Project Springtime Part 1: Making a home for baby chicks. 

I decided to make my cross-town move a little more complicated by adding baby chicks to it. I’m now the proud owner of a black Australorp, a buff Orpington, and an Ameracauna.  They’re nearly a month old and have been perching on the side and leaving the brooder on occasion. Luckily they have very effective alarm peeps and we have had no casualties. 

They’re sturdy birds; the dog, the baby, and the noises of the move were tolerated well from the start. 

I’m feeding them an organic, unmedicated chick feed with grit and occasional scrambled egg treats. I know, feeding them eggs is weird. They go bananas for them and show their true chickeny silliness when it is time for treats. 

So far all that has been necessary is to make the brooder, feed and water them. The brooder consists of 1 large plastic tub with high sides (2 feet) around 2.5-3 feet long, and a special red heat lamp with 2 metal arches around the bulb for protection. I filled the bottom with a layer of pine shavings, and bought both a plastic feeder and waterer, to which I attach glass mason jars. I had a flat thermometer stuck on the inner wall of the brooder for the first couple of weeks to monitor the temperature more closely and keep one corner of the brooder between 85 and 90 degrees F. 

My first brood box was too small. I upgraded to a larger box with higher sides a little over a week ago, and the birds are happier. I also added 2 bricks to elevate the feeder and waterer, and a couple of sticks in case they liked standing on them. They don’t seem to care. They do like perching on the side and leaving bird droppings outside the box. In the above image you can see the old and new brooders, with my ameracauna perched on the side of the new blue one. I have no need for the thermometer any longer, but I did have a burn/melt spot after a couple of days when the bulb was too close to the plastic. It smelled gross (plasticky) when I walked out there, which tipped me off. 

The Australorp seems to be experiencing the pecking order. Her neck feathers are sparse as though she is being picked on. 

Next up for the chickies is a coop. 

Another post about my baby getting over a cold

I know I just posted about how this homeopathic (some of you probably refer to these as “sugar pills”) made a big difference in my baby’s well being. 

That isn’t all that is helping her. I’m also REALLY fond of my Essential Oil diffuser. I’ve used many diffusers, and I like this one the best because the output is higher and it lasts all night. Typically I want the oils diffused during the night, and if it peters out after a couple hours that’s just not good enough. I do sometimes think the oils have all been diffused so I add more, but it’s hard to tell when I’m in the same room all night. I bet if I came in after being outside I would have a different experience. 

Which oils am I diffusing? I’m glad you asked. Mostly eucalyptus oil. I do sometimes add lavender but it hasn’t helped nearly as much as the eucalyptus. 

The first cold she had (this is only the third) lavender worked well. I also didn’t want to try much else. The last 2 have required eucalyptus for opening her sinuses. 

I use about 15-20 shakes of the oil bottle into about 400-500 mL of  water. I do not use the light function. 
The other day when she was more stuffed up I did have to wave the open bottle in front of her. But that gets tricky as she wants to grab everything. No EO on baby hands, too easy to get it in baby mouths or baby eyes. That would be bad. 

The January slump and habits

January is a tough month. People often think they’ve overindulged in the holiday season and they reflexively tighten up during January to compensate. Gyms see a lot of newcomers. Journals are started. Many people cut out alcohol and sweets. 

By the end of the year, most people have gone back to their old habits. 

Sticking to a new habit is a science:

  • Make it simple: start with 30 seconds per day. 
  • Attach it to an “anchor” if possible – something you already do habitually 
  • Review new habit completion (or non-completion) at end of day and end of week, for 4 weeks. 

If it’s a really tight elimination, like kicking a sugar addiction, go slow. Cut your current intake by half, and stay there for a week or two. Then cut by half again, and keep going til you can easily eliminate it. 

If you find yourself feeling low in January, it may be due to the lack of sunshine, so increase your vitamin D! The best way to do this is with food supplementation. I use Green Pasture Fermented cod liver oil (ew, I know, it doesn’t taste good but it is a miraculous food). And I ALWAYS take grass fed butter oil with it. 


Most people need to be supplementing with magnesium. Usually around 300mg per day is sufficient for women, and around 400mg per day for men. Children 1-3 years old need about 80mg/day, 4-8 years old 130mg/day, and 9-13 years old 240 mg/day. Children 14-18 need slightly higher amounts than adults, as do pregnant women. 

Check multivitamins for total magnesium.

Eat more green leafy veggies, nuts, beans, and peas for food sources of magnesium.

Have a simple magnesium supplement on hand. Many are powdered and mix into water easily. 

When would you want to take magnesium?

  • Do you sleep well? Magnesium can help relax smooth muscle, helping you ease into sleep. It often eliminates restless leg syndrome too.
  • Is your blood pressure elevated? Magnesium can help lower blood pressure!
  • Do you get cramps? Painful leg and foot cramps can often be relieved immediately by a dose of magnesium. Good for the midnight Charley-horse.
  • Do you eat a lot of green leafy veggies, beans, peas, and nuts? If not, you probably could use some supplementation. 

A little bit about moxa.

Moxa is an integral part of Chinese Medicine. The Chinese characters for acupuncture, 针灸 (zhēn jiǔ), literally translate to “needles and moxa.” One comes with the other.

But what is moxa?

Moxa is short for “moxibustion,” and it is the burning of an herb (artemisia vulgaris, mugwort) close to the skin. It comes in many forms: cigar style sticks, incense style sticks, and loose fluffy raw herb are some of the most popular.

Pictured above is high quality golden loose moxa. It is fluffy and soft, and it is the only type used for a Japanese style called direct moxa. In direct moxa, the selected point is given a dab of okyu ointment, a special purple herbal ointment to protect the skin. A tiny piece of rolled gold moxa is placed atop the ointment. As seen in the photo, these tiny pieces are smaller than a grain of rice. The tiny bit of moxa is lit using a very thin stick of incense. Another bit is placed and lit, and that is repeated the appropriate number of times for the specific acupuncture point being treated.

Why use moxa?

Moxa, like needles, is used in order to effect change. Often the change is pain relief, but moxa can also be used to strengthen the immune system, warm and balance the internal organs, resolve old conditions, reduce inflammation, and heal acute sprains.

Moxa and acupuncture needles each stimulate different areas of the brain. As a result, using moxa with acupuncture can be an efficient way to resolve issues. Certain points were traditionally deemed “moxa points” and using moxa on these points is especially effective.img_4362

Why choose acupuncture for auto accident injury pain relief?

1. Acupuncture is excellent at relieving pain. (Tiffany’s techniques usually relieve pain in the first session!)

2. Motor vehicle accidents can easily throw our bodies into unusual positions, taking us “off the map” of normal body motion that our brains recognize. When that happens, the brain sounds the metaphorical alarm, and lockdown happens until the body can unhook from the “off the map” experience. This results in chronic pain! 

3. Auto insurance policies often pay in full for acupuncture treatments, so there is typically no out-of-pocket fee for patients. (In other words, if you’re in pain, you have no excuse not to get treatment!)

4. Prescription pain medications can be addictive. Over 8.5 million Americans abuse pain medications. Acupuncture can help relief pain so you can stop taking pain medicine much sooner. Acupuncture can also treat addiction, so it’s a win-win.