Monday, February 19, 2018

Trail of Tears...Not so great!!

According to Encyclopedia Britannica - The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation during the 1830s of Eastern Woodlands Indians of the Southeast region of the United States (including Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among other nations) to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Estimates based on tribal and military records suggest that approximately 100,000 indigenous people were forced from their homes during that period, which is sometimes known as the removal era, and that some 15,000 died during the journey west. The term Trail of Tears invokes the collective suffering those people experienced, although it is most commonly used in reference to the removal experiences of the Southeast Indians generally and the Cherokee nation specifically. The physical trail consisted of several overland routes and one main water route and, by passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act in 2009, stretched some 5,045 miles (about 8,120 km) across portions of nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee).

The roots of forced relocation lay in greed. The British Proclamation of 1763 designated the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River as Indian Territory. Although that region was to be protected for the exclusive use of indigenous peoples, large numbers of Euro-American land speculators and settlers soon entered. For the most part, the British and, later, U.S. governments ignored these acts of trespass.

In 1829 a gold rush occurred on Cherokee land in Georgia. Vast amounts of wealth were at stake: at their peak, Georgia mines produced approximately 300 ounces of gold a day. Land speculators soon demanded that the U.S. Congress devolve to the states the control of all real property owned by tribes and their members. That position was supported by Pres. Andrew Jackson, who was himself an avid speculator. Congress complied by passing the Indian Removal Act (1830). The act entitled the president to negotiate with the eastern nations to effect their removal to tracts of land west of the Mississippi and provided some $500,000 for transportation and for compensation to native landowners. Jackson reiterated his support for the act in various messages to Congress, notably On Indian Removal (1830) and A Permanent Habitation for the American Indians (1835), which illuminated his political justifications for removal and described some of the outcomes he expected would derive from the relocation process.

This is your legacy Donald Trump

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Maybe this is when America was great??

Greenwood, Oklahoma was known as the Mecca for black enterprise. It was a district featuring 108 black-owned businesses, two theaters, two black schools and 15 doctors’ offices. With Tulsa being segregated by north and south, there was only one place you could go if you were black and wanted to establish a name for yourself. For many, that safe haven was Greenwood. It became so prestigious that Booker T. Washington coined the term “Negro Wall Street of America.”
On May 31st, 1921, Greenwood was destroyed. 50 square blocks were decimated, burned to the ground by angry white mobs. Many homes and businesses were looted in one of America’s worst race riots. The cause: white outrage over a false sexual assault allegation.

The Tulsa race riot of 1921, occurred between May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob started attacking residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 39 dead, but the American Red Cross estimated 300.

The riot began over a Memorial Day weekend after a young black man was accused of raping a young white female elevator operator at a commercial building. After he was taken into custody, rumors raced through the black community that he was at risk of being lynched. A group of armed African-American men rushed to the police station, to prevent a lynching, where the young suspect was held and a white crowd had gathered. A confrontation developed between blacks and whites; shots were fired, and some whites and blacks were killed. As this news spread throughout the city, mob violence exploded. Thousands of whites rampaged through the black community that night and the next day, killing men and women, burning and looting stores and homes. About 10,000 black people were left homeless, and property damage amounted to more than $1.5 million in real estate and $750,000 in personal property ($31 million in 2018). Some black people claimed that policemen had joined the mob; others said that National Guardsmen fired a machine gun into the black community and a plane dropped sticks of dynamite. In an eyewitness account discovered in 2015, Greenwood attorney Buck Colbert Franklin described watching a dozen or more planes, which had been dispatched by the city police force, drop burning balls of turpentine on Greenwood's rooftops.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice

Sometimes the best thing I can do in a day (or a year) is keep my mouth shut. Can't let this day pass without notice! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Poinsettia Sap for Warts

I keep a poinsettia plant year round. The one growing in the house now is on it's fourth season. Not difficult to do, just like any other houseplant - sunshine and water - added bonus - the sap from this festive beauty beats chemical wart medicines - hands down!!

A small poinsettia like this will run about $5.00 in my neck of the woods. It will eventually lose it's red leaves (usually by mid January) and spend the rest of year just green, but still very useful. We learned of  using poinsettia sap (or milk as we call it) about 10 years ago when our oldest had a terrible plantar wart on his foot. After four attempts by the podiatrist to chemically remove the wart to no avail, he was just as frustrated as we were with conventional treatments failure to resolve this painful growth. The podiatrist is the one who told us he had once heard that poinsettia sap had been used to treat plantar warts.  Thankfully the last visit with the doc was just before Christmas and we were desperate to try anything - our local big box store had plenty of festive poinsettia's on hand.

All you do is break off a leaf and you will immediately see the milky looking sap of this festive winter favorite. Touch the sap to the wart and let dry. Do this two or three times a day and within just a few days you will notice the wart getting smaller. It has been our experience that you can stop applying the sap after a day or two (depending on size of wart) and will be pleased with the result. This wonderful treatment from mother nature is not just for plantar warts, but has worked on all kinds of warts, over the years, in our family.

I am not a expert but as I understand it - a member of the Euphorbiaceae plant family, poinsettia’s cousin is the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), from which latex is harvested. Like the rubber tree, poinsettia also has latex sap.

A word of warning - **If you have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to latex, poinsettia sap may be problematic for you**.

In years past, many believed poinsettia to be toxic, however, today we know that a 50 pound child would have to eat some 500 poinsettia leaves (or bracts, as they are called) to become sick enough to die. They have quite a bitter taste so this scenario is not very realistic. I think it is more helpful to think of poinsettia as a non-edible plant, but not necessarily toxic.

My research also revealed that poinsettia sap has been used as a depilatory for hair removal.  Now I can't speak from personal experience about this application, but given the success we have had with warts, I may give it a try on a couple of persistent chin whiskers and follow-up with the results.

Poinsettia - Not just for Christmas anymore!!

Monday, May 16, 2016


Periwinkle is a medicinal flower and herb that has been used for thousands of years due to its antibiotic, antibacterial, analgesic, and hypotensive properties. Periwinkle contains an alkaloid known as vincamine which is known to be highly beneficial for tinnitus (ringing in the ear), presbyacusis (hearing loss due to aging), vertigo, headaches, glaucoma, and strokes.
Periwinkle also has vasodilating, blood thinning, and memory-enhancing abilities which makes it excellent for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and short-term memory loss. It also contains potent anti-cancer compounds and is often used for leukemia, neuroblastoma, lymphomas, Hodgkin’s disease, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and Wilm’s tumor.
Periwinkle has anti-inflammatory properties and is a great natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and atherosclerosis. Periwinkle tea is wonderful for easing anxiety/nervousness, reducing heavy menstruation, improving memory, and for reducing blood pressure.
To make the tea, simply add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried herb to 2 cups of hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes or more, sweeten with raw honey if desired. Topically, periwinkle can help disinfect and stop the bleeding in wounds. Simply crush fresh periwinkle leaves (or soak dried herb in a small amount of water for 30 minutes) and apply directly to the affected area and wrap with a clean bandage.
It also is highly effective as a mouthwash for canker sores and bleeding gums. Periwinkle herb can be found in tea, tincture, extract, and salve form online or at your local health food store.

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