Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haunted Houses and Other Frightening Things~

Halloween is a fun and much celebrated holiday.

Please go the extra step to protect the children.

According to Amnesty International, almost half of all cocoa beans are grown in West Africa, where over a quarter of a million children labor on farms under terrible conditions for little or no pay. Fair Trade Certified chocolate is grown with no child labor, under ecologically sustainable conditions, and the workers are paid a living wage for their efforts.

Unethical labor practices aren’t the only danger lurking in the candy sack. A recent outbreak of melamine contamination in certain Chinese products, most famously infant formula, caused the Food and Drug Administration to issue warnings against several products sold in the United States. White Rabbit "milk" toffees made the list, along with Blue Cat flavored drinks and Koala’s March Crème filled cookies. You might also want to screen any foil-wrapped "coins" in your child's trove: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled Sherwood "Pirate's Gold" milk chocolate coins due to melamine. The Center for Disease Control says that ingestion of melamine can affect kidney function, leading to kidney stones and kidney failure.

Sometimes the danger doesn’t come from candy. While it’s a green and healthy idea to give out crayons, coloring books, stickers, and other little toys to trick or treaters instead of candy, in 2007 Fisher-Price recalled 1 million lead-contaminated children’s toys manufactured in—wait for it—China. The Center for Disease Control cautions that plastic jewelry, glossy little toys, and various candies from China or Mexico could still be contaminated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Stuff To Know~

Autumn brings us cool weather, the slowing down of harvest on the farm, fields of pumpkins, and great ideas of all of the many ways to use them.

Pumpkins are one of the fun foods.

Just thinking about all the funny and frightening faces one can produce puts me into a carving state of mind.

Do you know.....

One Billion pounds of pumpkin was produced in the US last year.

Pumpkins are really a squash, they are from the (Cucurbita family) which consist of squash and cucumber.

Pumpkins are 90% water.

The Antarctica is the only continent where pumpkins will not grow.

The Irish brought the tradition of carving to America.
Their tradition was to carve turnips, when they discovered the pumpkin, and how much easier the carving was ....the rest is history as we know it.

Pumpkins contain Potassium and Vit.A.

So far this Autumn I have seen orange, green, grey, white, and a very pretty buff color of this interesting thing we call Pumpkin~

Happy Autumn~

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Webster defines poverty as pauper poor. The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

Now, if I choose to tag myself or someone else with the poverty label simply because the $$$$ amount doesn't read properly, then that is one answer as to why many stay at the accepted "poverty level." We are what we believe we are. Our thoughts today become our actions tomorrow and the outcome depends on breaking out of the poverty level way of thinking. it that simple? No, it is not.

I don't think those of us who are lacking in money and possessions because we are negative, lazy, or unwilling to change our actions qualify for the label.

The "Poverty" label should be reserved for those who are caught in the trap of ignorance. ( destitute of knowledge )

There are people living all across our country that are confined to such a small amount of education, if any, no guidance except from the same empty mentality that produced them. This segment of our society has always been.

Travel the poorest sections of the Appalachian regions of West Virginia and Kentucky, this to me defines poverty. A way of life in 2008 and in a country with so many riches and options-humans live with no lifeline to anything better than "poverty." Real poverty. No money, no possessions, no hope, no reality actually that they are who and what they are.

Bea Kunz

Monday, October 13, 2008

Greening Your Halloween~make history....

My thoughts on the celebration of Halloween is that the holiday is very much in need of an educational overhaul. Many who celebrate in the fashion that has become standard really have no clue to the history behind the celebration.

The one thing that we all can work at is reducing the waste that comes with this celebration.

Costumes that are unsafe and end up in landfills leaching toxic dyes and other chemicals into the ground....(Replace with a simple but interesting costume that can be put together at home with safe and reusable parts.)

Treats.....The biggie, so much junk food that no one needs nor benefits from, especially children.....(Replace with small containers of healthy tidbits, raisins, crackers, fruit chews, small apples, individual packs of hot coco mix, small collection ideas...such as stamps, arrowheads, rocks, etc.
( children love and enjoy what we as adults promote and make interesting for them.)

The best idea I have found is make the celebration about family and friends in your own back yard...a party designed with imagination and healthy, safe fun.
It's a wonderful time to visit the grave sites of relatives and share some family history. ( my parental family name has been traced all the way back to the's amazing what you can learn with some dedicated searching.)

Greening is a broad term being used in the environmental arena as of late.
I believe it fits in many areas of application, especially the "waste" factor.

~Real History of Halloween~

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. They celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, often brutal winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To honor the event, Druids built large, sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During this celebration, the Celts wore costumes, often consisting of animal heads and skins, making predictions for each other and the coming year. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first being Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1st All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is an accepted belief today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2nd All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Enjoy, have fun, celebrate the history of you...where you came from and some spooky happenings along the way. Real history can be much more exciting than anything we can concoct.

This information I have put together from several history sources that are regarded as factual to the degree of mans ability to trace and record history.

Bea Kunz~

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Hot Topic~

As we all have seen and heard...many hot topics in our society today.

The economy, the coming election, the show before the election, and our failing health care system...and let's not forget about the groups who are working hard to destroy the only good thing we have going for us. Our food, our farmers, and our many dedicated watchdog groups that work endlessly to supply us with options and information that we would never get through the "controlled" news media.

I could say much about one or all of the above-but, right now I'm more inclined to talk about "peppers;" sweet ones, mild to hot ones, red, green, yellow, and orange ones.

Peppers have been a big part of my life for the full summer.

It started when my hubby ( who by the way isn't even a big fan of peppers) decided he was going to experiment with growing them.

After picking and choosing ones for taste, color and size, he embarked on a pepper patch fit for a queens garden. ( that would be mine )*smile*

So, lets jump ahead to harvest time. We actually had enough peppers to supply a super-market, the neighbors, family, and the compost pile.

My real personal experience with the pepper patch happened on September 22....the beautiful beginning of Autumn was a bit marred by a garden stake meeting way to close to my left eye. Freaky accident ( details are frightening, so we'll skip those )

After a 4 hour stay in emergency, a few trips to the eye surgeon, lots of pain and lots of love and pampering...I'm on the road to a full recovery.

Thanking my God for my eyesight, and actually looking forward to next years pepper patch. No stakes allowed that are not taller than I.
Recipe for "Hot Pepper Sauce."

Select the type of bottle you desire...
Wash and sterilize with boiling water...

Select your choice of hot or mild peppers. ( I like Cayenne( very hot ) and Pepperoncini ( mildly hot )

Fill your bottle with the peppers, really pack them in, as many as you can make fit.

In a small saucepan, bring to boiling stage enough white or white wine vinegar to fill the bottle to the top.

Cap and let stand for at least a week...two is better.

Do not refrigerate.

Use sparingly on turnip greens, scrambled eggs and other dishes that you would like to add some bite to.

Have an Outrageous October~ I have started already !

Bea Kunz