Feb 28, 2011

Monopode Monday

monopode ~ one-footed person with foot large enough to be a sunshade

Ever have one of those weeks where things just get away from you? Yeah, that was my week last week. It started out strong, but then about Wednesday it totally got away from me.

I chose last week’s poetry form with every intention of doing an original example – it was a really easy form – but it just didn’t happen. If I don’t start finding my inspiration to come up with more original poetry, I may have to rethink my Thursday posts.

As one observant person noticed, the installment for the serial was a little light last week. Believe me when I tell you, you should feel lucky you got an installment at all. I was so not inspired last week, and I almost skipped it altogether, as someone else who writes a serial did *cough*Jamie*cough* ;-)

I got lots of writing done on Monday and spent a lot of time on Twitter. By Wednesday, however, my mojo had deserted me completely, and I could hardly muster up the energy to read some of my favourite blogs, forget commenting on them.

Friday I finally gave up after I went through a drive-thru and the motor in the electronic window of my car died with the window in the down position. In a snow storm. I went home and had a nap, and then ignored the lap top for the rest of the evening without a trace of guilt. It must have been what I needed because I felt more on an even keel by Saturday.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part Ten of my series on Home Remedies. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get a cold I often get an earache. So this week’s remedy will be for earaches.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Tibetan form of Gzha.

Friday: Chapter 13 of Fire. Though we learned more about the Mother and a little of what happened to the village, we still don’t know what Rayne’s secret is. Is she ready to talk to Pyre?

Elsewhere in my week:

I have no meetings this week. Wow, that hasn’t happened for a long time.

After my nap on Friday I had a sudden urge to write in my journal, something I haven’t done for a long time. I would like to keep this up. I'm starting to realize it’s not something I should schedule. I think that’s where I’ve failed in my journal keeping before. So, I would like to keep up my journal, but when the spirit moves me, not because I feel I have to. This may mean several short posts in the same day, or perhaps several days without a single post. But if it works, it works.

No sweeping promises about finishing Forever and For Always. I started out strong last week and then inspiration fizzled out by Wednesday. And then I had other obligations that I needed to focus on. So, this week I will continue to work on it, focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have used up my extra “journal entries” for my serial and I need to get a few more of them written ahead of time.

Staying up until 4 a.m. writing a serial installment does not make for a good installment, so I am going to start trying to get the installments done earlier in the week. Ideally I’d like to get one or two installments written ahead of time, but I’m not expecting to get that far this week.

So, how about you? What have you been up to/will be up to? Surely someone out there leads a more exciting life than me! ;-)

Feb 24, 2011


Abhanga is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthala also known as Vithoba. Abhangs were first sung by the Varkari saints like Tukaram. Tukaram in his native language, Marathi. Tukaram was a seventeenth century poet, who lived in a town named Dehu, which is located near modern day Pune. He was a popular poet and was a leading figure in the Varkari Movement of the time, that sought to put the emphasis back on devotion and love towards God, in contrast to blind obedience of rituals and arcane religious practices.

The form is simply described:
four lines, with syllable counts of 6, 6, 6, 4, and lines 2 and 3 rhyming.


Soft waves of midnight hair
frame her dawning face,
eyes in submissive grace,
beauty silenced.
~ Judi Van Gorder

Magic Moments

There are books of magic,
we love Harry Potter,
me and my granddaughter.
"Read it, Grandma."
~ Judi Van Gorder

Feb 23, 2011

Hump Day Hunk

This one's for Jamie, who isn't feeling well. Take one of these and go right back to bed. ;-)

Feb 22, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Nine

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


Put the hair of the patient’s head between two slices of buttered bread and give the sandwich to a dog. The animal will therefore catch the cough and the patient will lose it. – A Northamptonshire, Devonshire, and Welsh Folk Remedy

Take one cup honey, half cup vinegar, one small teaspoon cayenne pepper. – the Farmer’s Advocate, 1876

Eat some dark chocolate. Chocolate can feel good on a sore throat, if you let it melt. Theobromine, a component of chocolate, has been demonstrated to relieve coughing.

A pint whiskey, 2 boxes rock candy; 1 tbl. glycerine. Put in bottle and shake, 1 tbl. at a time.

Mix 20 drops of garlic juice with pomegranate juice and drink it. It is beneficial in all types of cough. If you are averse to strong garlic, simmer the garlic until soft. Muddle one clove garlic with one tbsp honey. Stir in one tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. The combination of garlic and acidic vinegar or lemon juice really opens up sinus passages and, along with the honey, breaks up phlegm. Garlic and honey are also loaded with vitamins and have antiseptic properties.

Infuse three drachms of garlick and half an ounce of mustard seed into a quart of white wine, let it stand a week closed up and drink a glass of it as often as you please. – the Complete Vermin Killer and Useful Pocket Companion, 1778

Three newly laid eggs, unbroken, over which is poured the juice of six lemons and allow to stand for forty-eight hours. Then pick out any bits of the egg shell which are not dissolved. Add one half pound of rock candy and one pint of Jamaica brandy; mix well and bottle. Dose: one tablespoon three or four times a day. – the New Cookbook, 1806

The use of raw onion is valuable in a cough. This vegetable should be chopped fine and the juice extracted from it. One teaspoon of the juice should then be mixed with one teaspoon of honey and kept for four or five hours-it will make an excellent cough syrup and should be taken twice daily. Onions are also useful in removing phelgm. A medium-sized onion should be crushed, the juice of one lemon added to it, and then one cup of boiling water poured on it. A teaspoon of honey can be added for taste. This remedy should be taken two or three times a day.

Grind coriander and sugar candy in equal quantity and take 1 tsp. of it with a cup of rice soaked water. It will be beneficial. This will give relief from cough.

One of the most effective and nauseating-sounding cures for persistent catarrhal infections, which may cause both coughs and bronchitis, is the drinking of the warm water into which all the goodness of the cabbage or leeks has leeched during cooking. Nasty though it sounds, it does taste quite savoury and should be taken night and morning. It is also an ancient remedy for whooping-cough. This will help in treating cough.

A sauce prepared from raisins is also useful in a cough. This sauce is prepared by grinding 100 gm of raisins with water. About 100 gm of sugar should be mixed with it and the mixture heated. When the mixture acquires a sauce-like consistency, it should be preserved. Twenty grams should be taken at bedtime daily.

The Honourable Mr. Boyle’s Genuine Sirup For Coughs: This excellent remedy cannot be made too public. It is thus prepared. Take six ounces of comfrey root and twelve handfuls of plantain leaves: cut and beat them well: strain out the juice: and with an equal weight of sugar, oil it to a sirup. -1814

If you dry chestnuts (only the kernels) both the barks being taken away, beat them into powder and make the powder up into an electuary with honey, so you have an admirable remedy for the cough and spitting of blood. – Nicholas Culpeper, 1652

Buttonwood, white oak, and white ash barks, equal parts boiled in water and sweetened with honey. Dose: one tablespoon three times a day. – the Primitive Physick, 1747

Buy a chest rub that contains camphor or menthol and apply it to your throat and chest. Both of these substances have been FDA-approved as topical antitussives, which simply means they stop a cough. They should not be taken internally.

If you don’t have any store-bought chest rub, try making a mustard plaster to loosen up chest congestion. Mix one part mustard powder and two parts flour in a bowl. Add just enough water to make a paste. Spread the paste on a dishtowel, fold the towel in half, and press it against the skin. (Never put the mustard mixture directly on your skin.) Check your skin often and remove the plaster if your skin becomes too red or irritated. Some people suggest using an egg white instead of water to make a plaster that’s less likely to burn.

Feb 21, 2011

Martinet Monday

martinet ~ a strict disciplinarian; one who adheres to rules

Last week was crazy busy. Along with my goals I had a fair amount of freelancing work to do as well as a couple of unexpected excursions that took up valuable time.

For anyone who missed it, I took part in another AW blog chain, this one where we try writing in a different POV. Mine is a humorous (I hope) piece that you can read HERE.

My game playing is fast becoming a thing of the past and when Twitter becomes too distracting I *gulp* shut it off. Tough love, people, tough love.

Although I started an example for last week’s poetry form, I just didn’t have the time to finish it. Maybe once I’ve exhausted the forms I’ll go back and repeat the ones I didn’t provide an original example for and give them another shot.

Did not get to my Scribe’s meeting. I got a last minute call to do some freelance work and I was later than I expected. That’s just the way it goes some times. I did make it to the monthly poetry reading though.

My focus was a little better last week. I’ve been concentrating on Forever and For Always – it’s up to 73,000 words now – and I’m sticking with it until it’s done. I’m not going to say how close to being done it is, every time I do I find another plot hole. :-)

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part nine of my series on Home Remedies. This week we’ll see how to handle those pesky coughs.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Abhanga. Whether or not I have an original example to offer will depend on how much freelancing I have to do this week.

Friday: Chapter 12 of Fire. So . . . just what is Rayne’s secret? And is she ready to reveal it?

Elsewhere in my week:

There’s a poetry meeting tomorrow night, which is always a fun time.

I will finish Forever and For Always. Yes, that’s right, I said finish. I’ve been dicking around with this novel long enough. Time to get ‘er done.

And that’s pretty much it for my week, at least as it stands right now. You never know what might pop up to divert my attention though.

So how do you plan to spend your Family Day (Canada) or President’s Day (U.S.)? Anything interesting in the works?

Feb 17, 2011


In researching this form I found two very different definitions.

First we have a verse form named for the algebraic equations that were introduced by Irish mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton in 1843 which had to do with the multiplication of three dimensional imaginary units by four dimensional objects. The connection between the algebraic concept and the form is they both have a 3 by 4 concept.*

Quaternion is a poetry style where the theme is divided into four. Each part explores the complementary natures of the theme or subject. The word quaternion is derived from the Latin word quaterni, meaning four by four. The poem may be in any poetic form.

By Anne Bradstreet

Another four I've left yet to bring on,
Of four times four the last Quarternion,
The Winter, Summer, Autumn & the Spring,
In season all these Seasons I shall bring;


Sweet Spring like man in his Minority,
At present claim'd, and had priority.
With Smiling face and garments somewhat green,
She trim'd her locks, which late had frosted been,
Nor hot nor cold, she spake, but with a breath,
Fit to revive, the nummed earth from death.
Three months (quoth she) are 'lotted to my share
March, April, May of all the rest most fair.


When Spring had done, the Summer did begin,
With melted tauny face, and garments thin,
Resembling Fire, Choler, and Middle age,
As Spring did Air, Blood, Youth in 's equipage.
Wiping the sweat from of her face that ran,
With hair all wet she pussing thus began;
Bright June, July and August hot are mine,


Of Autumn moneths September is the prime,
Now day and night are equal in each Clime,
The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the Line,
And doth in poizing Libra this month shine.
The vintage now is ripe, the grapes are prest,
Whose lively liquor oft is curs'd and blest:
For nought so good, but it may be abused,
But its a precious juice when well its used.


Cold, moist, young flegmy winter now doth lye
In swaddling Clouts, like new born Infancy
Bound up with frosts, and furr'd with hail & snows,
And like an Infant, still it taller grows;
December is my first, and now the Sun
To th' Southward Tropick, his swift race doth run:

The second cites this form as English, a twelve-line, three-quatrain poem with a fixed rhyme scheme.**

The Quaternion is metered at the discretion of the poet and is rhymed aabb ccdd abcd

By Judi Van Gorder

Forgotten in a tight airless attic,
a thing that was to prove problematic,
a Halloween reflective diorama
in reenactment of a psychodrama.

The shoebox, webbed and painted black,
a tiny coffin's cedar lid drawn back,
inside a body stiff in death, an axe
imbedded in the head, a final tax.

A challenge to create this poematic
with ghoulish display in frightful panorama.
The sounds with screeching tone, elegiac
and words don't always tell the lonely facts.

*Poetry Magnum Opus
**Poetry Base

Feb 15, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Eight

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


Put your hat on the table, drink well from a bottle of good whiskey until you see two hats. Then get into bed and stay there. – Canadian Prairies Remedy, 1821

One tablespoon molasses, two teaspoons castor oil, one teaspoon paregoric, one teaspoon spirits camphor. Mix them and take it often. Will cure any cold. – Canadian Pioneer’s Doctor Book

Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids may help thin the mucus, thus keeping it flowing freely and making it easier for the body to expel, along with the viral particles trapped within it. Water and other liquids also combat dehydration. So drink at least eight ounces of fluid every two hours.

Garlic soup is an old remedy to reduce the severity of a cold, and should be taken once daily. It can be prepared by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, besides several other medicinal virtues. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages. In soup form, it flushes out all toxins from the system and thus helps bring down fever.

Sip chicken soup. A long-time folk remedy is now a proven fact. A cup of hot chicken soup can help unclog your nasal passages. Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach found that hot chicken soup, either because of its aroma or its taste, "appears to possess an additional substance for increasing the flow of nasal mucus." These secretions—what comes out when you blow your nose or sneeze—serve a first line of defense in removing germs from your system.

Take a quarter of a pint of horehound water, a quarter of a pint of coltsfoot water, a pound of reasons (raisins) of the sun stoned, pound the reasons very well then mingle these together then set them on the fire boule them like marmolet then take it off and put it into two ounces of honey and one spoonful mustard then set in on the fire and let it simmer a while then put it into a pot and take as much as ye quantity of a walnut first in ye morning and last at night. – A Book of Simples, 1750

Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.

Vitamin C is wonderful for the cure of common cold. It can make the symptoms less severe or can shorten the length of a cold from seven days to two or three days with less coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms. In fact, vitamin C works as a scavenger in our body throwing out all toxins. If you feel a cold coming on, you should start taking Vitamin C.

Zap it with zinc. Sucking on zinc lozenges can cut colds short, to an average of four days, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have discovered. Zinc can also dramatically reduce symptoms such as a dry, irritated throat. The down side is that zinc has an unpleasant taste. There are, however, lozenges on the market that contain honey and/or citrus that are a lot easier to swallow. But do not take more than the amount recommended by your doctor. Zinc can be toxic in large doses.

This must be strictly attended to every evening, that is, whenever you pull off your shoes or stockings, run your finger between all the toes and smell it. This will certainly effect a cure. – The Long Lost Friend, 1856

Pare very thin the yellow rind of an orange, roll it up inside out and thrust a roll into each nostril. – Primitive Physick, 1747

Some of your garden's aromatherapy plants can be infused into massage oil, then rubbed into your chest. Lavender, peppermint, and yarrow can all alleviate congestion. Lavender may also stimulate immune function and induce much-needed sleep. Yarrow and elder flowers can promote sweating and help break a fever.

A humidifier will add moisture to your immediate environment, which may make you feel more comfortable and will keep your nasal tissues moist. That's helpful because dry nasal membranes provide poor protection against viral invasion.

To reduce congestion and help clear sinuses, try a steam treatment:
Put lavender, eucalyptus, or mint in a medium-sized bowl; use 8 drops if you have essential oil. Pour 2 cups of steaming hot water over the herbs or oil. Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and slowly breath in the steam. Blow your nose gently as mucus is loosened. Continue to breathe steam for about five minutes.

Apply fresh cow dung to your chest in the form of a cross.
Wear the skin of a white weasel around your neck
Put some mequite leaves under your hat.
Catching leaves in your hand which fall from the trees in the Fall will cure a head cold.
Take dried frog skins and make a powder of them. Mix with fruit juice and drink.
- Texas Remedies

Feb 14, 2011

Moonstruck Monday

moonstruck ~ 1. dreamily romantic or bemused 2. mentally deranged, supposedly by the influence of the moon; crazed

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I’m happy to report that last week went much better than the week before. Got some reading and writing done as well as editing.

My posts last week were all written and up as scheduled, and I even managed to write not one but three original examples of the featured poetry form. It helps that it was a fairly easy form to write in. ;-)

I’m still doing well at staying away from the games, but Twitter is another matter. It’s just so tempting with all the chatter and the links and the chatter. I think maybe I need to get out into the real world more. LOL

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part eight of my series on Home Remedies. Let’s see . . . we’ve covered fevers, frostbite and sore throats, I think it’s time we learned how to deal with a cold.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Quaternion. We’ll have to wait and see if the Muse inspires me with an original example or not.

Friday: Chapter 11 of Fire. What does the Mother have to tell Rayne? She’s so old and sick . . . can anything she says be trusted?

Elsewhere in my week:

I have another Scribe’s meeting tonight. Our normal schedule would make it next Monday, but as you know, if you’re in Canada, next Monday is Family Day so the library’s closed. Anyway, the topic is “pineapple” and so far my mind is blank.

I have to make time this week to visit one of our local coffee houses. They're currently displaying the paintings of a local artist and someone in my poetry group suggested we all take a look to see if we can come up with an Ekphrasic poem or two. An Ekphrasic poem is one that draws its inspiration from another work of art.

I'm not sure but I think there's a poetry reading scheduled for this week as well. Guess it would behove me to find out before I miss it.

If you’re on Twitter, then you’re already aware of the amazing number of links that get posted there. I already have too many sites bookmarked so what I thought I’d do is keep track of some of the ones I’ve found particularly useful/enjoyable/entertaining and post them on Tuesdays on Random Writings.

I still need to work on that pesky old focus issue. It’s getting a little better but it needs to get a lot more better before I’m happy with it. Of course it’s really just mind over matter. Ask anyone who’s been through cognitive therapy.

Again this week is looking a little light on the goals, but I’ll be filling in the gaps with the usual writing, editing, and reading. I’m still not quite at the point of setting proper writing goals instead of ‘get some done’ - maybe next week. ;-)

And that’s it for my week. How about you? Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

Feb 10, 2011


I have a folder on my computer that holds all the forms I’ve found that I’ve come across in my research and haven’t explored yet. The problem is, I don’t cite sources, so when I pick one of these forms to explore, I end up having to do a whole new search for information.

Such is the case with the Pensee. I checked my usual sources and found that it’s a syllabic form with five lines, originally created as a short prose poem. So then I did some more digging and a single source added that it’s an invented form introduced by an American by the name of Alice Spokes. So far I haven’t been able to find out any more regarding Ms. Spokes, so whether or not she really did invent this form is unconfirmed.

The structure of the Pensee is as follows:
Line 1: subject – 2 syllables
Line 2: description – 4 syllables
Line 3: action – 7 syllables
Line 4: setting – 8 syllables
Line 5: final thought – 6 syllables

As you might have guessed by the fact I produced three examples, I found this form both easy and enjoyable to write in.

Summer Romance
the moon
shining softly
perfumed breeze wafting gently
summer garden filled with magic
romance is in the air

true love
as I know it
is not for the faint of heart
you chase it until you are caught
too late to change your mind

all enfolding
souls in torment reaching out
hell is nothing like expected
no fire, just the cold

Feb 9, 2011

Hump Day Hunk

Here you go, something to keep you warm on a cold, winter morning! ;-)

Feb 8, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Seven

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.

Sore Throat

Take a sock you have worn into a boot and worked in for almost a week so that it has a bad odour. Tie it around your neck. ~ Appalachian Folk Remedy

Get three toads and tie them by the legs with a string. Let them stay in the sun until they decay away; wear the string around the neck. It is a simple and certain cure. ~ A Number of Receipts For Curing Man and Beast, 1855

Honey has long been used as a sore-throat remedy. It has antibacterial properties, which can help speed healing. It also acts as a hypertonic osmotic, which means that it draws water out of inflamed tissue. This reduces the swelling and discomfort. Add several teaspoons to 1 cup of hot water or herbal tea.

Chamomile tea is one of the best natural remedies for a sore throat. Its analgesic properties can provide rapid relief for throat pain and headaches. Administered every few hours, chamomile tea can also reduce fever and prevent dehydration.

An old home remedy for sore throats is a tea made with lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, and honey. It is made by adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water.

Honeysuckle flower is one of the most commonly used sore throat remedies in traditional Chinese medicine. Health food stores occasionally carry it, but it is primarily sold in Chinese herbal stores. Make a honeysuckle tea by bringing one quart of water to a boil using this method: add one cup of honeysuckle flowers (not the leaves), steep for at least 10 minutes, covered, and then strain. Up to four cups a day are typically recommended.

Marshmallow, a herb that grows in North America and Europe, has been used for centuries as a sore throat remedy. It contains mucilage, which is thought to coat and soothe sore throats. Make a marshmallow root tea by adding one tablespoon of the dried root to a cup (8 ounces) of boiling water, steeping it covered for at least 10 minutes, and then straining. Herbalists usually suggest drinking up to three cups a day.

Take two new-laid eggs roasted moderately hard, and the pap of two well roasted pippins. Beat them well together and add to them as much curds of posset made with ale. Having incorporated them all very well, apply the mixture very warm to the part affected, shifting it, if need be, once in five or six hours. ~ The Family Magazine, London, 1741

Sage is another effective cure for a sore throat. Half a litre of boiling water should be poured on a handful of sage leaves. When moderately cool, a little vinegar and honey should be added according to taste. This mixture should be used as a gargle. A teaspoon of this mixture call also be taken internally at the same time. Sage is highly valued because of the oils and tannins in it that give it its antiseptic and astringent properties.

A gargle prepared from fenugreek seeds has been found to be a very effective remedy for treating a sore throat. To prepare this gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be put in a litre of cold water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. This should then be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature, strained, and then used entirely as a gargle.

Gargling with salt water can fight against bacteria and reduce throat inflammation and pain.

Tamarind is also beneficial in the treatment of sore throat. Tamarind water should be used as a gargle. A powder of the dry leaves and an infusion of the bark can also be used for preparation of a gargle for treating sore throat.

Tie a bag of red ants around the neck. After the ants are all dead, the throat will be well. ~ Avery’s Almanac, 1837

Apply a flannel sprinkled with spirits of hartshorn to the throat, rubbing Hungary water on the top of the head. Or, snuff a little honey up the nose. ~ Reverend John Wesley, Primitive Physick, 1747.

Cinnamon is regarded as an effective remedy for a sore throat. One teaspoon of coarsely powdered cinnamon, boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder, and two teaspoons of honey can be taken as a medicine in the treatment of this condition. Two or three drops of cinnamon oil, mixed with a teaspoon of honey, also give immense relief. You could also use ginger along with cinnamon and honey to prepare one of the most effective sore throat remedies for quick sore throat relief. Both ginger and cinnamon are highly valued for their healing properties and have been widely used among naturalists and in traditional medicine to aid the treatment of sore throats and throat infections in a variety of sore throat home remedies.

Liquorice is a recognized home remedy for sore throat in all parts of India. A small piece of raw liquorice should he chewed or sucked for treating this condition. The healing property of the herb soothes inflammation quickly.

Slippery elm was once a popular drugstore remedy for sore throats in North America. The herb was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia, a compendium of drug standards, until 1960. A member of the elm family, the slippery elm tree (Ulmus Rubra Muhl) grows primarily in the eastern region of North America. For sore throats, herbalists use the inner bark of the tree. The inner bark contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that swells when it is mixed with water. The mucilage is thought to coat the throat, reduce irritation, and soothe sore throat. Steep 1 teaspoon of the inner bark in 2 cups boiling water, strain and drink.

Feb 7, 2011

Megachiropteran Monday

megachiropteran ~ of, like or pertaining to fruit bats

Last week did not, in any way, shape or form, go as I had planned. The good news is, this is a brand new week and I have every reason to expect things to go better. :-)

If you’ve been following my series on Home Remedies you’ll notice I switched last week's topic to frostbite. This was in anticipation of the Snowmageddon that befell so many on Wednesday night. It wasn’t so bad here – yes it was stormy and very windy, but we actually got more snow Saturday night in a gentle, steady, fall.

Got my posts all up as scheduled, however I did not get an original example of the Rondeau Redouble written, and furthermore, I don’t feel guilty in the least about it.

I actually did get some reading in, but it was on Saturday while I was waiting for the hubby at a bowling tournament. All I can say is, thank goodness there was a Chapters with a Starbucks close to the bowling centre. ;-)

My facebook friends might have noticed I wasn’t around much last week, that’s because I was spending a lot of time on Twitter. If you tweet too, look me up. I’m CarolRWard on Twitter.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part six of my series on Home Remedies. This week will be another winter related one, this time remedies for a sore throat.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Pensee.

Friday: Chapter 10 of Fire. Will Pyre agree to the Mother’s last request? Will he tell Rayne about it?

Elsewhere in my week:

I really have to take some time to catch up on my e-mails. I’ve been putting it off for over a week now. I don’t know why . . .

Must find a balance between Twitter and Facebook and “getting things done”. My multi-tasking skills appear to have atrophied and I need to whip them back into shape. Until then I need to spend less time tweeting and facebooking and more time writing.

There’s a shiney new idea poking around my brain, begging to be let out but I’m making it wait until I get Forever and For Always printed out for line edits. Hopefully, that will be this week. Once that’s done it’s all down hill from there.

I have a Scribes meeting tonight and I believe the topic is “the wedding”. Still not sure what I’m going to do with it but I’m sure I’ll come up with something before the meeting.

I need to do at least two posts for Random Writings. I haven’t posted anything since the blogfest and that poor little blog is starting to look neglected.

This week looks a little light on the goals, but I’ll be filling in the gaps with the usual writing, editing, and reading. Maybe once I’ve regained my focus I can start setting proper writing goals for the week instead of the vague ‘get some done’.

And that’s it for my week ahead. How about you? What are you up to these days?

Feb 3, 2011

Rondeau Redoublé

The Rondeau Redoublé is not an easy form to write. It has twenty-five lines and like the Rondeau it uses only two rhymes throughout, repeats whole lines, and has an awkward repeated half-line at the end.

To write one of these, start with the final half-line, then do the opening stanza, and you're half-way there. The first stanza is the key to the whole poem. Its four lines reappear in turn as the final lines of the next four stanzas, and the first part of the first line reappears again as the half-line at the very end.

Rhyme Scheme:

1st Stanza: (RA1)B1A2B2
2nd Stanza: babA1
3rd Stanza: abaB1
4th Stanza: babA2
5th Stanza: abaB2
6th Stanza: babaR

The following example of the form was written from the point of view of one of the RAF officers carrying the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales to the plane that was to carry it to England.

Guard of Honour
by Paul Hansford

The burden I bear is more heavy than lead.
The physical weight is a thing that I share,
but the loss that I feel will not leave my head.
Why did you have to die? Why is death so unfair?

I am close to you now. Yes, touching my hair
the flag with its lions of gold and of red
that wraps round your coffin. I know you are there.
The burden I bear is more heavy than lead

My comrades move with me in slow, solemn tread.
Our eyes are all fixed in an unseeing stare.
Our shoulders support you in your oaken bed.
The physical weight is a thing that I share.

As I feel the world watching I try not to care.
My deepest emotions are best left unsaid.
Let others show grief like a garment they wear,
but the loss that I feel will not leave my head.

The flowers they leave like a carpet are spread,
In the books of remembrance they have written, "Somewhere
a star is extinguished because you are dead.
Why did you have to die? Why is death so unfair?"

The tears that we weep will soon grow more rare,
the rawness of grief turn to memory instead.
But deep in our hearts you will always be there,
and I ask, will I ever be able to shed
the burden I bear?

Rondeau Redoublé
by Dorothy Parker

The same to me are sombre days and gay.
Though joyous dawns the rosy morn, and bright,
Because my dearest love is gone away
Within my heart is melancholy night.

My heart beats low in loneliness, despite
That riotous Summer holds the earth in sway.
In cerements my spirit is bedight;
The same to me are sombre days and gay.

Though breezes in the rippling grasses play,
And waves dash high and far in glorious might,
I thrill no longer to the sparkling day,
Though joyous dawns the rosy morn, and bright.

Ungraceful seems to me the swallow's flight;
As well might Heaven's blue be sullen gray;
My soul discerns no beauty in their sight
Because my dearest love is gone away.

Let roses fling afar their crimson spray,
And virgin daisies splash the fields with white,
Let bloom the poppy hotly as it may,
Within my heart is melancholy night.

And this, oh love, my pitiable plight
Whenever from my circling arms you stray;
This little world of mine has lost its light ...
I hope to God, my dear, that you can say
The same to me.

Feb 1, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Six

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


For frosted feet or limbs, take hog’s lard and snow, equal parts and grease three evenings with it. John Stoner’s Sympathy, 1867

A remedy for frozen feet is to wrap the feet in the skins of rabbits killed in the dark of the moon. The Farmer’s Advocate

If you have an aloe vera plant or bottled aloe vera gel, gently apply it to the frostbitten area. Aloe work against thromboxanes, substances that constrict blood vessels, When the vessels relax, the frostbitten area heals faster.

Bandage fresh sliced beets onto the frostbitten area to ease pain and tenderness. Leave the beets on until they are dry. Repeat as necessary.

Cover the frostbitten area with the inner side of a banana peel.

A horsetail bath is soothing can help rebuilding skin tissues because of its silica content.

Bury a crooked penny at the northeast corner of the cabin outside where water drops from the eaves. Kentucky Superstitions, 1820

Kill a chicken and soak the damaged feet or hands in the warm blood.
Texas Folk Medicine

Boil and mash potatoes. Add salt and apply the mixture to the frostbitten areas. If you're hungry, eat the potatoes and apply the warm water (in which the potatoes were boiled) to the frostbitten areas.

An old Norwegian remedy suggest you apply a cold mashed onion poultice.

Massage the affected area with camphor oil if the frostbite is not severe

Alternate between a hot compress (as hot as you can stand it) and ice cold compress to treat frostbitten skin. Apply a hot compress for three minutes followed by a cold compress for 30 seconds. Repeat three times each – ending with the cold compress.

Components found in cayenne pepper work towards boosting circulation and reliving pain associated with frostbite.

As soon as you feel "pins and needles" or you notice a white area on your skin, warm up the affected area slowly. Immerse the affected part into comfortably warm (100 – 105 degree Fahrenheit) water and keep replacing warm water when necessary.

Mix cow manure and milk, place in a cloth and apply to frost bitten area.
Texas Remedies

Take a white woolen cloth which has never been used before, burn it to ashes, strew these ashes upon the afflicked feet and they will heal. Albertus Magnus

Warm frozen toes by filling up a 1- to 2-liter soda bottle with hot water and rolling it back and forth underneath your feet.

Steep a teaspoon of sage in a cup of hot water for five minutes and drink it. Sage tea will help improve circulation.

Warm some olive oil and gently dab it on the frostbitten skin or apply it with a kitchen pastry brush.

Soak mullein flowers in olive oil for fifteen minutes and apply to frostbitten area.

Apply garlic oil to the infected area to prevent or help heal infection.