Christmas is Celebrated Around the World

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many people rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.

In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

Garlic Powder Is Just As Effective On Fleas as Chemicals

It’s true! Rub a generous amount of all natural garlic powder on your dogs and the fleas will disappear. I have three dogs on whom I usually use Comfortis from our veterinarian to control fleas. Well, when the chemical wore off late one evening I had to figure out what I could do that night because my dogs sleep in my bed with me. I couldn’t have fleas in my bed! So I looked online for a solution and found it. I had heard long ago about feeding your dogs garlic but I had also read somewhere that the garlic can build up in their system and make them sick so I never have put raw garlic in their food.  Then I read about rubbing garlic powder on their coat. I gathered my dogs and a large container of garlic powder from the spice cabinet. I started on the smallest dog by shaking garlic down her back from her neck to her tail. The bas of her tail is where I saw the most fleas. Then I rubbed it in vigorously. My hands were sticky and garlic powder was all over the floor but it was an easy mess to clean up. I didn’t put the garlic powder anywhere else on her body, just along her back. Then I applied it to my other two dogs, washed my hands and swept up the garlic powder from the floor. It’s a good thing we like to cook with garlic and don’t mind the smell because the smell lingered for the rest of the evening. By morning, all of the smell has dissipated from the dogs and from our bed. And NO FLEAS!!! It’s been 8 days now and I’ve only seen 4 fleas between the three dogs. Amazing!!!! I will probably not feed them any more chemicals from the vet to control fleas. When this garlic rub down wears off, I’ll put on some gloves and do it again. Try it on your dog and let me know how it works for you. I have two pit bulls, one male, one female and a female Jack Russell mix.  I don’t know if the breed matters but I assume garlic powder will work for all dogs. I do not know if it will work on cats or any other animals but it sure worked on my dogs! Give it a try and post back to let me know your results.Bonnie, Red

Kratom Plant a Natural Cure for Anxiety and Depression?

The botanical name for the Kratom tree is Mitragyna speciosa. It is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. It is a deciduous tree that is in the coffee family. The leaves of this plant have been used for hundreds of years to treat various conditions. Some ailments this plant has been known to alleviate are anxiety, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, pain and even opiate addiction. In small doses kratom is stimulating and in larger doses it is sedating. The leaves are often dried and ground into a very fine powder. The taste of kratom leaves is very bitter so many people mix it with fruit juice, applesauce or yogurt. You can also boil the leaves to make kratom tea. If you search the Internet you will find tons of testimonials to the effectiveness of this natural plant to treat many conditions. You will not find any reports of hospital visits or overdosing. Kratom is very safe when used responsibly. It is illegal in certain parts of the world such as Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. But it is legal in most other countries including the United States and Europe. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue or chronic pain, Kratom could be a life changer for you. You can do your research, read personal stories and search for a reputable vendor at The plants effects are caused by alkaloids that bind to opioid receptors in your brain. These are the same receptors responsible for the effects of opioid drugs such as morphine. There is a danger of addiction as with coffee, tea or any other substance used in excess. There are many reports of people addicted to opiate drugs using Kratom to get over the withdrawal symptoms. Definitely a plant worth looking into if you are looking for an all natural supplement to help with any of the conditions mentioned above.