Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

I remember, as a child, my parents always picked up a Farmer’s Almanac and kept it in the magazine rack in the bathroom beside the JCPenny catalog and several issues of Better Homes and Gardens. I loved thumbing through the pages, reading the articles and predictions for the up coming year. I was so fascinated with its tips and information. Why have I never picked on up as an adult? I’ll have to work on that. In the mean time we can all save a tree or two by looking here for the Old Farmer’s Almanac online.

The tips and gardening stuff evade me, but the old wive’s tales and lore concerning weather always stuck. Maybe it was because my mom would say, “red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s take warning,” if the sky was giving any sort of hints away as to what She had in store for us. This little saying has yet to let me down and I even share it with my children- reminding them that we don’t need meteorologists and their fancy-schmancy super-ultra-mega dopplers. Everything we need to know about the weather is all around us. The sway of the trees, the direction of the leaves, the shapes of the clouds, the smell in the air- it’s all right there and more accurate than the weatherman.

My love of these sayings continues on and I have collected over the years a giant collection from all over the world. And here, I would like to share them all with you. Enjoy it, then turn off the computer and go outside to see what nature is telling you.

Weather Lore

Some well known and some not so well known sayings about weather patterns.

“A summer fog for fair,

A winter fog for rain.

A fact most everywhere,

In valley or on plain.”


“The moon and the weather may change together,

But a change of the moon, will not change the weather.”


“When the dew is on the grass,

Rain will never come to pass.

When grass is dry at morning light,

Look for rain before the night.”


“When leaves show their undersides, be very sure that rain betides.”


“If a cat washes her face o’er her ear,

‘tis a sign the weather will be fine and clear.”


“If a circle forms ‘round the moon,

‘Twill rain soon.”


“The farther the sight, the nearer the rain.”

“Rain long foretold, long last,

Short notice, soon will pass.”


“Catchy drawer and sticky door,

Coming rain will pour and pour.”


“The winds of the daytime wrestle and fight,

Longer and stronger than those of the night.”


“Sun sets Friday clear as bell,

Rain on Monday sure as hell.”


“No weather’s ill if the wind be still.”


“The more cloud types present, the greater the chance of rain or snow. ”


“If bees stay at home, rain will soon come,

If they flay away, fine will be the day.”


“The sudden storm lasts not three hours

The sharper the blast, the sooner ’tis past.”


“A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow coming soon.”

“Trace in the sky the painter’s brush,

The winds around you soon will rush.”


“Rainbow in the morning, Shepherds take warning.

Rainbow at night, Shepherd’s delight.”


“When clouds look like black smoke,

A wise man will put on his cloak.”


“When leaves turn their back ‘tis a sign it’s going to rain.”


“Evening red and morning gray

Helps the traveler on his way.

Evening gray and morning red

Brings down rain upon his head.”


“Evening red and morning gray,

Two sure signs of one fine day.”


“Evening red and weather fine.

Morning red, of rain’s a sign.”


“An evening gray and a morning red

Will send the shepherd wet to bed.”


“The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.”


“When clouds appear like rocks and towers,

The earth will be washed by frequent showers.”


“I know ladies by the score

Whose hair foretells the storm;

Long before it begins to pour

Their curls take a drooping form.”


“When chairs squeak

It’s about rain they speak.”


“If salt is sticky and gains in weight,

It will rain before too late.”


“Pale moon rains; Red moon blows.

White moon neither rains or snows.”


“If smoke hovers low near the ground it is likely to rain.”


“When sounds travel far and wide,

A stormy day will betide.”


“Cold is the night

When the stars shine bright.”


“Mares’ tails and mackerel scales

Make lofty ships carry low sails.”


“When the wind is out of the east,

‘Tis neither good for man nor beast.”


“When the wind is in the north. The skillful fisher goes not forth;

When the wind is in the cast, ‘Tis good for neither man nor beast;

When the wind is in the south, It blows the flies in the fish’s mouth;

But when the wind is in the west, There it is the very best.”


“Fish bite least

With wind in the east.”


“When the wind backs; and the weather glass falls

Prepare yourself for gales and squalls.”


“When the glass falls low,

Prepare for a blow;

When it rises high.

Let all your kites fly.”


“When the ditch and pond affect the nose,

Look out for rain and stormy blows.”


“A coming storm your shooting corns presage,

And aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.”


“If your corns all ache and itch,

The weather fair will make a switch.”


“If birds fly low

Expect rain and a blow.”


“If the rooster crows on going to bed,

You may rise with a watery head.”


“Trout jump high

When a rain is nigh.”


“If clouds move against the wind, rain will follow.”


“Cats and dogs eat grass before a rain.”


“A wind in the south

has rain in her mouth.”


“Onion skins very thin

Mild winter coming in;

Onion skins thick and tough

Coming winter cold and rough.”


“A swarm of bees in May

Is worth a load of hay.”


”If March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion; if it comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.”


“Plant your beans when the moon is light,

You will find that this is right;

Plant potatoes when the moon is dark,

And to this line you’ll always hark;

But if you vary from this rule,

You will find you are a fool;

Follow this rule to the end.

And you’ll have lots of dough to spend.”


“When oak is out before the ash,

‘Twill be a summer of wet and splash.

But if the ash before the oak,

‘Twill be a summer of fire and smoke.”


“When the swallow’s nest is high, summer is dry

When the swallow’s nest is low, you can safely reap and sow.”


“A cow with its tail to the West makes the weather best,

A cow with its tail to the East makes the weather least”


“Those who bathe in May, will soon be under clay,

Those who bathe in June bathe a bit to soon.”


“The louder the frog, the more the rain.”


“The first snow comes six weeks after the last thunderstorm in September.”


“If February brings drifts of snow

There will be good summer crops to hoe.”


“When sheep gather in a huddle,

tomorrow we will have a puddle.”


“Expect the weather to be fair

When crows fly is pairs”


“If woolly worms are dark, the coming winter wilt be severe.”


“When ladybugs swarm,

Expect a day that’s warm.”


“When chickens scratch together,

There’s sure to be foul weather.”


“If the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd, there will be six more weeks of winter.”


“When pigs carry sticks,

The clouds will play tricks;

When they lie in the mud,

No fears of a flood.”


“When cattle lie down during a light rain, it will pass soon.”


“When walls in cold weather begin to show dampness, the weather will change.”


“If the sparrow makes a lot of noise, rain will follow.”


“The moon and the weather

May change together;

But change of the moon

Does not change the weather”


“If the moon lies on her back, She sucks the wet into her lap.”


“Tipped moon wet: cupped moon dry.”


More very olde wives tales and sayings concerning the weather.


“You time fifteen seconds while you count how many times a cricket chirps. Then you add thirty-nine to it. This is called “A poor man’s thermometer.”


“When pine cones close, bad weather is coming.”


“Flowers of the morning glory and scarlet pimpernel open when it’s sunny, and close when rain is due.”


“The first frost in autumn will be exactly six months after the first thunderstorm of spring.”


“As many days old as is the moon on the first snow, there will be that many snowfalls by crop planting time.”


“A warm Christmas, a cold Easter.”


“If a squirrel’s tail is very bushy or they are collecting big stores of nuts in autumn, then a severe winter should be expected.”


I hope my friends in the US are staying cool today with all the record highs and excessive heat warnings!



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I have been a nonconformist for most of my life. I don’t know why. My teachers called me difficult; my parents called me stubborn. The truth is, I am both of those things but as a grown up I feel less and less guilty about my beliefs and choices. That comes with time, education and hours and hours of research.

Like any parent I am well aware of the barrage of information pertaining to sun screen. Commercials, medical institutions and peer pressure from other parents. “Oh my god, you don’t use sun screen! Your poor children and their delicate skin! You must not care if they get skin cancer, blah, blah, blah.” Well, I do care– which is why I refuse to use commercial sun block. I have my reasons, thank you very much, back off.

If you are a die hard label reader like myself you know that sun screen is laden with harmful chemicals. As for me and my family, well, we like to know exactly what we put into and on our bodies. In fact, my rule of thumb- if you can’t pronounce it, it probably isn’t all that good for you. There is good news! You CAN make your own sun screen. And like a lot of homemade remedies it will save you some of your hard earned green. So that money tree that has never really grown may just sprout after all.

It always baffled me that in this day and age with sun screen being such a craze that there is such a huge prevalence of skin cancer. In fact, only a mere century ago sun screen was no where to be found, yet skin cancer was almost non existent. Hmm, indeed. Don’t take my word for it, that would be silly, I’m just one person. You can decide for yourself by looking at these resources:

Risks of Sunscreen by The Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Study: Many sunscreens may be accelerating cancer

So what did the people in years gone by know that we don’t? Well, they:

-were a bit more modest in their dress and wore lots of protective clothing.
-they knew to stand in the shade if at all possible.
-they avoided direct exposure to the noon sun.
-their diets were wholesome and consisted of real foods.

Did you know that we can dramatically improve our resistance to the sun’s harmful rays through dietary changes! Mmhmm! Our skin is our largest organ. When our immune system is functioning on low due to an over consumption of processed foods we weaken our first line of defense and place ourselves at greater risk.

I love that seasonal summer foods — such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries (and fruits of all kinds), beans, nuts, and a variety of legumes — are some of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Mother Nature always provides. I’m convinced it’s no coincidence that these summertime treats offer some great protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

The good, the bad and the sunny

While we are on the subject of the sun, I should point out not everything about getting some sun is harmful.In fact, the rays of the sun offer something very important to our health; vitamin D. Here’s some good stuff from Mike Adams over at  Natural News all about this free healing substance:

  1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response toexposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
  2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
  3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
  4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
  5. The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.
  6. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 – 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D.
  7. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial forcalcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
  8. Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposureto rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
  9. Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease– by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
  10. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
  11. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
  12. Vitamin D is “activated” in your body by your kidneys and liverbefore it can be used.
  13. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
  14. The sunscreen industry doesn’t want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.
  15. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.

Natural sunscreen, on the other hand, doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, doesn’t limit vitamin D production and prevents you and your loved ones from burning.

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protector with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out for a swim or fishing.

Make your own sunscreen:

1/4 cup diaper rash cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon shea butter
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon beeswax
5-10 drops lavender essential oil(optional)

Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl set on top of a pan of boiling water and melt all the ingredients together. Allow mixture to cool and then add your favorite essential oil (if desired).  Just make sure to avoid any of the CITRUS essential oils as they can actually cause burning. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

 Once you know the percentage of zinc oxide in the diaper rash cream you use, you can estimate the SPF. .

Keep yourself and those you care for safe this summer.


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It’s summer here in USA. Camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, yard work, gardening, picnics and everything else outdoorsy dominates our household. From the early morning gardening or iced coffee on the deck, afternoon play with tall glasses of iced tea and evenings spent watching the sunset; it’s all about the great outdoors. Almost everything is idyllic. Almost. There is one tiny enemy to the open air adventurer- bugs. Mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies and ticks mainly. My warm weather nemesis.

Since my adoption of a chemical free lifestyle nearly 10 years ago, I had surrendered to the idea that my I would be bitten; that the vampiric packs of buzzing mosquitoes would feast on me and that I would just have to deal with it. This approach is super natural, all organic and all that jazz, but it’s just not practical, especially with young children!

Like anything, preventative measures are necessary. What else is necessary is avoiding dangerous chemicals like DEET, which are present in nearly all commercial insect repellents.

“One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse nuerological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.[1]

DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.”

Neurological disorders?! Deaths?! Ef that. I’d rather scratch myself raw or keep my kids indoors than chance that sort of thing just to repel some creepy crawlies. Luckily I don’t have to do either of those things. Nope. There are a plethora of recipes available for nontoxic, natural homemade insect repellents. And if that doesn’t get you purring like a kitten for warm milk, it’s also super frugal, costing just pennies in comparison to their poisonous commercial counterparts. High five!

Here is my weapon of choice for the war on those bloodsuckers:

DIY Insect Repellent

Gather Your Materials:

  • 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: witch hazel or grain alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds) These are called carrier oils and help to enhance the efficacy of the essential oils.
  • ½ teaspoon grain alcohol as preservative
  • 100-110 drops essential oils
Sample Bug-Repelling Essential Oil Blend:
  • 55 drops lemon eucalyptus (reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs.)
  • 15 drops cedarwood
  • 15 drops lavender
  • 15 drops of rosemary

Put it all Together Now:

Add carrier oils to small spray bottle (3 or 4 oz. works well so there is room for shaking). Add essential oils. Shake well before each use. Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.

Other Bug-Repelling Essential Oils:

  • citronella
  • eucalyptus
  • tea tree
  • peppermint
  • cypress
  • rose geranium
  • bergamot
  • lemongrass
  • cedar wood

Additional Tips and Precautions:

  • As always with essential oils, women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a health practitioner before using.
  • Extreme caution should be used when using essential oils on young children.
  • Always perform a patch test to check for an allergic reaction before using an essential oil for the first time.
  • Always label homemade products well.
  • Dark-colored bottles work best for products containing essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place when not using.

I highly recommend making two (or more) spray bottles. One for home and one for the car/boat/camp gear/diaper bag, etc. Easy, economical, and nontoxic. It’s a triple threat.

Now get outside and do your thang with no fear,


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