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Tereza Okava

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since Jun 07, 2018
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Tereza Okava currently moderates these forums:
I cook for fun, write for money, garden for food, and knit for therapy.
South of Capricorn
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Recent posts by Tereza Okava

We pretty regularly use the towel-and-bowl-of-hot-water method described above, using whole fresh or dried herbs (eucalyptus, sage, thyme, oregano).
If things are really bad, I will also add a few drops of an essential oil to the floor of the shower (corners) and run it on really hot before getting in, and maybe sit there for a while, but literally maybe only 2 drops total. (eucalyptus, cajeput, cedar, mint)
1 day ago
my experience talking to other people about what the bugs and critters will eat or leave alone seems to vary wildly, and I suspect it depends on what else the critters have to eat in the neighborhood and how much it appeals to them.
A friend of mine not far from here cannot grow greens of any kind because birds rip out his tender plants, but has trees loaded with peaches! The birds eat all my fruit, but greens are fine. So i think you might be stuck experimenting!

Passifloras in my experience are pretty resistant, once you get past the small stage where caterpillars can decimate a weak vine. Nobody is going to eat an immature passionfruit, and there is only a small window in which you need to protect the ripe fruit.
2 days ago
i think my hands down favorite is peppermint, in terms of usability. Everything from ulcers to mojitos.

But the one I have spent the most effort on is probably red shiso (perilla), with basil and cilantro coming close behind. I make sure I always have these herbs in my garden, and when they come back in spring there is great rejoicing.
2 days ago
both my daughters used to get crazy itchy allergic reactions, sometimes we were able to figure out why and other times not, with my one daughter there were already so many meds on board that adding something major was not an option. Many, many times we went with oatmeal baths/packs, which can be done with a washcloth and restrained to certain areas.
Maybe suggest he switch out socks and do some detective work.... see if it is the sock (like perhaps elastic) or if it is the pants (or something else entirely). Having been there and done that with a kid with a major latex allergy, if he is allergic to latex it is nice to know that now and not at some other time when more important things are happening. (once we knew what it was, we were able to avoid it pretty easily).
(I know I am biased from that experience. If you're like everyone else I know in the northern hem right now it is cold as pluto and it is probably just dry skin itchies)
2 days ago
"Got any muffins in that bag?"

I alas (thank goodness) did not record my calm reaction to a rattlesnake on a hiking path. In carefully stepping backward to give the snake some space, I managed to plant my backside directly on a cactus. I apparently still had some work to do on being aware of my surroundings at that time, hope I've gotten better since.
3 days ago
could it be a question of contamination? i ask because powdered turmeric has become a "hot" ingredient here in the last couple years as people hear about the health benefits. I grow it in my garden but also buy the powdered stuff for certain recipes where grating up the fresh root won't work. I noticed recently that the color of the powder (which I buy in bulk from a trusted spice dealer) was really different, and I asked about it. The salesperson said the color was varying a lot, they were trying various different sources as there had been contamination (the spice being "cut" with flour, cornmeal, etc, for example). I know sometimes I have brought it home and found the flavor to be off (like dirt?)
3 days ago
could it be a holly?
3 days ago
Yay for Pickle! good job!
3 days ago
Ugh. We have had similar problems here with other respiratory diseases, and similar heartaches.
Newcastle is problematic because the virus can survive in frozen material almost indefinitely, so it is not unheard of to ban imports of chicken from an entire region or country to preserve poultry health in the importing country (i.e. CA stands to lose buckets of money if Asia stops importing eggs or chickens from the state, for example). They've been trying to stamp out Newcastle in CA for a few years now, because similarly, if you have an area free of a certain disease, imports go up.
There is no treatment, just euthanasia, and the only prevention is vaccines. I imagine CA is like here, some people here are resistant to vaccines, it's a complicated situation. I imagine the law focuses on eliminating the greater risk to the population and state as a whole (which seems similar in cases like recent measles outbreak, for example, large-scale risk versus personal choice). But if I had a backyard flock I bet I would share your conviction.
Edited to add: it probably would help a lot more, big picture, to undertake a PR campaign about how to eliminate the virus (solar irradiation, dehydration) and clamp down on introduction of smuggled wild birds and other vectors. How the birds are killed doesn't matter nearly so much as what is done with their environment to stop the cycle. Maybe there is a lot of public outreach going on, for all I know.
3 days ago
i am not sure you have the same crazy limitations I have heard of in the US and here in Brazil, but I would definitely check to see if there are rules about what you can do/have on your porches and windows. I gave a friend a strawberry plant, only to hear that her building did not allow plants on the balconies and she would get a fine. I know similar things also often apply for hanging laundry to dry. I know for me, plants and laundry are deal-breakers!!
4 days ago