Staying healthy

January 11, 2008 at 2:10 am | Posted in Health, Personal | 7 Comments

Staying healthy is something I mentioned in the previous post as to something I am trying to do to get me through all this. The big stuff is easy enough to know you need to do, it is making yourself do it that can be so hard. So, the standard stuff is good, such as seeing my Psychologist, trying to get enough sleep and attempting to stay positive. It is the other weird little “hippy” things I have added in that actually seem to be making the largest impact.

Cleaning out the clutter

This was covered in the previous post but it is also shown to help calm the mind and ease depression when one is in a clean and uncluttered environment.

http://www.anxiety-and-depression-solutions.com/wellness_concerns/depression/clear_your_mood.php

I know that I certainly feel better when the house is clean and fresh. Little things like letting in some fresh air during the day helps a lot.

Using natural cleaners and fragrances

This helps to keep the toxins out of the house and I can use the essential oils to help boost or calm my mood as needed.

http://www.healthylivinganswers.com/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-home-fragrance.html

http://www.newstarget.com/016940.html

I also went out and got me a Neti Pot

While I have only been using mine for a few days now, I think I am already beginning to feel a difference in my chronically infected sinuses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation

Melatonin

Thanks to my good friend in Wisconsin for turning me on to this! For those nights that I am just having a hard time sleeping, I can take one and ease on off! It really helps with that good night sleep stuff!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview

Drinking lots of water

I don’t think I need to include a link to why one must stay hydrated, we all do know that. The problem has been remembering to drink water during the day. I often forget to take the time to drink it till the kids are down for the night, then I am up all night running to the potty! I have cracked down on myself in that department and am feeling better in that I am not as thirsty, I retain less water, and my skin is softer. I couldn’t ask for much more in that department! Yeah for water and trying to stay healthy!

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World AIDS Day

November 30, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Posted in getting involved, Health, Personal | 3 Comments

I can remember when AIDS was “discovered.” I had several friends who were gay and we hung out on a social basis. They would have these gay newspapers they subscribed to laying around the house. The magazines became full of stories of death. I remember seeing on the news that people were running kids out of school/town/playgrounds because they discovered the child had AIDS. It was a horrible time. Then, my friends started dying. It seemed that no sooner was someone diagnosed, than they became thin, and sickly, shortly after that, they died. I wouldn’t see someone for just a few months (all my gay friends lived in the next county) and would run into a mutual friend and ask where he was, and would find that in that short time, he was diagnosed, and died. It was horrible! The last bedside I attended was a young man that had been abandoned by his family. He lay in his hospital bed in a coma, all alone.

Now with all the new drugs and treatments, along with better understanding by the general population on how AIDS is spread, those diagnosed are living longer, healthier lives, often with family and friends all around them. I am so glad about that, but I am not glad that the rate of infection is said to be on the rise in young folks. Seems that they no longer see the “death sentence” we used to see, so they are not as scared of contracting the disease. This is such a shame. The disease is still real, and terrible. I can hope that having a World Aids Day will help folks remember that, and that they will do something to help ease the suffering of folks who have it, and even better, for those young folks to see the true numbers of those who have died, and start to see the number of people that each death affects.

I will be taking my kids to the Clinton Presidential Library ( http://www.clintonfoundation.org/cf-pgm-hs-ai-home.htm ) to see the AIDS quilt ( http://www.aidsquilt.org/ ). Their father has cared for many small children and babies with AIDS and even carries a photo of a little one who didn’t make it in his wallet. I hope that my kids never have to lose a friend to AIDS, but if they ever meet someone with it, they will know to not be afraid and be ok with hugging them and can be a good friend. So, here is a thought out to all those affected by HIV/AIDS and a moment of reflection on those who have passed.

And Karma boy turns 4

October 10, 2007 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Health, Personal, simplicity | 3 Comments

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I can’t believe it has gone so fast! It was just the other day I gave birth to him! He was little (7lb 14oz) and squishy. Now he is a wall climbing, tear things up, and wiggly boy! We had all his friends over for a party in the back yard. We are real low key for birthdays, healthy snacks and we request no gifts, and it has always worked for us. That way, if the time ever comes and they want a “big deal” of a birthday, we have something to work up to.

The birthday boy requested banana nut muffins for “cake” and we got to make some vegan cupcakes for a few of our guests. They were yummy! We also did our traditional meal at the Mexican restaurant. Gosh! Those folks are great!

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We had a second party at Grandma’s where the Karma boy was gifted a set of crocodiles. He immediately “gave” one to his sister and they have not put them down yet!

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They sleep with them, carry them with them shopping, and even out to eat. I love that my kids love animals, even the “less cute” ones!

September is National Preparedness Month

September 20, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Posted in frugal, Health, Personal, simplicity | 2 Comments

As we visited with friends and family who were affected by Katrina recently, I remembered the lessons I had learned from all the bad that happened there as we worked for two weeks in the garage as a staging center for the 28 family members we had displaced (Sister’s In-Laws)and listening to their stories. Of course, here in my area of the South, we get more tornados than anything. We also get to enjoy ice in the winter. Some of ya’ll get snow storms, we get ice. And is case you didn’t already know, it can be a real pain in the a$$ to deal with ice on everything. Power lines snap and roads are undriveable. So, I have done what every one should try and do, I have emergence kits built into my everyday life. The problem with having a regular kit as recommended by FEMA is that the kit can blown away or float away with the house.

The biggest lesson we learned through Katrina and through tornadoes, is to have a safety box at a bank. Passports, copies of IDs, birth certificates, and any other valuable information (credit card numbers and insurance papers) should be in there. If your house disappears in a fire, tornado, flood, hurricane the chances are that your bank vault might still be there. Also prescriptions kept at a national chain can be accessed from anywhere else there is that same chain, so if your local drug store is under water, you can still get your meds. Just make sure that all the stores are connected because just because they share the same name, doesn’t mean they can access your prescription if you wind up re-located to another state. This also helps if you loose your prescription, or find yourself needing one (like antibiotics) while on vacation.

There are also the little things that work well all the time. We are now in the process of acquiring all hand crank flashlights. This works on frugality and environmentalism too since we are not having to replace batteries all the time! This also is a help since the kids love playing with the flashlights (torches for my British readers!) during non storm time. By being frugal, we have hand cranked can openers, and plenty of blankets.

We also use part of our kit as our “hospital” bag. We have one bag that is packed with just about everything we could need for a hospital stay. If you find yourself suddenly needing to stay at the hospital, especially as a patient, it helps if you can send someone to grab that one bag and maybe nightclothes. This is especially useful if you are taking a child to the hospital ER and you know they are going to be admitted overnight. Just grab the bag on your way out of the door and you are set .

You can access more complete lists at http://www.ready.gov/.You can also check out http://www.fema.gov/and http://www.redcross.org/. How about you all, any tips you want to share with others on being truly prepared for anything?

Sew good!

September 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Craft, frugal, Health, Personal, recycling, simplicity | 5 Comments

shirt-beforee.jpgAs my weight loss has now neared 60 pounds, I am at the end of retro fitting my clothes. I have taken almost as much as I can out of the tops, and the cotton is getting thin from wear. Here is a before and after of my Razorback shirt (go Hogs!) shirtaftere.jpg

I feel good that I have learned enough about sewing to alter my clothes, the kid’s clothes, and to fix items that require sewing. See the cute little purse gifted to me by my Panamanian friend after a visit to her family? I am so glad I could repair the strap! The interior of the patchwork bag (vintage from my mom’s closet) needed repairing also. repairedclothese.jpgThere was a time in my life that I would have just gotten rid of the clothes instead of trying to make them last, much less repair them. I am really looking forward to buying new clothes for the winter as I no longer own a pair of jeans! I never thought I would shrink out of my clothes, but here I am! There are a couple of big consignment sales happening this month, so I will wait till the last day, when things are 50% off and go see what they got!I hate being at the plateau I am at, I really want to loose this last bit (I dunno, 30 lbs maybe) and I know what I can do to make that happen, I just haven’t cracked down hard enough on myself to do it. I have some calories to cut and some exercise to catch up on. I am at least glad that I have not put on the 10 lbs I had been averaging in gain per year for as long as I can remember.

Part One~Why use a reel mower?

August 29, 2007 at 2:44 am | Posted in frugal, Health, simplicity | 5 Comments

cleanairgardening_1963_94772951.gif When our gas powered push mower started to go on the fritz this year, we made the final decision to retire it. The cost of maintenance, gasoline, and what it’s use was doing to the environment just was not worth it. We had purchased a reel mower some months before, but had not made the commitment to it we had planned. My idea was that I could use it while the kids played nearby. We do not condone the use of gas powered mowers in the close vicinity of children (or anyone for that matter) as flying rocks, debris, gas fumes, and the off chance someone could fall into the path of the blades, is to much for us. This seemed a safe way for me to get some exercise, and keep the yard looking nice, all the while being kind to the environment. Now the reel mower was going to become a necessity.Not having to deal with gas, engines, and not to mention that I can mow anytime of day or night without disturbing the neighbors! Other great reasons to make the switch can be found at EPA Lawn Care Facts. There is a small amount of reality check needed here before you rush out and purchase a reel mower. Like any lawn mower, reel or rotary, it shouldn’t be used to mow over sticks, stones or hard objects. If you have lots of trees and can’t pick up the sticks, then a reel mower is probably not for you. The sticks, even small ones I have found, will get stuck in the blades. You can also have problems if your grass gets to high. For this, you will want to borrow a neighbors gas mower, cut the grass to acceptable levels, then begin your reel mower maintenance of your lawn.

Spinach boats

August 9, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Health, simplicity | 4 Comments

OK, so you all know how I tried introducing the Kale to the kids? Now it is raw spinach! I sat down at the table with my bowl of washed spinach and began to wrap the leaves around some thin cheese “fingers.” This looked quite exciting to the kids so they wanted to try it. I then picked up some lunch meat sliced turkey and wrapped it in my “boat” of spinach. That looked good to them too! Before long, they were asking for “more boats” and sticking everything they could find into them, including popcorn, grapes, and dipping them in ketchup. Sigh. How great it is to see them enjoy something so healthy without feeling like a party pooper!

How about you all? Any special tricks in getting your kids to try new raw foods?

If you have watermelons….

August 6, 2007 at 7:12 pm | Posted in frugal, Health, simplicity | 4 Comments

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I feel so Martha Stewart, but I love melon balls! So, I took half of a Hope Watermelon and began scooping melon balls out. I push the little seeds out into a strainer and put the pretty balls into one container, and the kinda messed up ones in another. I then pour the juice out through the strainer so I have some extra smoother watermelon juice. The rind goes into the compost bin, some scraps go into the freezer for smoothies, and the nice balls are saved for company while me and the kids chow down on the finger sized balls that are a little less than perfect (OK, sometimes A LOT less than perfect).

In this weather it is nice to have some ice cold watermelon, and accompanying drinks. You can find a few recipes for watermelon drinks at one of my favorite sites, The Spirit World (http://thespiritworld.net/?s=watermelon&x=13&y=4 ).I love the history of drinks that I learn from this site. Already since reading The Spirit World, I have opportunities to impress with my knowledge of Quinine ( http://thespiritworld.net/2007/07/17/tonic-water-and-the-gin-tonic/ ) , and Absinthe (http://thespiritworld.net/category/spirit/absinthe/) in regards to their place in history and their subsequent dilution in the USA.Do you all have any favorite uses for your watermelon? Any favorite drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) using watermelon ?

April 28, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Health | 6 Comments

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Photos of me before lifestyle changes, and after lifestyle changes.

Tight fitting W28s to comfortable 16s? Priceless.

I have heard this term from time to time and didn’t know what it meant. I finally got a round to looking it up and here it is! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=zaftigI think I will declare myself a Zaftig Goddess and embrace all that is me!

Change Clock = Change Batteries

March 11, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Posted in getting involved, Health | 1 Comment

Most fatal fires occur at night while you are asleep. Having a properly maintained and working smoke detector more than doubles your chances of survival. Every home should be protected by smoke detectors. Place a minimum of one smoke detector in every bedroom and in the main corridor outside of all sleeping areas. For multi-story homes, an additional smoke detector should be placed on every floor.Just having a smoke detector is not enough. Eighty-six percent of all homes in the United States have at least one smoke detector but one-third of these are not working. Most smoke detector failures are attributed to a lack of annual battery replacement. Fire departments suggest that you test your smoke detector monthly and that the battery of all smoke detectors in your home be changed at least twice a year.A good way to remember to change your smoke detector battery is to associate it with the time change that occurs twice a year. We should all remember to change our smoke detector batteries, and the perfect time is when we go through our homes to change our clocks. Remember that when there is a fire you have no time. A residential home can be totally consumed in flames in less than five minutes. Since most fires occur between 2am and 6am, while most people are sleeping, the alarm of a smoke detector is your first line of defense.

Installing and maintaining smoke detectors dramatically increase your family’s chances of surviving a fire. So remember while you

are changing the time on your clocks, take the time to change the battery of your smoke detectors. It could save you and your families life!

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