning that one, but I read it on the internet, so it must be true, right? HE hasn’t even mentioned any of this, or perhaps he is just turning a blind eye. Strangely enough, lately he has developed a craving for Italian food. Seriously, friends. Stop the spread of the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water and stay home if you are not feeling well. Plus, if everyone ate a lot of extra garlic, No one would even notice. You read it right here, so it must be true, right?

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Porcupine Meatballs

Growing up in a family where our hunter/gatherer father brought home a wide variety of local wild foods, we never knew just what would be on the dinner table. Would it be plain old green beans, steamed cattail stamens,  or wild asparagus? Beef, venison, duck, or partridge?  Once or twice a year, we shared a wild  dinner with another family where everything except the salt and pepper was obtained from the wild. At one of those dinners, Mom said we were having “real” porcupine meatballs, and we ate without question, as she was a wonderful cook. I really don’t remember if those meatballs tasted good or bad, and I’ve asked the others, but their memories are a sketchy as mine.  I thought about the REAL porcupine meatballs the other day when a REAL porcupine took up residence under our front porch. Every night he slept there and every day he would head to the top of the pine trees near the garage. Maybe it was vice versa, because except for one sighting, all we saw were tracks back and forth in the snow.  Porcupines do not have any natural predators around here, and although they won’t bite you, they can be destructive creatures, chewing on wood and killing trees, and we all know what happens when they are disturbed. I tried to warn Mr. Porky by stomping on the porch every day  and yelling “Go away!” while standing underneath the pine trees. When he didn’t leave, I knew his days were numbered. We are all for sharing our world with various woodland creatures, but you can’t have an irritated porcupine living on your doorstep. At least I can’t. One day, HE and Barney the Brave Chihuahua ran an errand, leaving the garage door open for a few minutes.  I’m sure you can guess what happened next: Mr. Porky took advantage of the open door, headed inside, and hid behind the woodpile. When they got home, I heard wild barking from the garage and ran out to find HIM between Porky and Barney, holding Porky back with one hand on an axe handle and holding Barney back with the other. This is not our seven-pound Chihuahua’s first argument with a porcupine, either. I’ll admit to shedding a few tears while pulling quills out of Barney’s nostrils, and HE managed to pull his own quills without any tears. Porky  is now in porcupine heaven. I would have rather had him live out his days killing pine trees in the Bowstring State Forest, but it was not meant to be. Porky’s life was not in vain, however. My sister wanted the quills for the baskets she weaves, so I put the frozen corpse in a cardboard box and carried it into her garage.  Just like our mother, she is good at both crafting and cooking, and is married to a hunter/gatherer. I doubt if she will make REAL porcupine meatballs, but just in case you are invited over for dinner, you might want to tell her you are a vegetarian. 


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