Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Sowing Time

Are you excited to start your Spring garden? Are you ready to start now? You can get started early with Winter Sowing Outside. By building mini green houses out of used plastic containers, you don't have to give up any extra space from your home or apartment. Winter Sowing is a very easy and fun. You can use gallon milk jugs; just cut the jug in half horizontally. Poke a few holes at the bottom of the jug for drainage. Add potting soil, your seeds, water, and cover the bottom securely with the upper part of the jug. Poke a few small holes in the top of jug for water and air flow. Your mini green house is ready to go outside in a sunny place. Check out Pinterest for winter sowing container ideas and for more details on Winter sowing methods and seed selection.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Underwater Blue Springs Manatee Video

My husband put together this video of the manatees at Blue Springs using the video he shot with his underwater camera and the video that I took with my HP photo smart.  Audio by Enigma.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Aquarian Bath and Florida Manatees

Merry Christmas from Central Florida!
  My family and I spent Christmas Eve at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City.  My husband and I both had fun taking photos and video of these amazing Manatees.  I hope you enjoy them.

Scott Johnson took the first four underwater photos using his GoPro Hero HD camera.  He attached the camera to long staff and took photos from the swimming area entrances.

The last two photos I took with my little HP Photosmart 

Have a great holiday and thanks so much to everyone who purchased gifts for for family and friends from Aquarian Bath for Christmas.  I really appreciate it, and I hope the presents are well received.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mugwort remedy for Sprained or Strained Ankles

Mugwort Ai Ye Artemesia argyi

Do you have Mugwort in your garden that you would like to do something productive with? Mugwort or Artemesia vulgaris or A. argyi is an easily grown herb which has many uses in Traditional Western and Chinese Herbal Medicine. The Chinese name for dried Artemesia vulgaris is Ai Ye  

This herb can be dried and stored for emergency use with strained or sprained elbows or ankles. It keeps very well. In fact this herb is aged for 2-3 years after being processed into moxa for it's primary use which is the moxibustion.  Moxa is used in warming external moxabustion treatments by Acupuncturists  for various injuries to move blood stagnation and speed healing. I prefer to dry my Mugwort and keep some stashed to use in case of ankle sprains or strains.  I will share with you how I do that, but first you need to know when to harvest it.

I collect my Mugwort in March in Central Florida, but the time of year will vary from region to region. You should harvest Mugwort when it is in full flower. On a dry late morning or afternoon cut back the stalk and hang it to dry in a well ventilated dry place on. The Mugwort I use is a variagated variety that I got a start of from one of my favorite gardens, the Bastyr University medicinal herb garden in Seattle, Washington. Here it is up close under our digital microscope.

When your Mugwort dried to a crisp you can store it in a glass jar away from the sunlight.  You can add a clay desiccant pack to the jar for good measure.

If you need it later for yourself or a friend, you can simply take up a few large handfuls and add it to a big stock pot with lots of boiling water.  Let the water boil and then simmer for about 30-45 minutes. 

The next step is to let the water cool just to the point that the hot water will not burn the skin. Then dip a towel into the hot water. Wring out the towel and wrap it around the sprained ankle. Let the towel sit on the ankle until it starts to cool, then dip it again in the hot brew and wrap again one or more times. When the brew cools it can be stored in the refrigerator and used again the following day by reheating on the stove top. 

Don't have mugwort? You can also try this with Comfrey root or Comfrey leaf.   

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3 Perfect Last Minute Gifts with Priority Shipping

Shipping Deadlines are fast approaching, but you still have time to pick up some nice handmade gifts.  My top three suggestions are my DIY Lotion Bar Kit.  This is a great little starter kit and it includes everything you need to make 12 lotion bars. 

Next, up this ecofriendly bath set with 2 cedar soap decks and your favorite soap, shampoo bar and lip balm from.  The kraft box comes wrapped in a ribbon is ready to gift.

These Flax Microwave pillows are very popular gifts and have been receiving great reviews.  I just received this note from a customer today with a second round of pillow orders for holiday gifts:  "Loved the other three I purchased, so I'm getting three more." 

My AquarianBath shopping cart always offers priority mail service which is 2-3 day service as an option if you are a last minute shopper. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chickens are here!

The new birds are have arrived.  We picked out 3 birds from a straight run of 1 month olds from Free Rangers of Citra, Florida at the Barberville Farm Swap.  Two of the birds are barred Rocks, and one is "maybe an Araucana" according to the vendor.  Meet May, Teri and Blair.

Miss Moira self-portrait with May

Tessa Bessa and May

Tessa had a great idea to set them up on this Mulberry tree for Moira's photo shoot. 

May fell asleep on Moira's arm.

Upon closer inspection, it looks like I chose Blair unwisely.... looking very Roosteresque.
I still have a lot to learn!  Blair's comb is looking pinker and larger than May's comb.  It turns out that barred rocks are a popular breed also because they are easy to sex by color.  The females are said to have darker feet and their coloring is different at different stages.  The kind folks at Back Yard Chickens agreed... that's a Rooster.  I think that this web site has the best info for sexing barred rocks.  Moira has been very upset about the prospect of Blair becoming someone's dinner, so I was really happy to tell her that a nice lady from the country in New Smyrna Beach is building a new coop and would be delighted to take give him a good home.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shop Local for Christmas with the Daytona Beach, Florida Etsy Team

If you are looking for Local and Handmade gifts for the Daytona Beach, Florida area, then check out this selection of items from the Daytona Beach Etsy Team. This great collection was curated by The Wooden Bee.

'Winter Finds from the Worlds Most Famous Beach' by thewoodenbee

Shop local for quick delivery! Handmade Daytona Beach Florida

Blue Natural Aquama...

Margarita Soap - Le...

Tornado Swirl Lampw...

Night Heron Notecar...

Be Calm Salt Scrub

ON SALE Snowflake H...

Green Silk Necklace...

The Odyssey Hand Wo...

Women's Green B...

Shabby Shelf re des...

art greeting cards,...

Blue Beaded Angel ...

Resin Mold BROKEN H...

Bronze- Nice Big Se...

Reclaimed Wood - Cr...

Vintage hand embroi...

Need more ideas?  Check out this collection, also by TheWoodenBee from the Florida Etsy Street Team (FEST).  Many items are also from Daytona Beach Etsy Team Members.

'Winter Blues from Florida' by thewoodenbee

Shop local to get your gifts on time! 100% Team Fest - Happy Holidays some of my favorite FEST shops. Thank you for supporting the team all year!

Flaxseed Neck Wrap ...

Tie dye wire star o...

Pastel Glass Christ...

Beach Photography O...

Angel of Hope

Blue Topaz Glass Eu...

Fused Glass and Dic...

Sterling Flower Rin...

Bicycle Basket Line...

Holiday Sale 20% Of...

Steampunk Vacuum Tu...

Crochet Long Scarf ...

Ethnic Style Sun Di...

Heirloom Fish Peppe...

Men Osprey Tee, Ris...

Charm Anklet Blue T...