Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Putting the Lodi Stamp on our New Home

I realized I'm really into resourcefulness. I love to take old things
and turn them around into something useful. Why buy new when you can recycle something old and give it new life!  I would actually classify this as a hobby of mine. 

Since moving recently to a new house with all kinds of new features, I've gotten to practice my resourcefulness.  There are many changes we want to make around here and one was our mailbox.  It was this ugly purple color. Instead of buying a new one, I dug out of my cupboard all the non-washable paints that I could find for my artistic daughter to create something beautiful with.  

 We looked at a bunch of decorated mailbox ideas online and picked this bicycle picture in front of a white picked fence.  Julia practiced painting it on a paper plate first.  It's easy for her to sketch almost anything with pencil but quite another to use paints.

 This is how it came out on the actual mailbox.  

My other daughter really hated the purple still and felt we should get rid of it.  Plus we wanted to do something else on the other side.

So I found some more paint out in the garage and she painted the whole thing plus added flowers and our name to the other side.

Not bad for an amateur artist.  I think she should start her own business taking old mailboxes and making them new!

I love giving projects like this one to my kids.  It gives them something constructive to do.  Anthony's project was to hang a tire swing (previous post) and this was Julia's project, to paint me a new mailbox! I'd say she did a pretty good job.

This afternoon I gave her another project, refinishing our porch swing.  Once we get it hung up to show how resourceful we've been, I'll post about it.  Stay tuned!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Medicinal items to keep on hand for unexpected illnesses

There are a few supplements and medicinal items that I found to be extremely helpful this year.  These things have kept me from running to the doctor needlessly when I don't feel well.  And therefore I have avoided the antibiotics that they pass out so easily.  I have to insert a little disclaimer here to let you know that I'm not against antibiotics or medical help when necessary. They are so helpful when in desperate times and in need of some desperate measures to find healing.

Usually it is not recommended to "self diagnose."  But I disagree!  I do this all the time with the computer at our fingertips and so much information out there. It's saved me many times from wasting money on doctor visits and prescriptions and wasting time waiting to be seen only to be guessing along with the doctor about what I might have.

I think God is pleased when we use the brains he gave us to learn new things. He created our bodies in such an incredible way and meant for our bodies to be able to heal themselves. For example, our immune systems are there to fight off disease and keep us healthy.  Bleeding for example is God's way of cleaning out our wounds. Fevers are another example of the bodies way of telling us something foreign has intruded.  There is a battle going on but the fever is fighting for us, not against us. As a mom of a large family, we've had our share of illnesses and I've been forced to learn a lot about how our bodies function best. 

 These are just a few ailments I've had that I've been able to self diagnose that I can remember off the top of my head. Maybe they will be helpful if you are experiencing any of them.

 I've treated the beginnings of pink eye by flushing the eyes with contact solution.

 A friend helped me diagnose a boil I had on the side of my bra line (which I'd never had before). She recommended a high dose of probiotics and hot compresses. I'd had it for a week before I even showed it to her. She told me that it was an infection under the skin and that I needed a strong immune system to fight it off. I took probiotics, stayed away from sugar and did the hot compresses every morning and night. I never had to see a doctor because within 3 days it was better.

 One time last year, I had strep throat and was put on antibiotics because strep can be very serious. After I finished the antibiotics, I felt better for about a week and then it returned. My throat was killing me again!  I drank my usual apple cider vinegar tonic because I knew that this vinegar is supposed to be able to kill bacteria and went to bed praying for God to take it away. I fully expected to have to see the doctor in the morning and do another round of antibiotics but instead it was better!  I drank ACV all day the next day and never had problems with it again.  Hallelujah!

Most recently I had a UTI (urinary tract infection).  I'd never had one of these before either.  I knew it must be either a yeast infection or a UTI.  I looked them both up online and decided according to my symptoms it was a UTI. The recommendation were to drink lots of water, take high doses of vitamin C, stay away from caffeine and sugar, and make an apple cider drink and sip on it all day.  I did this for a week!  Whenever my symptoms went away, I'd stop and then they would come back so I decided I needed to stick to it a few days after my symptoms were gone to completely kick it. I was so grateful I never had to see a doctor about this and blown away again by these natural methods of curing oneself!

Vitamin C (1,000 mg), netiwash pot, Braggs organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother in it), acidophilus  blast

So now here we are as to why I'm writing this post.  I'm in the middle of another ailment new to me and I'm seeing success although, I'm not out of the woods yet. Because I feel so much better, I'm ecstatic that God continues to help my body heal and fight off infections, naturally without the help of antibiotics!

About a month ago I developed a cough.  No other symptoms, just a wet, croupy cough.  After about 2 weeks I began to also have a bit of congestion.  Because I felt great and never had a sore throat, I felt it was due to allergies.  I'd been spending a ton of time outdoors and when our air conditioning went out for three days, we even slept with our windows open. By the third week, I took a turn for the worse and woke up one night freezing.  It's the middle of August in Texas! Why am I cold?  My head was heavy, my body ached and a few minutes later I was hot, throwing all my covers off that I had so carefully put on a half hour before.  "Oh no" I thought, "I have the flu!"  I slept pretty much the next day away.  I couldn't stand up for more than 10 minutes without needing to go back to bed.  The second day, I was a bit better but still very fatigued and had a lot of pressure in my head.  By the third day, I began to wonder, if I didn't have the flu but an infection of some sort. I just moved to the country an hour away from where we used to live in Dallas, Texas.  I didn't even have a doctor yet and my old doctor wasn't practicing anymore.  I kept thinking, maybe I have pneumonia since I've had this cough forever.  I didn't want to think about it.  Then it dawned on me that I might have a sinus infection!  When I did the research, I realized I had 9 out of the 10 symptoms!  So I began an intense regimen.  I started taking my probiotic 2 TX a day on an empty stomach, I took 3,000-4,000 mg of vitamin C spread out throughout the day, I made my apple cider vinegar drink that I always revert back to to fight bacteria and you guessed it, I did the neti-pot wash.  I'd never done this before but had one of these in my medicine cabinet.  I watched a video online of how to do it and read the instructions on the box.

I'm sold on this thing and might just have to do this weekly for allergies to wash out the pollens and dust from my nasal passages.  It is no piece of cake and is kind of gross but I had no idea I could get the actual infected mucus out of my nose this way. And if it's not enough to get that gunk out, remember that if you add colloidal silver to your saline solution you are killing the bacteria that has penetrated the lining of your nasal passages. If you don't have silver, you can open a probiotic capsule and pour it in your solution as well.  They say if your snot is a yellowish/green then you have an infection.  Just think of all those times you had head congestion and couldn't sleep because you couldn't breath!  Going through an entire box of kleenexes didn't seem to help and there you lay breathing through your mouth hoping to catch a few zzzzz's!   Bet you didn't know that you could heat up some warm saline solution (salt water) and pour it through each nasal passage and get complete relief!

I did this once the first day and twice the second day.  I haven't yet had to do it today, the third day, because I don't feel congested.  Yesterday I felt so much more energy than I had felt in a week, that I really began to be excited that just maybe God was healing me through these methods!  Today I feel almost normal. I'm still taking the probiotic, drinking ACV, and taking the vitamin C.  It's such a great feeling when you can live life again.  My two sons birthdays are this weekend and I really wanted to be able to celebrate with them.  One is turning 6 and the other 13.  It's really no fun when life is happening without you while you are miserable in bed.

A few details to end this long post about health:  Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory supplement that goes right through you.  You process it through your kidneys so it is best to take it sporadically throughout the day.  I take one when I'm sick at every meal and I buy a very high dose because you cannot overdose on this supplement. I was told by my doctor that I can take up to 6,000 mg a day usually without incident.  More than than can cause diarrhea so if you experience loose bowels then back off of it a bit.

My apple cider drink that I love to sip on all day is:

2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of ACV
2 tsp of truvia, honey or a few drops of stevia
I like to throw in a 1/4 cup of frozen berries
squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon
a chunk of raw ginger ( about the size of your fingernail)

Blend this up in your blender and then strain out the pulp before adding ice.  Store the leftovers in a jar for later.  You can double this recipe to make up more if you like it.

Just had to share what I'm learning and my excitement about natural things that actually work!  I hope this will help someone in the future with an ugly ailment that needs to be overcome!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This city girl has been countryfied!

Most of you already know that we have moved to the county.  I think blogging about our experiences will be a great way to log the changes that are happening as well as my thoughts about it all.  I have lived in the city all my life but I grew up in Modesto, California. It is a very agricultural town with many orchards surrounding it.  One of my best friend's family growing up lived in the small town of Ripon on a farm in a big ol' farm house.  I loved going out to her house to spend time in her screened in porch or playing around in her barn or just running barefoot in the grass.  Her mom made the best home cooked food and freshly squeezed lemonade.

My whole life I've loved the county or the idea of country life.  I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons! Who wouldn't want the joy of running through fields of wildflowers, climbing trees, having farm animals as pets and swinging on tire swings.  Now that I have children, I want that for them.  Nature is a beautiful thing to behold and living in the city makes it awfully hard to appreciate it. 

Well, we didn't move way out in the middle of nowhere.  We are only an hour from the big city of Dallas and all it's conveniences. Being fifteen minutes from Wal-mart makes life a bit easier. We aren't farmers by any stretch of the imagination but more like country bumpkins!  We did purchase a small parcel of land that we can do what we want with.  The kids have room to explore and see a bit of God's creation.  Our neighbors aren't squeezed in right next to us instead they have land too and are doing their own thing.  Raising cattle is popular or having a donkey or some goats.  We get to enjoy their livestock too because their pasture buts up against ours.  I could go on and on about the pluses of country living but I'll save that for another post.

I really wanted a tire swing.  My kids love to swing but I didn't really want a rickety swing set that would rust in the rain and that they would grow out of in a couple of years. So I stopped at a tire store yesterday and asked the greasy looking tire guys who were sitting around doing nothing, if they might have an old tire for a the purpose of a tire swing.  To my surprise they did have one and gave it to us for nothing!  Score!

We already had rope in the garage so I assigned the job of hanging it to my oldest son, Anthony.  He loves to work on projects and fix things so this job was perfect for him. It took him awhile since he had a tall branch to figure out how to get the rope up to.  I pulled out our knot-tying book and it came in real handy!  Finally after over an hour of working on it, he and his younger brother figured it out and produced a "countryfied tire swing!"

So far it is a hit!  My prayer is that this will provide hours of fun and memories will be made for the future.   Anything to get kids outdoors and away from the T.V. and computer is worth the investment. And really, it doesn't take much of an investment to come up with some simple things like this to have some summer fun. The hardest item to come by for this is the tree to hang it from.  If you live in the city, you can be creative.  I've seen tire swings at parks these days and they aren't hanging from trees. 

I'm not going to promise that I'll be blogging regularly even though that's my goal.  Life for me is getting back to normal these days so it is possible but I'll refrain from making promises.  If I could just figure out how to make these short then I might actually be able to find the time!