Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring has sprung!

I love spring. Who doesn't? I know allergies are high, pollen counts are crazy, and sneezing and runny noses are just another every day thing. And yet, everyone is itching to go outside and celebrate the awesome weather.

Along with the sun, sweet breeze, and blooming flowers come memories of my childhood. My grandfather owned a farm, and on that farm he had chickens and geese that laid eggs. I remember walking through the coops and collecting eggs. It was so much fun -- when the chickens were out of the coop. But if they were sitting on eggs, it could be a little dicey, but for the most part, they allowed you to collect the eggs.

Geese, on the other hand, are mean, mean, MEAN animals. Especially if you are going after their eggs. They would chase us, hissing and snapping at our fingers, legs, fannies, and anything else they could reach. It could leave an otherwise normal little girl, scarred for life.

But along with those rather hysterical memories of two little girls running through the goose coop, out into the field, screeching and giggling while being chased by rabid geese, I also remember sweet traditions. I hadn't thought of them in a long time, but now that my son is old enough to actually participate and understand, the memories seem to be rushing back.

One, in particular, is decorating goose eggs. They are so big, and we would have fun poking a hole in the middle of the egg, draining it (keep the egg to cook with), cutting the whole bigger with tiny embroidery scissors, and gently washing the entire shell. Then, we would decorate the inside with those small plastic felted rabbits, grass, and any other tiny birds or eggs we could find. Finally, we would glue rick-rack, ribbons, or decorative edges from the fabric store around the large opening to finish it off. They were so beautiful.

Another tradition was receiving the spun sugar eggs with the panoramic scenes in them. My grandmother had a friend that would make them for us. We would never eat them, just look at them like treasures that children conjure up. I could only find a small handful of pictures of them on line, and none of the goose eggs.

This spring, I'm going to make decorated eggs with my son, but I doubt I'll be able to find goose eggs anywhere!

This spring, share your special memories! Don't let them die by the wayside!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Screams of Spring

I love spring. The trees are budding, the grass is turning green, the flowers are starting to pop their beautiful petals out, and the birds are ... screaming.  Not just "screaming," but "SCREAMING."

Each year, we have the same problem. Birds sneak their way into our vents, make their nests, have babies, and scream their heads off. It literally sounds like a woman screaming. And its behind our microwave.So gross.

And today, my husband is home. He fixed his breakfast, ate it, and suddenly stood up and said, "that's it--I'm evicting those birds!" To which, I laughed and said: "Yeah. Right. They'll be back." And he replied, "Not this time. I'm taking wood, nails and duct tape. They're outta here."


He's out there now, and I hear knocking, scraping, struggling, chirping, screaming, dragging... it makes me shudder and think of the old Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds." But so far, it looks like Man is winning over Bird.

I give it three months.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Put the Lime in the Coconut!

We have friends that have moved to another state... so sad!! Really! But they were so kind and gave me a pantry FULL of goodies before they left ... including organic virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut juice!!  So much, I don't know what to do with it!! That alone was a challenge for me to find a way to incorporate it into our daily life.

And we began with ... dum, dum, DUUUUM ... Oil Pulling.

It looks easy enough, and evidently offers many health benefits that would GREATLY affect my health/personal life. I have lupus, sjogrens, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some other stuff, and coconut oil, more specifically, Coconut Oil Pulling, looks like it could bring wellness into my daily life.

Looking at just ONE of my health issues, Sjorgens, your body's white blood cells destroy the glands that specifically produce saliva and tears. It's an autoimmune disorder, and it's miserable. Your mouth is so dry that your tongue and mouth feel like dry leather. Your eyes feel like a hundred needles are pricking them - or like a bad chlorine-salt water-sandy beach day. It's the pits. And one of the claims of Oil Pulling is that it causes your mouth to produce more natural saliva and promotes oral health. When your mouth doesn't have an active production of saliva, you are more prone to problems with tooth decay, enamel erosion, gum disease, and it helps you chew, taste and swallow. If I had a dollar for each time I choked swallowing food, well... I'd be close to a millionaire.

Oil Pulling looks promising. It looks easy. It sounds weird, and maybe a little "hookie," but I've had several friends of mine, one in particular who has ROCKING teeth and has the best oral hygiene that I know of (including her two handsome boys), said they practice oil pulling with good results. So, it must be a good thing, right?

So, what is this mysterious oil pulling? Basically, it's swishing oil (usually Sesame, flax seed, Sunflower or Coconut) in the mouth for up to 20 minutes (not a typo!) to improve oral health. Of the three, coconut oil offers the best results, as it has detoxifying effects, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and breaks through plaque and bacteria, pulling them out from between the teeth and in the gums. Oh, yeah ... it also whitens teeth. I also found so many testimonials from people who experienced benefits from oil pulling, including help with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, thrush, liver problems and more (a lot of those are symptoms of lupus or side affects of the drugs I take!).

How Do You Do It?

These tips are found all over the Internet. They are not MY tips, but a gathering from dear friends and the good old web.

1. It's best done first thing in the morning, before eating and brushing.

2. Use 1-2 teaspoons of organic virgin unrefined coconut oil (Trader Joes). A friend pointed out that it has a very low melting temp (76 degrees), and said she fills her sink with hot water and puts the jar in the sink to melt the solid coconut oil. You can put it into your mouth while you shower.

3. Place the oil in your mouth and "PULL" the oil through your mouth, similar to swishing.

4. Pull the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. YES! Twenty minutes! That's long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that you start re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria.

5. Spit into the TRASH CAN. You'll know why when you see how hard coconut oil is, and well -- melted oil re-hardens. Do not swallow the oil because of bacteria, toxins and puss that are now not in the oil! And it's just gross.

6. Rinse well with warm water and brush well.

How Did it Go???

BWAHAHAHAHA!!  Oh, baby. Who was I kidding?!?  It's NOT easy.

I first made the mistake of placing two TABLESPOONS (oops) of the solid oil into my mouth (as I had read others use it solid). Big mistake. The texture is awful. I gagged, and gagged and spit it out straight away.

Then, I had a slight issue with the whole 20 minutes (which a friend said I would at the beginning). Like 19minutes and thirty seconds. Epic failure. EPIC.

Finally, while I love coconut, after those two failed attempts, I couldn't even THINK about oil pulling without gagging. SERIOUSLY. So I took a day break away from it and will try it again tomorrow.

I'm determined!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Take My Own Advice, Right???

Today, I gave some friendly advice to a younger friend of mine. She's in her early 20's, and just going through a lot of life changes that are causing anxiety, and sleepless nights because her brain is running at 5,000 miles per minute.

Been there, done that. Still doing it.

I suggested she try blogging as a release for her brain. Then I realized... I haven't blogged in, well -- forever.

That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I MISS blogging! So, I think I'll begin blogging again! Yay, me... I guess my writing voice is back. Plus, it's a creative outlet. Who can argue with that?

So while my 8 year old is out weeding the flower beds (HEY! He ASKED!!), I'm updating my blog. Feels like old days.

Looking at sunnier days!