Kitchen Medicine, Newspaper Logs, and Other Syndicated Features

Pieces on kitchen medicine and homemade newspaper logs were among the stories originally presented in MOTHER EARTH NEWS that newspapers around the U.S. picked up as syndicated features.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
March/April 1979
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When you have a 2" diameter log, remove the broomstick and soak the log in lighter fluid. If you have no other soaking tray, you can easily make one from a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
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Over the past six years 100+ newspapers have run stories from MOTHER EARTH NEWS as syndicated features. Here are three.


Kitchen Medicine

"There's headaches a nd there's headaches," says Marj Watkins, "and I treat most of the ones my family gets with good ol' kitchen medicine."

For tension headaches, Marj says, " Get away, have a drink of water, take a few breaths of fresh air. Massage the back of the head, the neck and the shoulders, or find someone to do it lovingly for you. Locate the bundle of nerves midway between your earlobe and your collarbone and gently stroke the knotted area on each side with your fingertips. Experiment till you find the most relaxing motion."

Ms. Watkins gives a sufferer of fatigue headaches dried apricots or cashews or raisins and sunflower seeds (to raise the level of blood sugar). She also advises a long, hot soak in a tub of water containing two cups of strong lovage, lavender, linden, or mint tea.

If you get headaches from glare, Marj feels you should eat lots of green vegetables and apricots and that you should take 50,000 units of vitamin A before a day spent on water or snow in the bright sun. Once the pain has struck, she advises relaxing in a dim corner with a damp, cool cloth over closed eyes.

And if heat causes your head to throb'? Ms. Watkins says to lie down in a cool, dark place with your head slightly raised. Sip a little cool water slowly and refresh the face, hands, and neck with water.

Marj Watkins' "kitchen medidne" for headaches, in other words, is largely just common sense.

Newspaper Logs

A number of companies now market machines designed to help you roll your family's old newspapers into "logs" that can be burned in a fireplace or stove. After testing a couple of these devices, I think the idea is a good one for two reasons: [1) it puts recycling on a real grassroots basis by allowing you to directly convert part of your waste into something useful, and [2] it gives you a small, partial answer to the current fuel shortage.

There's no need to shell out good dollars for a "log rolling" machine to realize these benefits, however. Just get yourself a length of old broomstick and start tightly rolling one section or sheet of newspaper after another around it. When the "log" is about two inches thick, slip the broomstick out, tie the bundle with light wire, and soak the paper in one pint of charcoal lighter or kerosene (never gasoline). If you have no other soaking tray, you can easily make one that will last for years from a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Once the rolled paper has soaked up the fluid, wrap more waste newsprint a round the saturated core—enough to make a log about four to five inches thick. Tie the bundle with light wire and set it aside. Three of these logs will burn all evening in a fireplace.

Cup and Ball Toy

This toy has been a favorite of Mexican children for centuries and is quite easy to build. Use a 2" X 2" X 3" pine block for the main section of the toy and drill a 1" hole, 2" deep on one end and a 1/2" hole, 1/2" deep on the other. Cut or plane the four 3" edges of the block to form an octagon. This step is not necessary for the toy to function, but it makes the little device much more eye-pleasing.

Now glue the l/4" X 5" dowel rod handle to the base of the bolero and install a small screw eye as shown. Cut a 1" piece of 3/4" dowel for the plug and fasten a tiny screw eye to one end.

Then attach one end of a 20" piece of string to the screw eye on the bolero and the other end of the cord to the screw eye on the plug. That's it!

The object of the game is to catch the plug in the large hole on top of the bolero, using a swinging motion with your hand and arm. Give it a try. It's harder than you think.


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