Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ina May Gaskin

I went to go see Ina May Gaskin speak today at a conference about, well birth of course! She discussed the history of birth (which was quite amazing and I even picked up her book "Birth Matters") and told wonderful birth stories about how simple birth actually is. She asked us to think about which other mammal uses metal instuments to remove their babies and how in her experience when we allow women to take the time they need to birth, they do just that. She also is really into YouTube (how hip considering they did not have interent on the farm for quite some time) and showed us videos of elephants, chimps and giraffes all birthing their babies! Her center is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality despite the inclusion of many vaginally delivered breeches, twin and grand multiparas. Their statistics were published in “The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study,” authored by A. Mark Durand, American Journal of Public Health, March, 1992, Vol. 82, 450-452.

She is an amazing story teller, funny and strong, but the best thing is that her understanding of women and birth and how all that resonates as she shares her experiences, research and knowledge. I left with admiration for how she truly listens to women, allowing them to feel safe and thus minimizing the fear surrounding birth.
Here is a link to her site

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chickpea Salad

We are heading to some friends for dinner tonight, so I decided to make this quick dish to bring over.

1 zucchini diced
3 garlic cloves minced

I then sauteed these 2 for about 5 minutes in a few tbsp of olive oil

3 cups of chickpeas (either canned or cooked)
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup cranberries
1 apple diced

mix all of the above ingredients with the zucchini and garlic

than spice it up with;
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp tumeric
dash of sea salt

Here it is......

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Food Chain

We had our last visit at Green Cay wetlands. Another amazing morning walking in the midst of wildlife. Towards the end we actually saw, about 10 feet from our eyes, an alligator eating a turtle! We were told that alligators eat turtles whole but they need to go down head first! eek.... We sat there for about 30 minutes watching the alligator trying to flip the turtle and each time the gator rose its jaws we could audibly hear the crunch of the shells. the kids got restless so we had to move on. This is what happens in nature, right? Aidan later said that the sound made him sad. Bella, in her evil little voice replied, "not me". Here is a shot....
We met this young guy, with this riduculous zoom lens. His name is Greg Matthews
and he has AMAZING pictures of wildlife. He captured some amazing shots of this same experience. Check it out! He also said just a week before he saw a turtle eating a baby gator. Full circle.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gumbo Limbo

This place i think is gem #2 of our Florida escapades. Gumbo Limbo, another free hotspot, ( is a nature center dedicated to coastal and marine biology. They rescue turtles and educate the public on marine life. The kids get to see animals like hammerhead sharks, nurse sharks, sting rays, puffer fish, cowfish etc....Their big focus is on saving the turtles. The center is affliated with the local University (Florida Atlantic U) and they span the coast rescuing injured turtles. Sadly, many turtles are showing up with huge cancerous papillomas, and they think it is environmental, due to the higher nitrogen content in the ocean waters. There is a really cute area in the entrance that has lifesize toy turtles that the kids can climb on and learn about. There is also a research lab you can check out, a nature trail, butterfly garden and a cute little gift shop with all your marine life toys! The kids love the lizards they get to take home! Here are a few pix of the day!
This is an amazing tower we climbed and could see ocean views
With all these great things to do, and seeing wildlife in their natural element, I don't think we will ever make it to disney!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Real Deal

We are vacationing in Florida....ahhh, warmth! over the years we have discovered such wonderful things to do in the surrounding area and I really think this place is a true gem. Nothing like seeing nature happen in it's natural element. No cages here!! It is called, ready, Wakodahatchee Wetlands ( Located in Delray Beach off Jog road, it just amazes me that we pull into this parking lot and this world that exists on this 2 km boardwalk is breathtaking. I am not really a bird lover and I love this place! Anhinga, Moor hens, Vultures, Herons (so many many birds...), Ducks, Turtles, oh and let us not forget the Alligators! Oh and one more thing, it's free......
Can you see the little duck?
If you look close you can see the baby Gator (if you click on the picture it will enlarge!)
Stay tuned tomorrow when I write about another amazing place that saves turtles!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Castor Oil Massage

Aidan was congested this past week, and with his lungs being his "weak" spot I included a castor oil massage after bathtime to help his body clear the congestion. Castor oil is a pale yellow liquid extracted from the castor seeds (Ricinis communis) and is an excellent anti-inflammatory. This oil is to be applied externally and not to be consumed (if it was consumed it would spasm the intestines causing loose stools). Make sure you buy an unrefined oil from a health food store. The castor oil helps to move any congestion internally and moves the lympathic system which in turn supports the immune system. I think it is also nice to have some touch to the area needing some extra help and our own healing hands can do that.
Some other beneficial areas to massage would be the abdomen for digestion, behind the ears sweeping towards the collar bone for chronic ear infections and around any joint for joint pain! It is also really great to give newborn babies castor oil tummy rubs to help their immature digestive system develop, hopefully decreasing some of those colicky episodes!