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Sep 20, 2018

Why is Change so Hard?

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

There’s been a lot of change in my life this year, both big and small. A long illness, new job, new homes, and basically a new me. Being the anxious person that I am, I’ve always wondered when things will take a turn for the worse, especially if I’ve been comfortable for a short while. It’s a terrible way to think, and very different from the positive thoughts I’ve recently strived to live by. But inevitability, change came the way it always does.  But this time I did something different - I asked myself why I felt fear over change, even when it was good. I realized the first thing it made me feel was uncomfortable; I was conditioned to believe that all you can get out of being uncomfortable is negative. I’m now in the process of learning that it’s OK to be uncomfortable sometimes, and I am continually reminding myself to embrace the discomfort, it’s the only way you grow. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Sep 18, 2018

Ancient Mysteries of Lost Technologies

by Matt Warnock, Herbal Head Honcho

Technology is great, but today’s technology often becomes tomorrow’s ecological disaster.  The issues we face today, such as pollution and industrial waste, global warming, and atomic weapons, are often the direct result of yesterday’s technological advances. Perhaps we should be a little less egotistical about our modern state of knowledge. The fact is, our ancestors were much smarter than we give them credit for, and they had some rather ingenious and surprising technology.

For example, windmills are all the rage today for green power production—but the good people of Holland were using them hundreds of years ago to reclaim land from the sea so it could be farmed to support their growing population. Long dikes or causeways were built to wall in a shallow area of the sea, and once the sea was surrounded by a land wall, windmills were built to operate water screws that lifted the ocean water up, over, and past the dikes, creating new land for farming. Knowing so well how to put wind power to work, it is no wonder the small country of Holland was one of the greatest trading nations in the days of sail!

At the Qutab mosque in Delhi, India, there is a pillar of iron 23 feet tall weighing 13,000 pounds, dating to the reign of the Gupta monarchs about 400 AD. The pillar is cylindrical, tapering from about 17 inches in diameter at the base to about 12 inches at the top, and was constructed by welding successive layers of iron. The most unusual thing about this pillar (besides its massive size) is that in the last 1,400 years, it has suffered almost no corrosion, thanks to an unusual metallurgical composition that includes high levels of phosphorus. The surface oxidizes to rust as other iron does, but the rust forms a unique weatherproof barrier that prevents the rust from penetrating any deeper into the metal. This metallurgic technology seems well ahead of its time.

Another stunning example of ancient technology is the Antikythera mechanism. Found in 1901 in a sunken Roman galley, this device tantalized scientists with its handmade bronze clockwork mechanism that was far older than any known mechanical clock. Though mechanical clocks were not developed in Europe until the beginning of the 13th century, the Antikythera mechanism dates to 100-150 BCE. As scientists have continued to study the workings of the device, which contains over 30 gears, its purpose has become more clear. The Antikythera mechanism was an astronomical calculator, capable of predicting the locations and phases of the sun, the moon, and the five classical planets. It was also capable of predicting eclipses. Clearly, Greek knowledge of mechanical devices was better than we thought!

There are many other historical items that remain tantalizing mysteries, from the so-called “Baghdad battery,” to the giant sculpted and stacked stones of Sacsayhuamán in Peru that used no mortar, and you can’t even slip a piece of paper between, even the unknown incendiary weapon called “Greek fire” that was used in 672 AD. Our ancestors had better technology than we know, and sometimes, they knew more than we do yet today.

Sep 18, 2018

Disc Golf and Keeping Fit

by Chris Herbert, Sales Director

Sep 18, 2018

Homemade Basil Ice Cream

by Abbie Warnock-Matthews, Graphics Goddess

Group Grub: 
Abbie’s Basil Ice Cream:

- 5 egg yolks

- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 ounces fresh basil leaves (your variety of Basil will affect the flavor of your ice cream, but they all seem to be good.)

- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar aggressively until the mixture is thick and pale yellow in color. It should fall from the whisk in thick ribbons.
- Combine the milk, cream, and vanilla in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat immediately, and mix it slowly into the egg mixture, whisking with other hand.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and cook slowly over low heat until custard base thickens slightly, and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and continue to stir (over an ice bath) until cold.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the basil leaves, drain over an ice bath, and squeeze out any excess moisture. Puree the basil leaves, and stir into the cooled ice cream base. Let the mixture infuse overnight.
- Strain the ice cream base through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any larger pieces of basil leaves. Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's directions.
- Place the ice cream in an airtight container and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Freeze for 4-6 hours or until firm. 
Allow ice cream to soften just slightly before serving.

Sep 18, 2018

September Window to Wanderlust

by Abbie Warnock-Matthews, Graphics Goddess

Autumn Aspens, Utah

Sep 8, 2018

Observation versus Evaluation in Communication

by Nichole Carver, Your Magical Marketing Millennial

recently began listening to the book “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg. Not only has it helped me better communicate (and I’m not even done yet!) it’s brought to my attention an interesting concept I’d like to share: observation versus evaluation.  If you’ve read the book, this isn’t anything new to you, but might be a great refresher.

First, I’d like to define what those two words mean. Observation is the action or process of closely observing or monitoring something or someone to gather information. Evaluation is the making of a judgment about the amount, number, or value of something, in this case, the people with whom we are communicating; it is an assessment. Observation is objective. Evaluation is subjective. This is a key differentiation.

What’s important about defining the difference between these two is it affects how we perceive those around us and even our very own lives. It affects how we respond to the human condition. It affects our compassion and communication. It affects every single interaction we have in life. Indian Philosopher J. Krishnamurti has said, “For most of us, it is difficult to make observations, especially of people and their behavior, that are free of judgment, criticism, or other forms of analysis.” Wise words indeed.

For instance, here are some things we might say:

She is always procrastinating.”

My kids don’t do what I want.”

He is a loud mouth.”

If I say these things, I am not making an observation, but an evaluation. If I were making a true observation it would sound more like this:

“She only studies the night before taking an exam.”

“The last four times I’ve asked my children to clean their room they didn’t do it.”

“He talks very loudly.”

When observation gets mixed with evaluation it turns into judgement, which makes it difficult to communicate with those around us effectively. It sounds to them like criticism. Who wants to talk to someone when they feel they are being criticized? When we use comments that are true observations it makes it hard for the other person to disagree or get defensive. Sometimes taking a step back and thinking about how to analyze a situation helps us see it for what it is, and not what we assume it to be. I’ve just been trying this simple concept recently, and it has helped a lot in my personal life. It’s easy to get upset, angry, sad, or frustrated. It’s easy to want to retaliate or defend yourself. It’s easy to brush off feelings and not address our personal concerns. It’s not easy to take a step back and state an observation in those moments (along with how it made you feel, but feelings is a whole other topic Marshall covers in his book. Most of us don’t properly express feelings).  I hope this brief introduction gave you some food for thought and that it’s applicable to your own life. I also highly encourage you to read his book “Non-Violent Communication” for more in-depth information on how to communicate in a way that benefits the whole.


Sep 6, 2018

Hemp Trends

by Eva Chacon

Gather around boys and girls, we are going to learn about hemp trends! For those of you who aren’t aware what hemp is, buckle up, as you are about to enter the world of tomorrow. Hemp seeds come from the plant Cannabis sativa L. If this plant sounds familiar to you, it's probably because a strain of this genus is known as marijuana. However, the strain we are talking about today is non-psychoactive and non-medicinal - but it was used over 10,000 years ago to make paper and has had an incredible history of uses since.

When we talk about hemp seeds, we actually mean an achene: a simple dry fruit with a hard shell, just like sunflower seeds, where the real seed is actually inside the whole.  This part of the seed is called the hemp heart. It is considered one of the most versatile and economical plants in existence. It grows extremely rapidly with little environmental depletion and can be used for ropes, building products, fabrics, and even food products. It is extremely eco-friendly and very cost effective. However, due to its more controversial, psychoactive strains, hemp has a bad rap the industry has been struggling to overcome ever since, and it has been banned in the U.S. for many years. However, things are beginning to change, and it is becoming more widely known as a sustainable plant that could make your everyday life more affordable and nature-friendly.

Firstly, there is hemp clothing- hemp is a great product to use for clothes because it is such a strong, durable material. Hemp is lightweight, breathable, absorbent, and is up to 3x stronger than normal cotton. It is UV and mold-resistant, water resistant, and can also be weaved with other fibers - which makes it a great option for clothing companies. You can use hemp for all sorts of clothing items, including hats or shoes. All cheaply, sustainably produced. Like bamboo clothing, we would love to see the market move in this eco-friendly direction.

Hemp is also making some awesome changes in the world of food. Since hemp is such a versatile seed, the culinary uses for this are limitless. You can make oils, flour, butter and even milk! Yes, you read that right, hemp milk. In fact, historically, Buddha himself ate hemp seeds. Hemp is popping up more and more in foods because it is jam-packed with amino acids, including all 9 essential amino acids, as well as omega fatty acids - in fact, hemp has more fatty acids than any other nut or seed oil. It is also a good source of protein. It is simple to incorporate hemp hearts into your daily diet. Try sprinkling some in your morning smoothie, adding to salads, yogurt, or even just eating them plain -with a nutty taste somewhere between a sunflower seed and a pine nut you won't be disappointed. Hemp seeds are also gluten-free and a great alternative to breadcrumbs! In case you were wondering, no, eating hemp seeds will not get you high like marijuana will - hemp grown for food contains about 0.001 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. So don't worry - incorporating hemp into your daily life won't make you fail a drug test or leave you feeling disoriented.

Lastly, did you know that hemp seeds can be made into fuel? In fact, it is considered to be one of the most efficient plants for biofuel and is being actively explored as an alternative to fossil fuels. There are two type of fuel that can be made from hemp: Hemp biodiesel and Hemp ethanol/methanol (ethanol is made from things like grains, sugars, starches, waste paper, and forest products, and methanol is made from woody/pulp matter). Using processes such as gasification, acid hydrolysis, and enzymes, hemp can be used to make both ethanol or methanol. Hemp biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels made from hemp oil. This has great potential because it is safe to transport and handle, is 10x less toxic than salt, and has a significantly high flash point of 300F (as opposed to petroleum fuel that has a flash point of 125F), and to top it all off, it is biodegradable. In the search for renewable energy, hemp biofuel is leading the way!

These are just some of the ways hemp could be used to create a more sustainable future. Let’s hope that legislation will soon catch up with the potential of this amazing plan


Sep 6, 2018

Hungry Minds: Teaching Kids to LOVE Eating Healthy!

by Brittini Gehring, Herbal Gaia

Sep 6, 2018

September Organtics

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Sep 6, 2018

DIY Baby Wipes

by Nichole Carver, Your Magical Marketing Millennial

1 roll Bounty or Viva paper towels, cut in half

2 containers with tight lids, like Rubbermaid, that fit half of a paper towel roll

4 C. Water (boiled or distilled preferred)

1 dollop of liquid castille soap, unscented

1 TBSP oil (preferred jojoba, but olive, avocado, grapeseed work also)

10-20 drops of essential oils (tea tree, lavender, juniper, jasmine, rose, etc.; do not use hot oils like cinnamon, oregano, ginger, etc.)

Additional add-in's if you want to have them (I just usually went with what's above):

1 TBSP Aloe Vera

1 TBSP Witch Hazel

10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (use if not using Tea Tree oil)

Cut paper towel roll in half with a non-serrated knife. Set aside. Mix water, castille soap, oil, essential oils, and optional ingredients if using, in a large liquid measuring cup. Pour half of the mixture into each container. Place each half of the paper towels into the chosen containers, cut side facing down. Once settled in, place lids on containers and flip over. Let rest for five minutes or until the paper towels are soaked all the way through. Flip over, open, and pull the center cardboard tube out of the paper towels. Done!

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