Trees of Applegate Drive

img_0284Tree Identification

It’s autumn, or fall, that special time of year when the trees remind us of their strength, beauty, resilience, and life-sustaining value.  It is a terrific time to learn more about trees!

Join me for a walk along Applegate Drive in Sterling, Virginia to identify the Oaks, the Ash, the Maple, the Virginia Dogwood, the Redbud, the Tulip Tree, and more.

We’ll look at tree characteristics such as bark, leaves, and unique tree shapes.

Date: Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm
Meetup Location: Front Parking Lot of Forest Grove Elementary School, 46245 Forest Ridge Drive, Sterling, VA 20164 / You’ll see us on the side walk by the trees!
What to Bring: A small notepad or sketch book and pencil
It’s Free & Fun!!  But Please RSVP: 313-565-6410 (Donna)


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Try Essential Oils!

High quality essential oils offer amazing benefits and, as a Young Living Distributor (YL#517938), I have a great source! Would you perhaps be feeling adventurous and ready to try essential oils? Just let me know and I’ll  help you, or visit to place your order. Thank you – I appreciate your business!

To learn more about Young Living, just click here!

Young Living Essential Oils - A great company!

Young Living Essential Oils – A great company!

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Appalachian Trail 101


Have you always been intrigued by the Appalachian Trail and wanted to learn more about it?  Then, please join me for a great Webinar titled “Appalachian Trail 101.”

July 19th, 2016 at 2app%20trail%20mapATSTATESpm EST

Here is the sign up link below:



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Colonial Tea Blends

Colonial Tea

Who knows how tea will mix with salt water?”
John Rowe (December 11,1773)

These words signaled the approach of the men of the Boston Tea Party who, over the next three hours, proceeded to dump 340 chests of tea into the harbor in protest of a tax levied on tea by the British Parliament without representation or consent of the local colonies.

Similar “tea parties” along the New England Coast in New York, Greenwich, Charleston, Philadelphia, and Annapolis encouraged the creation and use of new herbal teas-considered as patriot teas which were served in place of the imported Chinese green tea.

Colonial Tea Blends

Two-herb tea blends recommended by colonialist Philo Aletheias in the Virginia Gazette (January 1774), one month after the Boston Tea Party, include:

sweet marjoram and a little mint
mother of thyme and a little hyssop
rosemary and lavender
clover with a little chamomile
sage and lemon balm leaves with a little lemon juice.

Continuing on in the spirit of innovation and revolution toward greater health, Creative Teas shares recipes using nature’s herbs. May you drink in good health!

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Iced Tea, The Story of…

The Story of Iced Tea

Iced tea originated at the St. Louis World Trade Fair in 1904. Vendors were trying to popularize black Indian teas to compete with the more popularly consumed green tea from China. As temperatures soared, Americans ignored the tea, preferring cold drinks. In desperation, British salesman Richard Blechynden poured tea into glasses filled with ice cubes. His efforts were rewarded as customers began to line up for this new cooling beverage.

To make iced tea, double the strength of the herb tea. Cool and serve over ice. Double strength tea will remain delicious as the ice melts. Fruit juices and carbonated ginger ale or soda water may be added for flavoring.

Iced Mint Tea

1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
4 cups boiling water
juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
2 tablespoons honey

Boil water and pour over mint leaves and grated ginger. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Melt honey into the tea. Mix fruit juices with tea and chill in refrigerator. Serve over ice and garnish with mint leaves and/or a slice of orange or lemon. Serves 2.

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Mint Tea

Over one million cups of mint tea are consumed worldwide each day! Peppermint is a stimulant which has traditionally been used for indigestion, nausea, colds, headaches, and cramps. It is delightful following a meal!

Peppermint Tea

Boil 1 cup of water and pour it over 1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves.

Cover and steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and serve. Add lemon or honey as sweeteners, if desired.

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Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

While walking along the shoreline of the Arabian Gulf, I was invited to join a Saudi family for tea. I asked if they had any herb tea. After a brief pause, the veiled women in chorus exclaimed, “Zanjabeel.” And with smiles and renowned Arab hospitality, they served me ginger tea! It was made with water, fresh ginger root, and sugar for sweetening.

Donna Pepperdine
Journal Entry-May 4, 2000

An ancient flavoring, ginger is believed to be native to India and China. Certainly the early civilizations of China and India used ginger as food and medicine. The Romans also used it. The Spanish took it to the West Indies, and the Portuguese to West Africa. Today, ginger is commercially produced in China, India, West Africa, Australia, the West Indies, and South America.

The following recipe yields a delicious tea.

Ginger Rhizome Tea

½ cup chopped ginger
3 cups water
½ lemon
1 tablespoon honey

Pour 3 cups water over ½ cup chopped fresh ginger rhizome. For a stronger taste, let sit 30 minutes to an hour. Then, while covered tightly with a lid, bring to a simmer and gently continue simmering on low heat for 20 minutes. Be sure not to boil. Strain and fill a cup ¾ full. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into the cup and also add 1 T. honey. Stir to completely dissolve honey. Enjoy a delicious drink!

Note: Widely used as a condiment in Asian and Indian cooking, ginger is also a digestive stimulant and is used to treat stomach upset and prevent motion sickness.

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Apple Tea

“Day by day, in the untamed wood, In a space by the river reeds,

He cleared the land for a nursery, And planted his apple seeds.
Without a hope of recompense, Without a thought of pride,
John Chapman planted apple seeds, And preached, and lived, and died.”

from “The Ballad of John Chapman”
by Benjamin Wallace Douglass

This verse from “The Ballad of John Chapman” commemorates the deeds of a man better known as Johnny Appleseed. He was born in Massachusetts in 1774, but later moved to Ohio. There is record of Johnny traveling on the Ohio River in 1801 with two canoe-loads of apple seeds from Western Pennsylvania cider presses. Over the next 40 years or so, Johnny Appleseed proceeded to clear land and plant apple orchards in the wildernesses of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. He must have dreamed of a land covered with apple blossoming trees. He planted an estimated area of 100,000 square miles, and some of his trees still bear fruit today. Johnny Appleseed died in 1845 at the age of 70.

Apple Tea
½ cup dried apple slices
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
2-3 cloves
2-3 dried rose petals (optional)
2 cups cold water
honey or sugar

Slice an apple and dry by baking at low heat in an oven for approximately one hour. Put the apple, rose petals, cinnamon bark, and cloves into a pan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Sweeten as desired with honey or sugar. Strain and serve in tea glasses or cups.

Apple Trivia: Washington is the top apple producing state in the USA. France, Italy and Germany are leading apple producers in Europe. Apples are a member of the Rose family. Apples are fat free and a great source of fiber. Apples float because 25 percent of the volume of an apple is air. Apple tea is popular in Turkey.


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Healing Oils of the Bible

Thank you to all of you who have been part of my Young Living business family this year.  I so appreciate your enthusiasm and support and, with gratitude for you, wish you a very happy holiday season and Happy New Year.

As a special gift to you, please enjoy listening to an audio file of a Healing Oils of the Bible class that I shared via teleconference.  You may access it below.

If you still need some special gift ideas for the holidays, please consider the lovely gifts available through Young Living (you may visit my website at

For those interested in starting and growing your business, please contact me at  To your success… and Happy New Year!

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Cauliflower with Pimento “Cheese” and Parsley or Cilantro

Years ago, my mom went on a vacation to England.  While being served dinner one evening, she was surprised to notice that the main dish was a huge head of cauliflower with a topping of cheese.  She looked around for other main dishes, but no, that was it.  After the initial surprise, she reported that it was a delightful meal.

For those who are intrigued with this idea but would like to limit their intake of cheese, consider a cheese replacement recipe, called “Pimento Cheese.”  Just mix it up and pour it over the steamed cauliflower!

Pimento “Cheese” Sauce

Adrianna (5)anticipating cauliflower for dinner

Adrianna (5) anticipating cauliflower for dinner

Ingredients: 1 cup water, ½ cup pimento, 1 cup raw cashews or other nuts, 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder

Process ingredients in a blender until smooth. Chilling will make sauce thicker. Pour over steamed cauliflower.  Fresh parsley or cilantro placed around the head of cauliflower is a beautiful and tasty garnish.  Enjoy!

You may also use pimento cheese sauce over salads, cooked vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, pizza, lasagna or as a base for soup.  Add 2-3 tablespoons dried onion flakes after blending, if additional texture is desired.  Additional Option: Add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes.

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