DIY Hummingbird Feeder

My store-bought hummingbird feeder was worn down by wind and rain and just felt apart in pieces! Money-conscious that I am, and so in love with hummingbirds, I made my own. 

How-to of the Day – DIY Hummingbird Feeder


1 plastic bottle (your choice in the size)

the cap of the bottle

1 plastic container

lid to the container

hammer, nail, scissors

Directions: Cut a hole in the bottle cap for the liquid to come out of. Cut a hole in the plastic container just big enough for the bottlecap to squeeze through. Cut 4 more holes in that lid for their beaks to get through. Push the container lid on top of the bottle. Screw on the bottlecap. Add the bottom of the container, Now it’s ready to fill!

Word of the Day – culibri – hummingbird

Tip of the Day – One part sugar to four parts water for the nectar. Just boil it and let cool. Don’t add any food coloring – bad for the little birds!

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Natural Toothpaste #2

I’m learning the Ecuador National Anthem so I can become a citizen next year, a ciudadana. After three years residency you can become a citizen! (You don’t give up your U.S. citizenship). Right now you have to study Ecuadorian history, do an interview with them in spanish, and sing the National Anthem. Then you get to travel freely, for as many days as you like per year, instead of being restricted as a resident.

Recipe of the Day – DIY Toothpaste #2

2 tsp..  Stevia powder
3 T.  coconut oil
1 T. baking soda
1 1/2 T. Bentonite Clay or Calcium powder
3 tsp. water, or more to thin
30+ drops of essential oils of choice: Peppermint, Cinnamon, chocolate


Mix all ingredients except clay in a mini-food processor or blender. Whisk until smooth. Then slowly add in the clay by hand with a plastic utensil (it should not come in contact with metal).
Store in a small jar.
Use as you would regular toothpaste.

Word of the Day – pasta de dientes – toothpaste

Tip of the Day – Because of the coconut oil, toothpaste will be thicker when cooler and thinner when heated but should be a squeezable consistency at normal room temp (70-75 degrees).

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Natural Aftershave

So glad to have a day off tomorrow to make a few Christmas presents for friends: lemongrass incense, healing salves and skin care products. My kitchen sure smells good!

DIY Aftershave

Recipe of the Day – DIY Aftershave

Alcohol-free aftershave recipe to soothe and soften that sensitive skin.

Aftershave Ingredients:

1 c.  sweet almond or coconut oil
½ c. aloe vera juice or witch hazel
5-10 drops Tea Tree or  Frankincense essential oil
5-10 drops Chamomile essential oil
1 capsule or 2-3 drops Vitamin E
Avout 1/4 c. Distilled water to thin


Combine all ingredients in a small glass bowl or cup. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a glass pump spray bottle. Add more water, if needed, to make a spray-able liquid. After shaving, spray the homemade aftershave on your skin and enjoy the soothing sensation and healing properties of the herbs. Shake well before each use.

Word of the Day – aceitar – to shave

Tip of the Day – You can get awfully dry skin in the hot Ecuadorian sun. I use this myself to keep my skin soft after shaving, before I teach Tai Chi or Yoga!

How to Open a Thai or Ecuadorian Coconut

At the end of our yoga practice, I had the sudden desire to go around the room and ask everyone how long they’d been practicing. It was a group of us elderly folks, no youth, and I believe they had all told me, at one time, or another how long they’d been doing yoga.  There was quiet, and then, in subdued voices, came the answers: “23, 28, 20, 40, whoa, and then one more…60 years.” I was humbled to be to the facilitator. “Why were they letting me be the teacher? They answered, laughingly, “Because it’s nice to have a leader and not have to think. ”  “Because you tell us how good we’re doing!” “Because of the neck rub at the end.” Ha ha. They all laughed. Okay. But I’m still humbled and honored to do yoga with them.

imageRecipe/How-To of the Day – Open a Thai or Ecuadorian Coconut

This how-to is for young Thai coconuts, but is pretty much the same for the Ecuadorian coconut, and without any fancy coconut tools!  Peel off the top and sides with a good sharp knife. Using the other side, the nub of the knife, knock the edge and all around until you can peel up the top of the coconut.

Word of the Day – coco- coconut

Tip of the Day – Great for drinking the liquid, eating the coconut, making smoothies and puddings!

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Clare’s DIY Teepee Instructions

So often, riding my bike, a chicken, the same chicken? Crosses the road in front of me.  And I say, “Seriously! Why, chicken, why? Why did the chicken cross the road?” He only keeps taking his time and strutting his big walk with chest held cocky-high.

Recipe of the Day – Tee-Pee DIYimage


For a full-size Tee-Pee that sleeps two adults you will need:
4- 8′ round poles/dowels (or guadua!) for the base
4- 10′ round poles/dowels (or guadua!) for the tent poles
1- 24’x 12′ canvas “painter’s” drop cloth
20 screws
12′ earth-toned rope/thick twine

I’m gonna have these as new places for campers on Airbnb/Other guests!

Word of the Day – huespedes – guests

Tip of the Day – When searching for housing, you sure gotta consider the rain in Ecuador. Canvas works great!

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DIY Apple Vinegar

I may have been living a little too close to the edge lately. I actually stayed hungry when I didn’t have enough money to go to market. I only had 20 cents! But its worth it, I think. I wanted to pay my bills and I did! Just electric left this month and I have the money, woohoo! It doesn’t often scare me so much anymore. It always works out and so miraculously. But once in awhile I do get scared. That was the first time I needed food. You know you’re getting low when you eat foods, like tangerines, to feed you calories, even though citrus doesn’t usually agree with you, for instance.  But you are grateful for the sustenance.and that was the first time in two years here that I got that low. I just thought I should be completely forthcoming, if I’m going to share with you my life!

apple-cider-vinegarRecipe of the Day – Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. 3 small apples (core and peel included, no stem)
  2. 3 tsp. raw coconut sugar
  3. Fill with filtered water to cover


  1. Wash and chop your apples into medium sized pieces.
  2. You can use the peels and cores, too!
  3. Place them in a clean, rinsed and sterilized wide mouth jar.
  4. Mix the sugar with 1 cup of water and pour on top of the apples.
  5. Add more water if needed to cover the apples.
  6. Cover the jar with a paper towel or a cheesecloth and rubber band, to let it breathe.
  7. Place  in a warm, dark place for 2-3 weeks, cupboard or pantry.
  8. Strain out the liquid and discard the apple pieces.
  9. Return the liquid to the same jar and cover it again (same paper or cheesecloth).
  10. Check in 4 to 6 weeks, stirring with a plastic or wooden spoon every few days or so.
  11. After the first 4 weeks, you can begin to also taste your vinegar and once it reaches an acidity you like, you can transfer it to a bottle with a lid and begin using it.

Word of the Day – vinaigre – vinegar

Tip of the Day – A good pro-biotic food to have around, to take daily, use as a dressing, even clean with!



DIY Brown Rice Flour

Gosh, the butterflies and moths are out at my house. Probably everyone’s, of course. I hope I never take them for granted. I even saw two of the exact same color, mating. How did they find each other? How did they know?

Recipe of the Day – Brown Rice Flour

1 c. brown rice

high-speed blender or food processor.

Directions: Pour the rice into the blender and blend on low for 30 seconds-one minutes, as your engine allows. Let the motor rest several minutes, then process on medium for another minute. Let rest again, then process on high until a fine flour is achieved. That’s it!

Word of the Day – arroz integral – brown rice

Tip of the Day – They aren’t sending gluten-free rice products to Vilca this year, so it’s worth it to make your own. And cheaper! And rice makes such a fine, soft flour that is non-glutenous. Use this in my gluten-free brownie recipe, found on this blog.

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White Rose remedy for Insect Eye-Stings

I came home to the guest telling me Cuko’s legs weren’t working, what! He was out in the grass and couldn’t move his legs! The guest said Cuko came in to the casita, followed her in to the shower. Then, when she came out, Cuko was on the bed. So he had to jump up there, right? And then she said Cuko walked outside, and just in the next hour, the hour previous to my return, Cuko couldn’t move his legs. I had to keep Tiko from jumping on him aa I hurried inside to get a towel. He seemed comforted in my arms as I carried him to the bathroom to be safe from Tiko while I called a taxi. In the taxi he buried his head in the crook of my arm, then looked up at me with the utmost trust, the rest of the way. At the Vet’s table his front legs ceased to work, and he was moaning so pitifully, the doctor and I agreed to put him to sleep. The only other option would be to take him to the Vet at the University in Loja, and I didn’t want him to go through the misery of that travel and pain, so…anyway. When the doctor was out of the room, I crooned to him what a great life he had, to picture himself in the fields chasing butterflies, mice and insects, brushed the energy up and out his head in the reiki way of easing the transition…and that was that. Mi pobrecito. No more stories about Cuko, unless I dream of him. I love you, Cuko.

Recipe of the Day – White Rose Infusion for Bugs Stings in the Eye


1 small pot water

1 handful white rose petals

Directions: Heat the water to almost boiling and pour over the white rose petals. When cool, wash your eyes with it, get a washcloth, soak it in the solution, and let it sit on your eyes. It feels wonderful and works immediately!

Word of the Day – rosas – roses


Tip of the Day – When a bug going, like, 60 mph flew in my eye, and I was at the Meditation Center, I even soaked the petals in a cool glass of water, and applied the leaf right to the eye. It felt so much better!

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DIY Healing Salve

 This morning I had a very nice comment about the DIY salve. ” D,  “I…came back to town with my violin and wouldn’t ya know it! I was jammin …hours and then some other musicians came and we jammed until 8pm! At home my arm started aching so  I did my exercises and that helped but not enough. I thought of the salve you made and gave to me. I rubbed that on and around my shoulder and (I am not kidding!) within minutes I had relief from a deep, tiring pain. I sat in revelation on my yoga mat savoring the instant relief, then noticing a similar tired achiness emanating from my neck and withers muscle on the right side. I put some of the good stuff on it and, voila! once again total, immediate relief. That salve is wonderful! You could give it to the world, [or sell it for a modest and well deserved income.] It is the best of that sort that I have ever used.

Thank you for that wonderful gift.”

Recipe of the Day – Salve for wounds, healing, dry skin


  • 1 c. cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 ounce total of dried herb –  1/2 ounce of calendula and 1/2 ounce of comfrey
  • 1/2 ounce of grated beeswax
  • 3 vitamin E capsules (of at least 400 units)
  • 10 drops Essential Oil (lavender, rose, or jasmine, lemon, whatever you’d like to smell.)
  • 1 tsp. mica powder, color of choice, to color the salve. (But you don’t need to.)
  • Cheesecloth to strain herbs


    1. Place your herbs into an oven safe dish and pour the olive oil in. Stir and bake in the oven at the lowest possible temperature (less than 200 degrees F.) and bake for 3 hours. This is your infused oil. *(Or, you can pour olive oil directly over the herbs in a clean jar and let sit for 6 weeks.)
    2. After 3 hours allow the mix to cool slightly but strain through the cheesecloth while it’s still warm. Squeeze out all the oil you can.
    3. Very GENTLY heat the oil mix back up., without burning. Use a double boiler, if possible.
    4. Puncture and add your vitamin E capsules (or about 1/2 teaspoon if using liquid E) and then add your beeswax. Stir until it’s completely melted and blended.
    5. Remove from heat and let cool just a minute or two while you add the essential oil  and mica powder – your color. Then pour into a wide mouth jar or several small jars. As it cools the mixture will become semi-solid and be the perfect consistency!

Word/Phrase of the Day – Linda mi amiguita, besos = Pretty, my little friend, kisses

Tip of the Day –Use this sparingly. It warms up the area quickly, and amazingly has the potential to provide instant relief.

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Yoga Mat Spray

A friend made me a corner shelf for my kitchen! Now it looks like a real, pretty, my cocina! I love it. We’d been doing a few yoga postures, and then he just handed it to me, wow! I noticed, after I used this mat for a handstand, that there were dusty foot-prints on it, so I thought I’d make him some of my yoga mat spray as a gift. Here it is.


Recipe of the Day – Yoga Mat Spray


1/4 c. white vinegar

3 T. alcohol

12 drops mint or eucalyptus essential oil

1 tsp. Tea Tree Oil



Fill a spray bottle with the ingredients above, then fill to the top with water. Shake well and use after every workout on your mat. Makes the whole room smell good!

Word of the Day – cocina – kitchen

Tip of the Day – This is a warm, moist climate, perfectly suitable for bugs and bacteria to grow. So do wash your yoga mat and keep things as dry as possible, so you don’t pick up fungi!

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