Honey Bee Preservation and Natural Pest Control

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While several agencies research why the honey bees have been in dramatic decline over the years, we can become pro-active to do our part in increasing their colonies. According to the EcoHealth Alliance, the top three factors in honey bee colony declines are due to The Varroa Mite, pathogens, and pesticides. Agri-View encourages farmers to step up in nurturing native bees on their farms. Even if you have very little space for a garden, you can still do your part (and encourage others also) by creating a banquet for bees to thrive in (and encourage your friends to do the same). In addition to your own garden (even if it’s in pots in a small patio), you can avoid using chemical pesticides that can harm or deter bees from feasting. We can preserve honey bees and control pests, naturally.

natural pest control

 

We don’t have to spend so much time worrying about what not to do if we remain proactive.

fairyflowers by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

 

My garden, though small due to limited space, is my sanctuary for spiritual growth. I hear from that divine spark within while tending my garden and observing all of nature’s creatures that party there. I have a fountain to create nature sounds to soothe my soul. My garden is important to the life cycle of this planet as well as for my spirit.

1. Plant bee attracting flowers, herbs, and other flowering plants that are native to your area. You can talk to your local nursery staff to find out what’s best for your neighborhood.

2. Plant wildflower seeds in your yard.

3. Plant native, drought resistant flowers in an empty field near your home.

coneflower by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

4. Volunteer at a neighborhood garden.

5. Plant a variety of colorful flowers, especially blue, white, and yellow.

6. Allow for wild space so dandelions, milkweed, and other wild weeds can grow and flower in it’s full life cycle. You can use a patch of ground behind your garage away from your flower garden. They also attract butterflies!

Bee and Lavender by tww, on Pix-O-Sphere

7. Keep a bird bath regularly supplied with water. I have a few small insect water baths in my flower beds for them.

8. For weed control in your flower beds, use tools for removing them from their root systems. Transplant them to your wild space.

9. For pest control, invite pest predators to the garden party.

For aphids: You can purchase live ladybugs at a local nursery. If you have rose bushes that are attracting aphids, you can place the ladybug container under them (at night) and cover the bushes with a sheet. Place a bowl of water near them, because they’re thirsty too. In the morning, the ladybugs will fly up and find their feast under the leaves and stay there.

For Snails: Local nurseries sometimes sell carnivore snails that will devour your plant eating snails.

For caterpillars and other plant eating worms: Purchase preying mantis for your garden.

Spiders: Allow garden spiders to remain in your yard. Respect their place in the life cycle of your yard, they eat mosquitoes, flies, and all sorts of other pests.

By allowing natural insect predators in your yard you can AVOID using chemical pest control substances.

Now lets talk about ants. They come in when it rains and when it’s hot and when it’s dry. These pests can quickly bring in an entire army for one drop of sweet food such as cereal, bread crumbs, etc. All the tiny things our children drop from their finger tips and mouths as they devour your scrumptious meals. Keep the counters and floors clean!

Now here’s a list of natural repellents to keep intrusive insects at bay.

Many insects rely on the receptors in their feet to ‘smell’ and if those receptors are disrupted they can’t find their way around. The butterfly pavilion at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles uses mineral oil above the butterfly feeders to keep ants out of the maple infused water feeders. Ants are thirsty too and applying some mineral oil to the bar that hangs your bee and butterfly water feeders can help.

You can use essential oils for pest control too. However, it needs to be reapplied often because it will not hold it’s power for long once it’s exposed to the air and sunlight.

Spray: I would create a spray of mineral oil and a chosen essential oil for the following pests:

Ants : peppermint

Mosquitoes : lemongrass and lavender

Roaches : eucalyptus

Spiders : peppermint

Ticks : lavender, lemongrass, and thyme

General pest control spray: Mix doTERRA’s TerraShield essential oil blend with filtered water (shake well before each use) and spray baseboards and door thresholds twice a week.

For these pests in your home, mix chosen essential oils accordingly.

Fleas (in carpet) : lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint (sprinkle carpet and let sit for 15 minutes then vacuum well). Flea eggs don’t stick to the host, they can fall off into the carpet.

Fleas ON PETS : mix lavender with Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo. Lather up and let sit on pets for 10 minutes then rinse well. This shampoo kills fleas, but not eggs, so shampoo every week and vacuum 2-3 times a week. Read about the flea life cycle here.

In Kennels: Clean kennels and bedding with Dr. Bonner’s unscented liquid castile soap and add lavender, melaleuca, and lemongrass.

If you’d like to learn more about doTERRA essential oils and various other products, read here.

You can help do your part by sharing valuable information like this and help build a momentum of nature preservation in compassionate people who care about our earth and all it’s inhabitants. Please use the sharing buttons below to spread the word to all your social networks.  The honey bees will thank you!

My book is now available Exclusively on Amazon:
(Comes with the freebies described here)

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere

After-sun soothing spray for sunburns

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Well, some sunblocks just don’t work as well as I thought. After a 4 hour day at the beach and a couple more at the pool, my son was in misery. Yes, we reapplied all day long! So here we were, trying to apply aloe vera gel to his face and back, but he cringed. No matter how gentle I was, it hurt. I needed something gentle so I didn’t have to touch him. I needed an after-sun soothing spray for sunburns. I saw one at the store, but it’s in an aerosol can. That means there’s things in there that aren’t truly safe for the skin, let alone a SUNBURN.

sun

Seriously, what do these companies think? Here are some ingredients in many after-sun mists in aerosol cans:

SD Alcohol 40B, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Tocopherol Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA”

Lets look at a few of these ingredients.

Alcohol on a sunburn?? Alcohol is drying on the skin. No thanks.

Disodium EDTA? Friends, that stuff has formaldehyde in it. And it’s found in your mayo and most salad dressings. Not only do I NOT want to eat it, I don’t want it on a sunburn.

Diazolidinyl Urea is used to help release formaldehyde. Is it added in an after sun spray to help direct formaldehyde to the sunburn? They use formaldehyde on dead bodies to preserve them. I don’t want to preserve sunburned skin.

Carbomer is an acrylic acid used to hold liquids and oils together. According to the EPAIt is a strong irritant to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes in humans.”

Propylparaben is a Paraben and has have been found in biopsies from breast tumors. Safe Cosmetics.org reveals,

“Endocrine disruption: Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also increase the expression of genes usually regulated by estradiol (a natural form of estrogen); these genes cause human breast cancer cells to grow and multiply in cellular studies” (source)

Among the other ingredients are products to help moisturize the skin, but why add counterproductive ingredients that can harm us?

My best option is to make my own. So, I did.

After-Sun Soothing Spray

  • 1/4 C aloe vera (100% Aloe vera)
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1/2 C filtered water

Blend in a Magic Bullet (or blender) .

Pour into a spray bottle that has a fine mist.

Store in the refrigerator.

Spray on sunburn as often as needed (we use several times a day).

Allow the skin to absorb the mist (do not rub) and wait before putting on clothing.

I wanted to use simple ingredients during this first stage of his sunburn. As his blisters heal and the dead skin begins to fall away, we will begin using more moisturizing ingredients to help that new skin that will emerge.

Note: I use small amounts to avoid having to put any preservatives in this. This mixture will be used entirely, within a few days.

After-Sun Moisture Lock Lotion

  • 1/4 C aloe vera 
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 1/8 C almond oil
  • 1 Tbsp 100% vegetable glycerin
  • 1/4 C water

IN THIS ORDER add aloe vera, almond oil, vegetable glycerin and blend well in the Magic Bullet (with the small cup) or blender. Add essential oils and blend. THEN add the water and blend again. This mixture will come out frothy, use a funnel to pour into a lotion dispenser.

Apply after shower or bath to help lock moisture into the skin.

Now, we avoid the sun until his skin can handle it again and I’m looking to make my own sunblock.

About the aloe vera: Of all the aloe vera products I have found (because harvesting my own for such a large burn is time consuming and I just don’t have that large of a plant), this one by Aubrey Organics is the most natural.

Local stores carry an ‘aloe vera’ that has the claim of being “100% gel”, but upon closer examination has ingredients that I disagree with. The last time I used it on my son he said it stings and begged me to wash it off.

I use doTERRA’s CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils, which you can read more about here.

I am more confident in my own homemade products than I am in what the industry puts out on store shelves.

What after-sun measures do you take to soothe the skin?

My book is now available Exclusively on Amazon:

(Comes with the freebies described here)

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere

Modern Day Parenting is in Crisis, because Nanny is enforcing unhealthy parenting styles!

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Ya, I saw the post and I deleted it from my view, because it’s exhausting to read so called parenting advice that is better suited to be written on toilet paper and flushed down the commode. TV Nanny, Emma Jenner, wrote a piece titled, ‘5 Reasons Modern Day Parenting is in Crisis‘. Then Jennifer offered her rebuttal and I took the time to slow down and see what she had to say. I have four children, two of which are hard working adults, one of which started college a year earlier than her classmates and is now pursuing her culinary education. I’ve been a full time stay-at-home-mom for 22 years, have ran my own day care, and assisted women in regaining custody of their children after losing them. Their parenting styles were drastically transformed and their families were reunited.

Fun in the Sand by brotherscott, on Pix-O-Sphere

I’ve seen all kinds of bad parenting, including my own when I was 19 with my first child. We live and learn. Some parents just never learn and some keep perpetuating BAD advice and they keep the ‘parenting programming’ rolling right along. I don’t know Emma Jenner personally and I won’t take any pot shots at her, but just looking over her website and blog, she doesn’t appear to have any children of her own. My thoughts in this article are about her advice, not her as a person. I’m not sure she’s even married, as her wiki page was deleted due to her request. Giving advice about parenting when one has no parenting experience is a bit frustrating to many parents who live with our own children 24/7.

Each child has their own set of issues to deal with from autism, to sensory disorders, mental handicaps, social stigma, etc. One bit of advice can not be effectively executed by all parents towards all children as THE answer.

At any rate, I wanted to give my views on a few of the things she had to say in her article.

In her first point she covers “fear of children”. When a parent is dealing with a child who gets themselves into an emotional train wreck, we don’t want to see them injure themselves, another person, or break anything in the home. A child who is already at that point definitely needs to be calm, but giving into what the child is demanding isn’t the answer.

Emma says,

“More often than not, the mum’s face whitens and she rushes to get the preferred sippy cup before the child has a tantrum. Fail! What are you afraid of, mum? Who is in charge here? Let her have a tantrum, and remove yourself so you don’t have to hear it.”

Listen folks, you never leave a hostile child to themselves. It’s dangerous to expect that child to not hurt themselves, another child (or pet), or destroy things in the home that could end up injuring that child.

This idea of “who’s in charge” is straight out of the patriarchy movement of fundamentalism. It’s a control tactic that can quickly get out of hand. The authoritarian belief system has paved the way for an insane amount of child abuse in Christian circles. Michael and Debbi Pearl are notorious fundamentalist “parenting experts” who teach this style of “parenting”, which has caused many children to be abused and some have died.

Every child is different and each child will have a different reason for wanting a blue cup vs. a pink cup. The point isn’t about whether or not you give them “what they want”, find out WHY this child wants this specific cup. Ask the child to describe how this cup makes them feel. Is there a reason the child dislikes the other one? Depending on the age of the child, they might be associating the blue cup with moldy milk they were given at daycare. Perhaps a little boy is being programmed to think pink means girly and therefore fears the pink cup due to social pressure and judgment. Yes, even small children are affected by this!

smile by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Jennifer offered her thoughts,

My first thought would be to simply ask what cup the child would like before you poured it, but beyond that:  why shouldn’t the child be able to request a certain cup, and why on earth would you deny a request for something so simple?  Just because you can?  Parenting shouldn’t be about power plays and control.  It should be a partnership.  A dance. With respect and consideration going both ways. Imagine you had a special house guest.”

When my girls were all little, I bought plastic dishes and cups and placed them all in the lower cabinet. I wanted my children to learn independence and responsibility. I don’t care which color cup they choose, my goal was to teach them to keep their dishes cabinet organized and how to set the table. They emptied the dishwasher (after I removed glass and sharp items) and it made more sense to put things where they could reach them. This also eliminated the mom-slave scenario where I had to get everything for them.

Emma’s second point talks about raising the bar.

“The only reason they don’t behave is because you haven’t shown them how and you haven’t expected it! It’s that simple. Raise the bar and your child shall rise to the occasion.”

I find it interesting that Emma italicizes the word ‘only’. Really Emma? “THE ONLY REASON” kids misbehave is because parents haven’t shown them how? Well, my dear Nanny, I had plenty of a high bar with my kids with plenty of “I’m in charge” mentality when I was steeped in religious fundamentalism and I can assure you that it is NOT the “only” reason a child misbehaves. Raising the bar and the children “will” rise to the occasion? Legalism has plenty of rules and high bars and that usually breeds a lot of contempt, weakness, and abuse.

Parents are tired of pat answers! Children are unique creatures, each with their own set of emotional and mental blocks that hinder them from thriving in their tiny lives. Add to that the control issues of “Take charge parents” and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Maybe we should dissect that word, ‘misbehave’. A child whose body has not received proper nutrition, rest, and ample positive vibrations from a loving parent can manifest all sorts of behavior. I’m just not sure ‘misbehave’ is the right word for all those scenarios.

Jennifer says,

You guys, we’re raising PEOPLE here, not training monkeys. They are young people who are still growing, still maturing, still figuring out how things work.”

Do you know what happens when animals have handlers that “take charge”? They get mauled! These tiny human people are in a constant state of learning, exploring, and maturing based on their experiences, their teaching, the modeling of life by the adults around them, and a slew of other input from the world we live in. They don’t understand their own emotions yet, how to respond to every situation, or even hold their urine. Cut them some slack!

Emma’s third point is about the village that used to raise children.

“Now, when someone who is not the child’s parent dares to correct him, the mum and dad get upset. They want their child to appear perfect, and so they often don’t accept teachers’ and others’ reports that he is not.”

Do you know WHY parents feel the need to project a perfect child to the world? Because nannies take their stories and publicly display them with shame to the world through social media then profit from it when selling their books. Parents who don’t want their child reprimanded by strangers is because there’s so many of them that are abusing kids. Not a week goes by that I don’t see teachers molesting children, seducing teenagers, pastors covering up child abuse, and a host of other issues. Hell yes, parents don’t want strangers taking authority over their children’s lives.

familyphoto by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Parents need to wisely choose who gets to verbally step in when needed (when the parent is not present). The children need to be taught how to be respectful and mannerly, but sometimes they mess up…you know…just like how we adults mess up sometimes too.

Jennifer replied about Emma’s hope that strangers would have ‘carte blanche’ to correct children.

Family and friends who are supportive in this way are invaluable, to be sure, and it is no small thing to have a network of people who enrich your life and the lives of your children through friendship, and through kindness and compassion…. NOT through “carte blanche to correct your unruly child.”

Emma speaks down to the thought of short cuts, but publishes her article with lots of tech savvy shortcuts. She thinks short cuts hinder a child from learning to be patient. Friends, there are plenty of ways we all learn to be patient. But cutting down the idea of short cuts would stop our world from growing and evolving. Short cuts can be quite efficient and I want my children to know how to do that. This generation of children need to know how to create efficient short cuts if they’re going to be able to succeed in this rapidly growing internet age.

Kids learn to be patient when waiting for bread to bake, for stew to cook, and for grandpa to scoot over to the dinner table with his walker. Life presents plenty of opportunities to learn to be patient.

Emma says children need to learn to entertain themselves, well who do you think is going to teach them that? They can’t self-soothe on their own.

She goes on to say, “.. shortcuts can be helpful, but that there is great satisfaction in doing things the slow way too.”

I can’t help but to giggle here, as I think about how Emma might respond if her dinner isn’t on her table in a timely fashion next time she goes out to a restaurant. I’m pretty sure she’d want the chef to know all the right short cuts to get that plate to her seat while it’s hot.

Emma displayed her displeasure in her comment about children needing to soothe themselves instead of reaching up to its parents… I love what Jennifer had to say,

Instinct tells us to pick them up when they want our assistance.  Instinct tells us to comfort them, to love them, to be there for them.  It tells us to pick them up when they cry.  The first time and the thousandth time. Babies NEED their parents.  They need touch.  They need connection.  They need to be heard. Parents fear that if they hold their children too much that they will never separate, but it doesn’t work that way.  A need that is met breeds confidence and self-assurance and feelings of wholeness.”

I wonder if Nanny Emma could even understand this as a woman who has no children? The bond between parents and their children is created through touch, cuddling, comforting, snuggling, kissing boo-boos, and swooping bangs away to wipe tears with our fingers. If a child reaches up to mommy or daddy when they get hurt, that’s a GOOD SIGN. Why does parenting always have to be about control? When will we learn to practice the gentle art of blessing?

Emma’s last point is about putting the child’s needs ahead of our own. Well, sometimes we DO need to put their needs ahead of our own. That’s what parents do when they love their children. I’ve missed a shower in favor of cleaning a poopy diaper. My under arm stink can wait, but feces can’t wait long or the child will develop a nasty rash rather quickly. I’ve fed my babies first because I know a child’s tummy can’t go as long without food as an adults’ can. I’ve lost sleep on countless nights when my children needed my attention due to an illness, fever, or even night terrors that woke them at night in a cold sweat.

weeeee by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

I’m not saying we should be slaves to our children. Children don’t need to feel like a king or queen with parents as their subjects. But I do think there’s plenty of room to balance sacrifice for our children while still taking proper care of ourselves.

Jennifer sums it up well with this,

None of your children asked to be born.  Let me just start there.  Children come into our lives as our invited guests.  It makes no logical sense to me to invite these little people (with big needs) into our lives only to then expect to go about business as usual, expect to continue putting ourselves first, expect them to conform and compromise and go without according to our own desires.   Your life changes the moment you bring a child into the world, and it should! Particularly when they are very little, your kids’ needs should come first.    And before I’m accused of it, I’m not suggesting martyrdom here.  YES, make self-care a priority. It’s important. But it should never come at the expense of your child.”

The thing that is glaringly obvious to me is Emma’s style sure resembles that of the authoritarian, hierarchy of an abusive patriarchy hell bent on shaming everyone into fundamentalism.

Definitive absolutes such as ‘take charge’, ‘who’s the boss here’, and ‘do things the slow way’ is a sure fire way to prepare them for religious brainwashing that will hold this society back from advancing and making great accomplishments.

  1. Listen to your intuition, your instinct, that gut feeling. Your inner wisdom knows your child in a unique and intimate way. Your children are one with you and your souls can come into a beautiful rhythmic alignment if you’ll listen to each other.
  2. Maximize your parenting experience with tools that can guide you and allow for breathing room as you figure out what works best for you and your children.
  3. Bless your children each and every day with positive affirmations to build them UP!
  4. Take proper self care so you can be emotionally and mentally prepared for each day that you care for your children.
  5. Allow for wise sages to nudge you and encourage you to listen to your intuition and develop the freedom of a balanced soul-full life for you and your family.

Of all the things Emma wrote in her article, not once did she make a point about nurturing a healthy bond or intimate relationship with children.

Her input was all about authoritarian power and rules.

Boundaries are helpful and leave room for intellectual growth, emotional stability, and good social skills.

Rules just breed rebellion.

Take a look at Jennifer’s full article to get a glimpse of her approach to parenting.

My book is now available Exclusively on Amazon:
(Comes with the freebies described here)

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere