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Publication: I'm Not Martha
Stout Beer and Poison Ivy.

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        I'M NOT MARTHA - Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Help yourself to some great self-help videos on: EVTV1.com

Hi! I'm Lizzy!!  and I'm not Martha!!!

The death of Luciano Pavarotti struck a sad chord for me. 
One time when I visited Scotty in New York she treated me 
to the Metropolitan Opera with Pavarotti singing!  What a 
treat, indeed.  An extravagance to say the least.  I was 
transported.  What an incredible voice.  I got goose bumps. 
If you've never seen or heard the greatest voice of this 
generation...unless of course you are a Carrera or Domingo  
aficionado ...then you can go to www.evtv1.com and see lots 
of video clips including one of Pavarotti and James Brown 
singing "It's a Man's World."  So check it out and marvel 
at this incredible voice and the huge man who filled the 
entire world with song.

I have a couple of questions that came into my mailbox that 
I thought might interest you.  How to get rid of poison ivy 
plants. And one reader wants to know about stout...not your 
girth but the drink.

P.S. If you're interested we now have a forum. You can post 
comments on this and recent issues at... Not Martha forum

* I really loved your poison ivy information, I wish I would 
have found it sooner.  I literally weeded an entire bed of 
the stuff this past June.  We purchased the condemned house 
nextdoor and it came with lots and lots of flowers... and a 
well with poison ivy that just creeps out from under the 
concrete on top.  Weeding the whole thing helped out, but the 
vine under the concrete pad just won't give up!  We have used 
the weed spray in the sprayer, even full blown undiluted 
didn't help.  I squirted a little charcoal lighter fluid once 
in a little spot just to see if it worked, but it didn't.  My 
neighbor already warned me about burning it, he was in the 
hospital from that.  I tried diluted bleach and it wilted a 
little, not much.  My husband got it (once again) with the 
weedwhacker last weekend, so it's down again right now.  Do 
you know what I can use to get it to stop coming back?  I had 
it twice, complete with big black spots!  The doctor gave me 
medicines so I got the little bit that spread to the swingset 
while I was covered with it and had the steroids and prescrip-
tion anti-itch pills.  We live in the Midwest so I thought 
that the cooler Fall and then Winter temps would help, but it 
doesn't sound like that will stop it and I know it will be 
back next year with or without the rain (drought/heat doesn't 
kill it, either)!  Lizzy, can you help me?  It's the only 
plant I can't kill!!!

Kristen, IL

OK...there's herbicides and then there is a green answer.
Poison ivy, oak and sumac are most dangerous in the spring 
and summer, when there is plenty of sap, the urushiol 
content is high, and the plants are easily bruised. However, 
the danger doesn't disappear over the winter. Dormant plants 
can still cause reactions, and cases have been reported in 
people who used the twigs of the plant for firewood or the 
vines for Christmas wreaths. Even dead plants can cause a 
reaction, because urushiol remains active for several years 
after the plant dies.

If poison ivy invades your yard, "there's really no good news 
for you," says David Yost, a horticulturist (specialist in 
fruits, vegetables, flowers, and general gardening) with the 
state of Virginia. The two herbicides most commonly used for 
poison ivy--Roundup and Ortho Poison Ivy Killer--will kill 
other plants as well. Spraying Roundup (active ingredient 
glyphosate) on the foliage of young plants will kill the 
poison ivy, but if the poison ivy vine is growing up your 
prize rhododendron or azalea, for example, the Roundup will 
kill them too, he says.

Ortho Poison Ivy Killer (active ingredient triclopyr), if 
used sparingly, will kill poison ivy but not trees it grows 
around, says Joseph Neal, Ph.D., associate professor of 
weed science, Cornell University. "But don't use it around 
shrubs, broadleaf ground cover, or herbaceous garden plants," 
he says. Neal explains it is possible to spray the poison 
ivy without killing other plants if you pull the poison ivy 
vines away from the desirable plants and wipe the ivy foliage 
with the herbicide, or use a shield on the sprayer to direct  
the chemical.

If you don't want to use chemicals, "manual removal will get 
rid of the ivy if you're diligent," says Neal. You must get 
every bit of the plant--leaves, vines, and roots--or it will 
sprout again...as is in your case.

The plants should be thrown away according to your munici-
pality's regulations, says Neal. Although urushiol will break 
down with composting, Neal doesn't recommend that because the 
plants must be chopped into small pieces first, which just 
adds to the time you're exposed to the plant and risk of a 
rash. "It's a health issue," he says.

Never burn the plants. The urushiol can spread in the smoke 
and cause serious lung irritation.  Your poor neighbor. Same 
thing happened to our neighbor when I was a kid.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that whenever 
you're going to be around poison ivy--trying to clear it 
from your yard or hiking in the woods--you wear long pants 
and long sleeves and, if possible, gloves and boots.

Neal recommends wearing plastic gloves over cotton gloves 
when pulling the plants. Plastic alone isn't enough because 
the plastic rips, and cotton alone won't work because after 
a while the urushiol will soak through.

Before I tell you about what I've found that works, let me 
tell you of another alternative solution to herbides: Goats! 
For some reason, Spanish and Angora goat breeds absolutely 
love poison ivy. Make sure you get those particular breeds; 
most others don't like poison ivy for their main meal. I 
would love to have goats, but ... !

Here is the homemade poison ivy vegetation killer spray that 
I've found is safe and effective:

Poison Ivy Vegetation Killer
1 cup salt
8 drops liquid detergent
1 gallon vinegar

Combine the salt and vinegar in a pan and heat to dissolve 
the salt. Cool the vinegar, add the detergent, and pour 
some of the liquid into a large spray bottle. Spray the 
vegetation. (You can also just pour the mixture onto the 
weeds.) Refill the spray bottle as necessary. Note that 
this formula will kill all the vegetation, so make sure 
that you are only spraying the plants you want to kill. If 
you need to use a lot of this spray, avoid spraying it near 
wells, as the salt can leach into your water supply.

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* Hi - have a question...  Your recipe = Guiness Stout Ginger 
Cake looked really good..  I want to try it but don't know 
what Guinness Stout is or where to purchase it.  I looked 
down through the entire printing and didn't see an explanation...
I love your mail - keep up sending the awesome recipes and 
tips.  Thank you.  Colleen

A stout is a type of beer that is characterized by its dark 
color and heavily roasted flavor. Stout beer achieves its 
taste and color by being brewed with a heavily kilned malt. 
Unlike lager beer, stout beer utilizes top fermenting yeasts. 
Today, the term stout has come to describe the beers with 
the strongest taste and weight.

Stout beer is classified as either bitter or sweet. Within 
these two categories, there are several different types of 
stout beer. Dry stout is the original formula for this type 
of beer.

Dry stout is usually dark, bitter, and rich. Guinness is an 
example of dry stout. Stout may also be flavored with 
chocolate, dark fruit, or coffee. These additives create a 
sweeter or a drier stout beer.

Another type of stout is imperial stout. This stout, which 
was originally created to survive transport from Britain to 
Russia, is particularly strong in taste and has a hint of 
sweetness. It is a black and particularly dense variety of 
stout that has a strong alcohol content of six to seven per-
cent. Imperial stout is commonly flavored with dried fruit 
and burnt cocoa. Imperial stout had fallen out of popularity 
until it was re-introduced by Samuel Smiths brewery in the 

Oatmeal stout is another sweet variety of stout beer. Oats 
are used instead of malt in order to brew oatmeal stout. 
Oats were originally added to stout because it was believed 
they were an important part of the diet. Oatmeal stout has a 
smooth texture and a strong flavor. This type of stout also 
fell out of favor, but was later introduced by Samuel Smiths 
brewery in 1980.

Sweet stout is another type of stout. As would be expected, 
sweet stout has a sweet taste. A sweet stout may have a 
caramel or chocolate flavor to it, because lactic sugars and 
chocolate malts are used during the brewing process. For 
this reason, sweet stout is sometimes called cream stout or 
milk stout. Sweet stout was once believed to be a nutritious 
form of beer, and nursing mothers were encouraged to drink 
it. Nowadays, drinking any alcohol while nursing is a contro-
versial choice that is best discussed with a doctor.

You can find Guinness Stout wherever imported beers are sold. 
It's in all the grocery stores and delis in my hometown as 
well as liquor/package stores.

So pick your poison...ivy or stout!  And have a good week. 
Enjoy the last of summer.


Questions...Comments...? email Lizzy


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