Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Naturally Stop a Cough

I've had a sicky this week.

My poor Shortest (12) started with some mild cold symptoms on Sunday, and I jumped right on it.

I gave him a single drop of oregano oil in a shot of chocolate milk a couple times a day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Tuesday night, he was feeling mostly fine except for a scratchy soreness in his throat and a cough.  Actually, he couldn't seem to STOP coughing.

I mixed about 2 tbsp of coconut oil with about 1/2 tsp of camphor oil. (I get mine here and swear by this brand for pretty much ALL of my essential oils.)

Now, here's my testimonial...... because I've never used camphor oil before. I bought some a little while back because I wanted to try making a mock Viks rub, but hadn't had cause to do so until this week.

I rubbed that coconut oil/camphor oil mixture on Shortest's entire throat (sides and front), and all over his upper chest area.  I heard him cough two or three times total over the next two hours!

I was absolutely ASTOUNDED at how immediately it took affect, and how incredibly long it lasted.

I can tell you one thing for sure, and that's that I will ALWAYS have camphor oil in my home from now on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On a Roll Today!

I bought 2 pounds of jalapenos at the store today.  I'm vinegar pickling most of them, but plan on fermenting some.  I'm really looking forward to naturally pickled peppers. MMMmmmmmm...

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


Today is the first day back to school for our boys.  It's been a pretty productive day for me so far.

I made my bed, got some laundry in, and got another load folded and put away.

I got the dishwasher loaded, and running, cleaned up in the kitchen, sliced up 2 pounds of jalapenos, and pickled them. 

As I type this, they're cooling in their water bath on the stove (Yay! Just heard a lid pop tight!)


I've also managed to go through all $70 worth of bulk spices that I picked up yesterday, and place them in labeled glass jars for air tight storage this morning. 

It's not even noon yet.

This is what happens when you're up at 5:45am, and left to your own devices in quiet for the morning.

Next on my list is to take the handful jalapenos that I set aside, and these lovely heads of cabbage, and get some fermented goodness goin' on.

I'm pretty content homeprepping..... I mean.... prepsteading.... I mean.... never mind.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Got a salad spinner. My initial impression of it?
"Oh my goodness! Where have you BEEN all my life?!?!?!"

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August 23, 2011 - That was the day I woke up.

That was the day of the 5.8 earthquake that rocked Virginia and was felt over 12 states and several provinces in Canada.

Read more about it here.
The earthquake, along with a magnitude–5.8 quake on the New York–Ontario border during 1944, is the largest to have occurred in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains since an earthquake centered in Giles County in western Virginia occurred during 1897,[3] with an estimated magnitude of 5.8.[4]
The quake was felt across more than a dozen U.S. states and in several Canadian provinces, and was felt by more people than any other quake in U.S. history.[5] No deaths and only minor injuries were reported. Minor damage to buildings was widespread and was estimated by one risk-modeling company at $200 million to $300 million, of which about $100 million was insured.

I had begun to watch earthquakes after the HUGE 9 pointer in Japan on March 11, 2011.By the time we had one of our own, I'd already been dappling in quakes and other natural disasters, so I took it very seriously.

The point is... that quake could've been worse, and just might BE at some point in the future, and in the event of that happening, we could be without food, water, supplies, etc for who knows how long.

Back in 2008 the NE USA had a record breaking storm that dumped over 3 feet of snow in my front yard after freezing everything solid in what was the worst ice storm most people have ever seen. We had no power, water, bathroom, etc for FIVE DAYS!

We were SO painfully unprepared for such a calamity.

I won't be unprepared ever again.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I'm not a "prepper" in the way that most people think of when they hear that word. I don't have a cellar full of horded or canned food. I don't have 100 guns of varying ferocity, and countless boxes of ammunition.

I believe that what we need will come to us when we need it. I'm a believer in "thoughts become things" and so preparing for the worst, in my mind, brings the worst to you.


I also believe that people have become FAR too dependent on a faulty system. People are far too content to pop their frozen dinner into their microwave, and call it a meal because of the simple convenience of it.

This is not how we live. We are an old school family.

Mom (that's me!) still cooks meals of organic food (or as our ancestors called it.... Food), from scratch, every day. I, personally, embrace a mostly grain free, low carb way of eating, and so my family also embraces it because she who cooks the food gets to dictate what you eat.

I grow a garden.

I'm learning to can my homegrown produce.

I know for SURE that if the shit hits the fan, one of the first things we will do is set out live traps in the backyard and collect as many rabbits as we can. We have tons. We will eat them, and breed them.

We'll also start breeding our chickens.

We have 3 dogs, and while they're not the end all of security systems, they will deter, and that's what I like about them. Although... I was attacked by a dog once, a few years ago, and my Australian shepherd / pit bull mix tore the crap outta that mutt. That dog had holes in its face. I felt bad about the whole ordeal, but my dog was leashed, and that dog was loose, and attacked us, so Abby did what she felt was necessary.

But I digress....

I don't want convenience. I don't want artificial colors, and "natural" flavors. I don't want preservatives.

I don't want to live a life of modern convenience.

On a side note.... I acknowledge the irony of that statement being that it's typed out on a laptop into a blog on the internet.  But, that's not what I really mean.

I mean..... a frozen box of faux food, with an ingredient list 3 miles long, is not now, nor has it ever been, FOOD. I won't call it food, and I won't eat it.  Hell, a portion of those ingredients are industrial solvents and PLASTIC! Yeah! PLASTIC! YUM!

We don't eat that shit. It's not even shit, because honestly, I'd rather eat shit.

I mean, not to be an ass.... but even in a shit hits the fan situation, where you think that you'd eat anything edible..... I would be very unlikely to eat that crap.  It's full of garbage that's been scientifically proven to basically kill you slowly.

And if the shit hits the fan, my number one concern is to LIVE, not to just die slightly slower.

So I don't do coupons. I don't do sales. These are meaningless things to me.

What I DO... is... farmer's markets, and local farms/butchers.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Best Face Forward

I believe a daily beauty regimen is important.

I've bypassed this daily step for many years because I don't wear make-up or products in my hair.  Recently when I came back to FlyLady, for about the 100th time in 11 years, I made one up.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I have a huge vanity area in my closet.  This is my space.  I think everyone should have a space like this.  For some people, it's the bathroom counter. 

I bought dry erase markers, and I write things on the mirror.  I erase, and write something new at the end of the Master Bedroom Zone.  I'm about to change it tomorrow.... but at this moment, it says.....

We are SO blessed!!! ------------ You are loved! -------- Life is Beautiful

I felt a little corny when I first started doing this, but hey, I think a lot of people would do a lot better in their lives, in general, if they remembered these things every day.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I stand in the mirror, and brush my hair out, and arrange it for the day.  Up.  Down.  Ponytail.  Clip.  Bandana.  Whatever.

Then I use a washcloth, and exfoliate my face with a half n half mix of raw apple cider vinegar, and water.  Just wet one end of the cloth, and gently go over my entire face.

Then I put in some earrings, and put a spritz of my essential oil/water mixture on my face. (good for scent, and good for your skin)

That's it.  Nothing big.  But I feel more confident, and put together.  I feel attractive.  Too many people don't feel good about themselves, on too regular a basis.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I've begun a new nightly regimen recently. 

I spend way too much time with my hands in and out of soapy water, and my skin suffers greatly.

Now, as I head to bed, I moisturize my hands using sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.  Ohhhh Yeaaahhhh.  It is SOOO the bomb!!!

So whatcha do is put a little sea salt in your palm.... like... 1/4 - 1/2 tsp.  Next you dribble some EVOO into the salt... like... 1 tsp. Then, you just rub.  Rub your hands together.... rub it on the backs... rub it on your cuticles, and nails (not if you have painted nails. this will kill your mani).

I rub really well between my fingers.  The webbing between my fingers will peel from being so dry at times.

When you feel you've rubbed enough, get some straight hot water going in your sink, and rinse your hands.  NO SOAP!!!  We're not trying to wash off the oil.  We're just trying to thin it out, evenly distribute it, and rinse off the excess.

After you rinse for 30 seconds or so, rubbing your hands around, and together.... grab a paper towel, and lightly dry your hands.

Then go to bed, and let all the lovely moisture, and antioxidants soak into your skin!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to Fix a Stinky Washing Machine

Does your washing machine get a funky odor in it?  Mine does.  And I mean FUN-KAY!

We have a hard, mineral rich well water.  I tried running empty loads full of soap and water.... or soap, water, and vinegar.  This seemed to help some, but not for more than a few days. 

I never tried bleach because we don't use bleach.  Ever.  For anything.  I don't even have any in my house, and haven't for many years.

Mister suggested being sure to always leave the lid open so it's getting air circulation inside.  This too seemed to help some, but still not enough for my liking.

Then about a week ago, right out of nowhere Mister says to me, "Well, you realize that the washing machine is never completely empty of water, don't you?  I mean, the water drains, but there's always a quarter inch, give or take, left sitting in the bottom of the drum."


And then I knew how to fix the smell.....

I ALWAYS have white vinegar on hand in my kitchen, and laundry room.  I add an old laundry detergent cap full of white vinegar to every load of laundry.  It de-funks and softens the clothes.

What if, instead of adding the cup of vinegar to the wash load, I added it to the empty washing machine AFTER a load.  It would still be part of the next wash cycle, but in the meantime, it would stop the water in the bottom of the machine from becoming stagnant and/or growing bacteria AKA becoming funky.

I wash one load per day, 4 or 5 days out of 7.... so there ARE days where the machine isn't used, and THAT is when it gets funkiest.

I've been throwing the vinegar in AFTER each load for just over a week now, and I've got to say..... my washing machine has never smelled cleaner or fresher. 

Seriously.  Try this.