As we come to the inevitable end of summer we start thinking about packing away the summer gear and pulling out winter clothes and implements.  In packing things away to use in the future I think of what they will smell like when I come after them a year from now.  The article below addresses how to store and clean items so they have their same wonderful freshness aways!!!  These ideas have come in handy for me.  Hope you enjoy them too!!



By Margaret Boyles.

January 17, 2020



Neuroscientists say humans can distinguish 10,000 scents, though we don’t have names for a lot of them.

Our sense of smell—the olfactory sense—brings depth and emotional richness to daily life. Think about the feelings and memories that flow when you catch a whiff of fresh-cut grass or lilacs in bloom, bury your face in a sun-dried bed sheet just off the line, or enter the kitchen just as a cinnamon-rich apple pie emerges from the oven.

Our olfactory system also alerts us to potential dangers: spoiled food, rot and decay, harmful molds. Most American homes contain a variety of sprays, plug-ins, stick-ons, scented candles, and other products designed to mask or remove bad odors. However, many people suffer allergic reactions to the fragrances in some of these products, and some air fresheners even contain toxins.

Yet a few inexpensive household essentials you probably have on hand already—vinegarsaltcoffeebaking soda, hydrogen peroxide—will neutralize most noxious odors around your home and in your vehicles.


 Freshen Stale, Smelly Air:

  • To perfume the air indoors naturally, cut a lemon in half and set the cut halves in an inconspicuous place.
  • Rub a bit of vanilla on a light bulb and the bulb’s warmth will scent the air.
  • During periods of nice weather, just open the windows! Let fresh air blow through and push out bad smells.

Neutralize Odors in the Kitchen and Bathroom:

Most folks know that keeping an open box of plain baking soda in the refrigerator will neutralize bad odors. Sprinkle some into the bottom of the trash can and into the trash bag itself for similar results.

  • Half a cup of baking soda in two quarts of water and a soft cloth or brush also work well for cleaning the fridge, as well as scrubbing down and freshening the tub, tiles, sinks, drains, trash cans, and toilet bowls. For stronger disinfecting properties, scrub with a strong vinegar solution.
  • Fresh or leftover coffee grounds will also absorb unpleasant odors in a fridge, microwave, or cupboard.

Coffee grounds

  • Boil two parts water with one part vinegar in a microwave-safe container to remove bad smells from your microwave. The vinegar smell itself dissipates quickly.
  • Add half a cup of vinegar to a quart of water and allow to simmer on the stove for a few minutes. This will remove smell of burnt food and many other odors from your kitchen (and burned-on food from your stainless steel pots.)
  • Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and set it overnight in a lunchbox or wastebasket to remove built-up food odors.
  • Grind leftover citrus rinds in your garbage disposal to sweeten it. Or dump half a cup of salt down the drain and turn on the disposal. This loosens caked-on food and helps neutralize odor.

Get Rid of Smells in Fabrics and Carpets:

  • You can get most smells out of carpets, rugs, and upholstery (including vehicle interiors) by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Leave the baking soda in place for several hours, then vacuum or shake it out.
  • Human/pet urine or vomit on carpets and upholstery can be trickier. If you can get at it immediately, blot first with a towel, then spray the area with a 3-parts cold water/1-part vinegar solution and blot (but don’t rub). Repeat several times if needed, until the smell disappears. The vinegar odor will dissipate in a few hours.
  • Coffee grounds will sweeten the air inside your car or its trunk. For use in the car, place the grounds in a covered plastic container with holes punched in the lid.



  • Old-timers swear by this method for removing set-in odors and stains from carpets and upholstery. It works especially well on pet urine and skunk smells. You might want to test for color-fastness by soaking a small, inconspicuous area with the solution and leaving it for 24 hours before you treat the area with the stain.
  1. Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves.
  2. Gently mix a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter-cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of liquid soap in a plastic container. Don’t mix far in advance or store in a closed container. 
  3. Pour or spray the solution directly onto affected areas and allow to sit for 24 hours before blotting excess liquid. Allow to air dry.

Clean Up a Skunked Pet:

  • Veterinarians also recommend the above recipe for bathing a pet that’s been skunked. After making the solution, massage it into the animal’s fur, then let it sit for 5–10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
  • See more home remedies for pets!

Deal With Mold and Mildew:

  • If you suspect a mold problem in your home, don’t rely on simply scrubbing down the area with bleach or masking the odor with air fresheners. Some mold damage may require professional removal services. Beyond their unpleasant odors, molds and mildews can present special indoor health hazards beyond the scope of this post to describe. Some people are sensitive to certain kinds of indoor molds.


Daddys Experience Hormonal Changes Too!

In recent years there have been many research studies looking into the hormonal changes men experience when becoming fathers.  These studies have taken place all over the world and generally agree; men undergo hormonal changes when they become fathers.  I imagine, with time, it will be discovered all family members experience similar metamorphous.  We shall see.

Becoming a father is a major change in life.  It affects everything; change in the relationship with baby’s mother, change in responsibilities, physical changes in less sleep, deep concern for ones new role, care for a helpless infant, financial pressures, etc.  In addition, there are many pressures internalized through ones previous life experience, childhood, and expectations.

We will look over the research presently.  As a postpartum doula I believe the previous mentioned pressures are a major factor in acclimating to parenthood.  The new responsibilities and expectations are many.  Very few postpartum professionals assist clients in considering the affect of these many changes in their lives.  Yet, this is an area where we can smooth the way and provide a forum for consideration.

When I became a parent I felt an enormous responsibility.  Suddenly I was caretaker to a literally helpless individual.  Our son could not do anything for himself.  He was dependent upon us for everything.  The weight of this responsibility was staggering.  Yes, it is apparent in every birth.  Yes, nearly every parent survives their child’s infancy and more.  However, no one had discussed the shear weigh of the responsibility.  This surprised me.  I don’t consider myself particularly introspective, and I am sure I am not the first new parent to be aware of these points, yet why had they not been addressed somewhere?  This is another discussion……

Rather than my assessment of the following material I encourage you to read at least three of these studies and evaluate for yourself.  I have included a small paragraph from each for your interest.  Happy reading.   JUDY



Fathers-to-Be May Have Hormonal Changes Too                                                                 January 8, 2015

By Shereen Lehman     Men waiting to become fathers for the first time experienced hormonal changes before their babies were born, and levels of some hormones appeared linked to those of the men’s wives, according to a new study.



New fathers may undergo hormonal, neural and behavioral changes                              

20 August 2017

Fathers’ hormone levels and brain activity may change when they spend time with their children, helping them adapt to parenthood in a way that has been overlooked until now, according to Professor Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, who studies children and family relations at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and was until recently at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She is conducting a series of studies with new fathers, to investigate the role that hormones can play in how they bond with their children.

There is a lot known about the hormonal changes in mothers, but do they compare to what happens in new fathers?




Fathers-to-be experience hormone changes                                                                  Wednesday 17 December 2014

“Men suffer pregnancy symptoms too: Fluctuating hormones make fathers-to-be … more caring,” the Mail Online reports. A small US study found evidence of changes in hormonal levels that may make fathers-to-be more able to cope with the demands of fatherhood.


University of Notre Dame

Fathers’ postnatal hormone levels predict later caregiving   (Science Daily)                   October 3, 2018


Dads whose cortisol levels were elevated while they held their newborns on the day of their birth — either skin-to-skin or clothed — were more likely to be involved with indirect care and play with their infants in the first months of their lives.


Home / Preg-U / Science / Biology /

The Biology of Fatherhood: Rewiring the New Dad Brain

Human dads show a decrease in testosterone immediately after the birth of their babe. The hormone stays low for up to three months. For the dads who actively participate in childcare (good for you!), testosterone concentrations are even lower than their counterparts taking on a less active child care role.




“You Can’t Please All The People All The Time”

Several recent blog entries have discussed the affect of alcohol on breastfeeding. This question keeps coming up with new mothers. They are embarrassed to drink in public because of the media attention on alcohol and pregnancy. Others are harassed by those who believe all caffeine, even that in chocolate, is dangerous for babies in utero. Then there are folks who want to discuss every bite of food a mother eats, the supplements she takes, and what she drinks. This kind of scrutiny is for your obstetrician rather than your acquaintances.

Pregnant and new mommies are already stressed to the max on their own. They want to do their very best for their babies. Everyone they talk to has a different opinion of what “the best” is. Their mothers, sisters, mothers-in-law, work colleagues, neighbors, friends, uncles, pediatricians, the Internet, and on and on all weigh in on how pregnant and nursing mothers should behave. Most often all these helpful people do not agree. So mom, who wants to do her best, learns the hard way, ‘You can’t please all the people all the time.’ This can be a painful and difficult lesson.

What is a mommy to do? The wisdom of the ages says “Practice Moderation”. More problems arise in extreme behaviors than in moderation. There is the saying “Too much of anything can be a bad thing”. So don’t do too much. Having chocolate once in a while is probably much better for you than craving it incessantly and eventually binging and eating all the chocolate you can find! The same can be said for coffee, other caffeine drinks, wine, even breads and citrus. Our bodies are amazing things, they adjust when fed.

In my doula practice I seek to bring peace to the stress and confusion of life. Too much information causes us to shut down and give up. Too many rules or fears do the same. For all of us, living under the COVID cloud has intensified the confusion. Take a deep breath and let the stress flow from you. For me, the best place to do this is sitting on the sand at a beach. For you perhaps it is a park, coffee shop, or your own backyard. Find your relaxed place and go there to think. If you have little ones at home wait until they are resting or asleep and find your spot at home.

Pregnant and lactating moms, take the time to relax and think when making decisions about the topics above. Do not feel pressured to respond as others think you should. Find the best answer to each question for you.

Remember, moderation and peace.



Simple Kitchen How-to’s, just for fun

Simple Kitchen How-to’s

Ever wonder how to pick a cantaloupe or clean a baking sheet? Check out these tips for some of your common kitchen questions:


Freeze bananas

Ditch the individual bags or plastic wrap and just toss your banana in the fridge in the peel. Bananas out of their peel can also easily get stuck together, making it hard to dig out only one. When you are ready to use them, run the banana’s peel under warm water for 10 seconds, and slice the peel down the side. The banana will still be frozen but will slide out of the peel.

Make a Smoothie

Here is an easy guide to making a delicious smoothie; what you need: ½ cup to 1 cup liquid, 1 Tbsp to ¼ cup of a something creamy, ½ tsp to 1 Tbsp of a flavor, 1 to 2 cups of frozen fruits and vegetables, and a bit of sweetener to taste. Your liquid could be Kefir, juice, milk, or water. Your creamy component could be nut butter, yogurt, or avocado. Your flavor might be vanilla, lemon or lime, mint, or cinnamon. Your choice of frozen fruits and vegetables is endless.

Juice a Lemon

Maximize the amount of juice you will get by microwaving your lemon (or lime) for 20 seconds. You can even use this for cut lemon that has dried out in the fridge.

Store an Avocado

The best way to store an avocado is with the skin on, keeping the kit intact. The skin and the pit block oxygen from reaching the flesh. Limiting that contact preserves your avocado. Then, place plastic wrap directly on the flesh, so no air gets to it and store it in the fridge. You can also store your avocado in a container with an onion. The onion slows the browning process.

Picking a Ripe Cantaloupe

The best way to pick a cantaloupe is by smelling it. Pick up the melon and take a whiff of the stem end. There should be a sweet smell, but not too sweet. If you can’t smell anything, it’s not quite ripe. There are a couple of things to look for, as well. If it has a stem or green showing through, it’s not quite ripe. It should be firm, but not rock hard.

Soften Butter Quickly

Grate a stick of butter on the coarse side of a box grater. It will soften almost instantly.

Clean a Baking Sheet

Your baking sheet might seem impossible to get clean after roasting vegetables. Try using a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Spread it over the pan and let it sit for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours).

Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 15 of the First Place for Health Books and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes. You can find her cookbook, Healthy Happy Cooking in the FP4H store here:


How to Survive the Heat: You and Baby Hydrate!!!

At the end of the summer heat is difficult.  We are accustomed to sea breezes and very tolerable weather.  When it gets hot and humid we are not only uncomfortable but suffer with heat rash, overheating, and all around misery!  What can we do to make ourselves and our babies more comfortable?  In order of importance…..


    • For breastfeeding mommies:  Drink more cold water than you ever  thought possible!!!  The goal is to keep you comfortable and healthy.  Your body needs liquid to function (run your lungs, liver, etc.);  your body needs liquid for the process of making breastmilk;  your body  needs liquid for the actual milk.  It would be pretty much impossible to drink more than you can use.  It is especially important to be aware of  this when it is hotter than usual.  Gatorade has lots of sugar but can do in a pinch, other flavored waters may make drinking more easier for you.  Try adding lemon or lime juice to a large glass of ice water.  Mint is a treat or there are many vitamin additives that flavor water and add nutrients.  I went through August during my second pregnancy.  I literally spent the month outdoors in the kiddy pool with the running hose in one hand and  a Popsicle in the other!!!  Do whatever it takes to be comfortable.  One of my favorite obstetricians, Dr. Tin, encouraged me to “take long walks in air conditioned malls”.
    • For infants under the age of two:  Babies are at your mercy for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  Most of them can not tell you they are too hot or thirsty.  Be very aware of their clothing, blankets, and sleep area in the heat.  Soft thin cotton T-shirts and a diaper may be all they need.  If it is really hot forget the shirt, allow them to lay on a soft blanket with just a diaper.  If they are are mobile look for cooling opportunities: a hose on the grass, a squirt gun, an air conditioned anything.  We all tend to over dress babies, be aware of this!  For breastfeeding babies offer the breast more often than usual.  A day or two will not start a bad habit, but it will help you be sure baby has all the liquid he needs,  For older infants add an extra bottle of watered down juice or a Popsicle outdoors.  You can make your own or purchase a myriad of healthy pops.
    • For the rest of your family:  Make their favorite liquids available in mass.  You know what they like: fruit cups, water bottles, Popsicles, juices, watermelon and so on.  Avoid sodas, caffeine, and large amounts of tea as they act as diuretics, causing our bodies to slough off the liquid we so desperately need at this time.  Pay special attention to what each of them ingests.  If they are very active they will not think about it, but will need it even more!

Enjoy the wonderful days at the end of the summer!  More soon on other hints to avoid summer rashes!  Keep cool!!!  Judy




A Treat For Your Warm Summer Days!!!

4 Garden-Fresh Recipes for Summer
Mint Iced Tea by Luzianne
     We are fortunate to have a large mint patch in our back yard that makes flavorful iced tea. Fresh mint is the taste and scent of summer that reminds me of childhood, family reunions and hot summer evenings.
     Try this summer-inspired iced tea recipe to cool off. We typically use spearmint or apple mint, also known as wooly mint. You may easily adjust the amount of sugar to taste (we typically use less). Mint iced tea is refreshing for a summer potluck or backyard gathering.
     You can brew any tea.  If you are not in a hurry, make sun-tea.  Fill a glass gallon jar with fresh water, tie 6 green tea bags together and place them inside.  Cover the top and set it on a window sill in direct sunlight for the day.  Crush 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh mint and add to the bottle before serving.  Sweeten, you can use sugar, agave syrup, honey, your choice.  Pour into chilled glass mugs or glasses with ice and serve with a sprig of fresh mint.  So refreshing!!!
     We’d love to hear your favorite summer recipe or growing your own food story. Happy summertime to your family!

How long after birth do babies carry their mother’s immunity?

During the last 3 months of pregnancy, antibodies from the mother are passed to her unborn baby through the placenta.  This type of immunity is called passive immunity because the baby has been given antibodies rather than making them itself.  Antibodies are special proteins the immune system produces to help protect the body against bacteria and viruses.  The amount and type of antibodies passed to the baby depends on the mother’s immunity.  For example, if the mother has had chickenpox, she’ll have developed immunity against the condition and some of the chickenpox antibodies will be passed to the baby.  But if the mother hasn’t had chickenpox, the baby won’t be protected.  Immunity in newborn babies is only temporary and starts to decrease after the first few weeks or months.

Breast milk also contains antibodies, which means that babies who are breastfed have passive immunity for longer.  The thick yellowish milk (colostrum) produced for the first few days following birth is particularly rich in antibodies.  Premature babies are at higher risk of developing an illness because their immune systems aren’t as strong and they haven’t had as many antibodies passed to them.  As newborn immunity is only temporary, it’s important to begin childhood immunisations when your baby is 2 months old. This applies to babies who are either premature or full-term.  The first immunisation, given when your baby is 2 months old, includes whooping cough and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b) because immunity to these conditions decreases the fastest.  Passive immunity to measles, mumps and rubella can last for up to a year, which is why the MMR vaccine is given just after your baby’s first birthday.