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Monday, August 11, 2014

Passionflower For A Good Night's Sleep

Have you tried passionflower tea for relieving stress?  Studies have shown that a tea made from the leaves of the passionflower vine (passiflora) promotes relaxation for a good night's rest.  Studies have also shown that using passionflower as a supplement improved symptoms of menopause such as sleeplessness, depression, anger and headache.  It's a nervine so do not take it if you're already taking a prescription sleep aid.  Also, pregnant or nursing mothers should not use it. There are a number of different species, but the lavender one below is the correct one to use, not the blue variety.  The vines have tendrils and will climb if there are other plants around to give it support. If not, they grow along the ground. 

The leaves have three lobes and are the part you want to pick for the tea.  I use a teaspoon of dried, crushed leaves per cup of water. Use two teaspoons per cup if using fresh leaves.  Bring the water to a boil then pour over and steep the leaves for 15-20 minutes.  I think the tea is more palatable when cooled slightly with a spoon of honey stirred in.  Goodman and I have both tried the tea recently, and it has helped us relax and sleep through the night.

The fruit is an edible antioxidant.  I well remember eating them as a child.  Pick them as the color begins to lighten and let them ripen to a yellowish color.  As always with any wild plant be sure you have identified it correctly and consult your physician with any concerns you may have.  

In the garden:  Here's a little trick for producing tomato plants very quickly.  Take cuttings from the plants you already have and root them in water for a week or two.  

You'll be surprised how fast the roots grow.  

 After rooting in water place the cutting in soil in a small pot for another two weeks.

 By this time the roots are well developed and ready to plant in the garden.  This is a great, inexpensive way to keep harvesting tomatoes until frost.  Also, mix a tablespoon of epsom salt into the soil at the roots to help the plants develop a healthy structure and guard against blossom-end rot.

A goldfinch takes a moment to ponder what a nice summer we're having.         

Have a great week, Y'all!
Burgundy Stella d'oro lilies after a recent rain

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In The Good Ol' Summertime

What a summer!  I looked to the right...

 And then to the left, and June was gone before I knew it.  O.O

It must have been a blast as all I can tell you is it was full of blooms and warm, lol.

There's a new/old sewing machine in the house.  I'd been on the lookout to find this particular model for quite awhile.  She's a 1953 model 301a Singer, and she will sew lightweight leather and heavy-ish fabrics with no upsets.  I found her on Craigslist in a town nearly an hour away, but it was worth the drive, a good find.  The cabinet is handmade and very solid if not all that pretty. The first drawer held several treasures...

 It contained a buttonhole attachment with extra templates, a zigzagger, all manner of extra feet, bobbins and manuals for everything.  Someone had taken very good care of the machine and it's accessories, and I am thrilled to have it.

Any guesses what this might be?  I had no idea how to use it at first.

 It's a...

You just pull the ring shaped handles up and out to the sides and load a stocking or sock using the spring to hold it,  then place the whole thing under the sewing machine needle and sew up any holes. How it works is you just move it back and forth until the hole is filled with stitches.  I thought it was totally cool after I found out how to use it.

 Our second-year hydrangeas are growing beautifully. Coffee grounds are helping to keep the blooms blue.

 These little bugs were eating the leaves until I sprayed them ...

With a combination of 1/4 cup dish liquid and 16 ozs. water in a spray bottle.

Our Lavender Orpingtons are fully grown and producing chicks.  I've even sold some at a good profit.

This is Stubby; I thinks she's going to be a hen.

Our Buff Brahma hen is setting and very moody.  I'll just back out quietly...shh.

 I found this American Elderberry growing along the fence line and hope to transplant it to a more convenient spot in the fall.

  We had a birthday celebration on the Star of Knoxville Riverboat last month.

We lunched and enjoyed the ride up a stretch of the Tennessee River.

Hope you're all having a great summer.  :)
The little needle book from the fifties was also in a drawer of the machine cabinet. 
Shared at The Art of Home-Making Mondays, The HomeAcre Hop, Green Thumb Thursday, FarmGirl Friday, The BackYard Farming Connection

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friends Church

Several miles from where we live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee side of the mountains) is a tiny town that was founded by a colony of Quakers from North Carolina in the 1790s.  

There is a school called Friendsville Academy, but as I am participating in the Inspired Sunday meme I wanted to share photos of just the church.

There's a graveyard behind the church with many headstones so old that the engravings no longer tell the story behind them.  

I like the fact that the town was named for the group of religious settlers and that the church is still standing and having regular services there.

Click to see other posts at inSpired Sunday

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!