Inflation Run Amok

    Would you believe that it could be possible for inflation to get so bad that in a few years a loaf of bread would cost a million dollars?  A gallon of milk would cost five million?   It sounds impossible, but that, and worse, has happened in Zimbabwe.  The inflation rate there isn’t five percent, ten percent, or even fifty percent.  It’s a whopping 11.12 MILLION percent!   That means that what you could buy last year for a dollar will now cost about 12 million.  And that figure is from a news article several months old so it may be a good deal higher now.  Of course, there probably isn’t anything you can buy for a dollar.  A loaf of bread costs several billion dollars.
    So how can such a thing happen?  It’s simple.  The money in Zimbabwe, like just about every other country today has no actual value.  In other words, you can’t exchange it for gold, silver, or any other valuable held in reserve by the government.  Money all over the world today has it’s value based entirely on the faith of the people in the government.  If people loose faith in that government, as they have in Zimbabwe, hyperinflation can be the result.  The scary thing is that this could happen in other countries as well.  Of course, it isn’t likely to be as bad because major countries rely on international exchange to help prevent such inflation, but in the past year, the value of the U. S. dollar has dropped considerable in exchange for Euros, Pounds, and other foreign currencies.  This makes it more expensive for Americans to travel to Europe and some other foreign countries, but makes it cheaper for people from those countries to visit us.  It’s starting to level out now as Europe is feeling the recession as well.
    I guess one good thing that has come out of hyperinflation for Zimbabwe is that old bills from one or two years ago are being sold in other countries as souvenirs.  Even I couldn’t resist the novelty of buying a few billion Zimbabwe dollars on ebay so I to can claim to be a billionaire.  Even if the value of the bill in U. S. dollars is about fifty cents.


Healing Herbs: Nettle

    Stinging Nettle is considered a weed by many but is a useful healing herb.  It is primarily used for treating itches, stings, insect bites, burns and hives.  Nettle contains histamine which is what actually causes the itching you get from poison ivy or poison oak but, when put on an area that is already irritated, it reduces the irritation.  It is also used for arthritis, gout and other joint problems.  It also can help scalp problems and dandruff.  It is used to treat thin blood and circulation problems.  A piece of cloth or cotton dabbed in nettle juice and inserted in the nose can stop nose bleeds.  Nettle tea is used to break up congestion from colds and flu.
    Internally, it is used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones and enlarged prostate.  Studies in Europe have shown it to be effective for enlarged prostate when used in combination with Saw Palmetto.  It is also used for hemorrhoids and allergies.
    Native American women used a tonic made from nettles during pregnancy to prevent Hemmoraging during childbirth.  Herbologists consider it an excellent all around tonics for women.

Some non-medical uses:

  • Nettle can repel biting flies
  • Protect bee hives
  • flavor beer and omelets
  • Is a great companion plant for vegetables such as tomatoes and broccoli

Legends and Folklore:

  • Paralysis of the arms and legs was sometimes treated by beating the limbs with nettle branches
  • In Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of the Princess and Eleven Swans, the princess weaves coats of nettle for the swans
  • A Cree legend says Nettle was once golden but, because it didn’t get proper respect for it’s healing properties, it turned green and grew stinging hairs.
  • It is claimed that you will always find nettle in a area where old farm equipment has been abandoned and rusted because nettle likes iron rich soil.



How to Use Our Immagination

    We all have an imagination.  Some of us use it frequently.  Some of us rarely use it.  But, for all of us, our imagination is important.  
    When we were kids we probably had a vivid imagination.  Imaginary friends.  Imaginary places we could go to.  Imaginary creatures to meet.  Kids are always using their imagination.  But, as they get older, adults tell them things that tend to make them use their imagination less and less, until, in many cases, they rarely use it.  This is unfortunate.
    I think we all realize that an artist couldn’t create art if she couldn’t imagine the completed work in her.   The inventor couldn’t invent without an imagination.  The medical researcher couldn’t find a cure if he couldn’t imagine doing so.  In fact, none of us could accomplish much of anything if we couldn’t imagine ourselfs doing it.
    Unfortunately, it is also possible to misuse our imagination.  Jesus warned that committing sin in out thoughts was the same as doing it.  Imagining ourselves doing things we know to be wrong, things that are evil, may seem like fun to some, but it is harmful.  Our thoughts affect ourself and possibly others around us, so when we think evil things, those thoughts will affect us in negative ways.  In fact, according to some quantum physicists, those evil thought may actually create an alternate universe where those evil things actually happen.
    Personally, I’m not yet convinced about the alternate universe theories, but I do think we should try to use our imagination in a positive, constructive way rather than a negative, destructive way.   What I mean by that, is we need to imagine ourselfs, the world, and the people in it as we would like it to be.  Maybe that is not the way it is now, but it can become that ideal world of light if enough of us imagine it.