I ordered some soap a few days ago, and it just came in the mail today! It is a treat for me to be able to order something organic without chemicals or preservatives. It takes alot of time to make all the things I used to be able to just pick up at the corner market. Research and learning new skills is wonderful, I enjoy it, however it is time consuming. I could not wait to try the soap but I wanted to get some pictures of it before I used it so I could share it with you. It smells delicious! There are real coffee beans and cocoa in the soap along with moisturizing oils.
I have already sampled it many times this evening and my hands feel so smooth and soft! I ordered it from an online Etsy shop. If you want to try some just click on the picture. I added a link so you can experience it yourself! It also contains shea butter which is a great moisturizer after shoveling snow or washing dishes or cooking dinner or...I think I could find lots of reasons to wash my hands with this, again and again. I may have to try some more! I never did learn how to make soap, but I am glad that someone else did so I can enjoy their work. It's the little things in life that make me happy!
It' winter time and cold outside. Great time to put on another pot of soup bones for a nourishing broth. I use the crock pot and some organic bones if I can get them.
Sip slowly and enjoy the healing goodness, this is especially good after shoveling snow in the winter while dreaming of spring when I can begin growing lettuce in the garden and sprouts on the window sill!
This is also beneficial for those with leaky gut, or conditions like thyroid disease that makes it difficult to absorb nutrients.
Had my 6 month blood tests done this morning to check my thyroid. I don't feel completely better yet, so hoping doctor will not lower my medication. He is checking TSH, Free T3 and T4, which is alot more than many doctors or specialists will check these days! Diagnosed Hypo as a young child, but doctors told my mom that I would "outgrow" it!! :( She fought for me back then. Through the years at regular checkups, my TSH would come back "normal" and I did not know about what they told my mom until last August when my thyroid grew so large that it inhibited my breathing and swallowing, and had to be removed. I am remaining very active in my care with research and prayer for wisdom because I can see how this failure to diagnose for ALL my life has affected my health. It is estimated that over 30 Million people are suffering with thyroid conditions! Hoping for a good report in the next few days, and trusting God with it all...there is always HOPE!
This is long overdue, but my computer died awhile back and I had to figure out how to rescue this picture. I was amazed at the difference in myself when I saw the two bottom pictures next to each other. A short bit of history...
I did not know that I was born with a thyroid issue. My mother was told I had thyroid problems but..."that I would out grow them!" NOT....All through my life as far as we knew I was "fine" according to blood tests. My mom did her best and brought me back to the doctors and told them something was wrong....she hardly eats anything and gains weight, plus a whole host of what I now know as hypo symptoms. The stress and weight gain left me diabetic, but the diet changes helped me get that under control.
But as you can see by the pictures I was anything but "fine." In the past six months since my total thyroidectomy due to an enlarged thyroid gland with a huge goiter and nodules that were "suspicious" and so large that they were hindering my breathing and swallowing, I have learned alot about thyroid health. It was difficult to learn while the brain is in fog mode but so necessary to research on your own and stay active in your health care. Life could have been so much different from this vantage point, but hindsight is 20/20, and God is still in control so I trust that He will continue to hold me up through this life.
In about 2000 I realized I was gaining much weight, and really tried hard to find out what was going on. The blood tests were based only on the TSH test, so they were not revealing that the thyroid was struggling to survive.
I had developed severe allergies that left me with hives and anaphylactic shock so something had to be done. We had just finished homeschooling two sons, very active in life, and the daily care of my mother in law with Alzheimers fell to us. I had been trained as a CNA, specializing in Alzheimers care. I had also injured my knee around that time. The pain and stress of life as well as the "main gear" in my body not operating properly all my life and now sputtering for dear life left me overwhelmed to say the least, plus Diabetes was getting worse due the stress on the body. Yes stress can cause the sugars to go up too!
In the 2005 photo I can... now...see the hypothyroid face...puffy, thinning eyebrows, hiding the bald spot on the top of my head with thinning hair, extra weight gain no matter how well I ate. At that point I was unable to move without pain in every joint, was dizzy and off balance, had brain fog, and could not even concentrate enough to read a paragraph. I used to listen to the Bible being read online just so that I could still find comfort from God!
My mother in law died a few years ago, and my husband and I took some time to mourn and rest, and then in Jan of 2012 I was hit by a car in a local parking lot. It was a hit and run, but I wasn't injured. In Feb 2012 my car slid on the ice in an ice storm early one morning and I ended up spinning a few times and crossing the highway to end up stuck on a pole just before the car slid down the embankment into the rocks below, with the front of the car windshield inches away from a pine tree branch coming through the window into my face. After some chiropractic care, the Chiropractor thought there might be something else going on so he sent me to my physician.
My doctor scheduled an MRI and called me at home a few hours later and said...don't eat anything, how soon can you get to the hospital? We have an operating room ready for you. You have a gall bladder that is ready to burst with a gall stone stuck in the bile duct the size of a thumb! It was an awful surgery with a week long stay in the hospital and it really took a few months before I began to feel better. After some online research I realized that the difficulty breathing, the pain in my chest and the dizziness and balance issue as well as the pain at the top of my head were all from the gall bladder! Who knew? My arthritic type pain in the joints had dissipated after diet changes and some of the stress in my life being relieved over the years, so the pain I had before surgery was from my injured knee years ago and what I thought was "Seat Belt" trauma across my chest from the accident. The gall bladder did not issue me any warnings except a few days before the MRI. So a few months later, when I had one pain in my thyroid, I made an appointment.
My doctor schedule another MRI and Ultrasound and swallow test. Here we go again...second surgery of the year. I did have about a month to research before the surgery to make sure this is the right course of action. The thyroid had grown too large to take much more time to try to shrink it, and from what I had read, shrinkage of the thyroid doesn't usually happen.
The thyroid surgery went much better than the gall bladder surgery! I was preparing for the worst, but hoped for the best. The tissue was too large to get an accurate reading from a needle biopsy, but after surgery they confirmed there was no cancer! PS: if you find out someone may have thyroid cancer, please don't tell them that "if you do have cancer, it is the best cancer to get as it is treatable" It's still cancer.
It was a difficult year, after a few stressful life situations, but I see the car accident as God's mercy! If it weren't for the accident we would not have found the gallbladder problem before it was too late, or found the thyroid problem. I am now on Armour, a Natural Desicated Thyroid medication, 2 grains, and have my 6 month test coming up this week. No more insulin, just oral meds to help with sugars, but hoping that when my Armour med is correct I won't need those either although there are variables. It has been difficult to lose weight all my life. I am hoping to get to the appropriate Armour dose so that the gears will work properly again and the diet and exercise wisdom will once again work! I am not allowed to give up, for as long as I am on this earth, God has more in store for me! There is so much more to this life story that cannot be written in one post, so until we meet again....
It's was the middle of winter and I was still recovering from surgery, and the car didn't have snow tires on, the roads were icy. My husband is allergic to fish, but I love it. Since my thyroid is gone, I need the fish oil! I compromise by not cooking the fish, but I did have a tin of smoked herring on hand. I had also baked some fresh home made bread the day before. It was about 9 degrees outside and keeping the heater at a lower temp inside as this frugal woman does, it felt too chilly to eat a cold lunch. So, instead of a cold salad, I made wilted lettuce for the first time in my life!
I have some exciting news to share at the following link....
Water Kefir update
The refreshing inexpensive pro biotic drink has lived up to all of it's health benefits in my life and I am hoping that you too can take advantage what I have learned.
From His Beloved~
"This time we are going to talk a little bit about stewardship of time and finances, which takes us to one of the biggest buzz words in the blog world: frugality.
Frugality, to me can be summed up in these words from an old New England proverb: Use it up, Wear it Out, Make Do or Do Without. It is a mindset that says, I will find a way to make the most of what I have and wear a smile too.
An hundred years ago, no one had to tell a housewife to be frugal. Frugality was a part of life, very survival for some. You used what you had, you made do or you simply lived without."
How many times just in the last week have you heard someone, somewhere talk about frugality, a DIY project or some other money saving idea? Have you ever questioned yourself, "Why?"
Click here to find out the "Why?"
As Christians, we all know we are called to be good stewards, but do we know what that means practically for us as wives and mothers? This subject has been on my heart lately. I am currently working on a three part series on my blog.
Part One talks about being a good steward of your time and the time of our children. You can find part one here.
Part Two will cover resources and Part Three will be about our gifts.
I pray this blesses you helps you keep your home and heart clean before God.
With the hot summer "night" yes, singular "night" behind us now....the days are growing shorter and the a bit cooler. Taking a look around the garden after my attention was drawn to other important matters for awhile, I see lots of the Backyard Crop doing well but some lettuce that has bolted and some Cilantro that has gone to seed. When I head out later I plan to cut the lettuce seed off and replant it in the same spot after I pull up the old lettuce and hope for another harvest before the frost. I will cut the Cilantro seed off the plants and dry them and save them for next year or perhaps an indoor windowsill garden in the future.
The Green Beans are making their way up the old ladder out in the garden making for a lovely site! The European and Canadian melons that actually made it through the long cool Spring are now full of blossoms and a few small melons! Hoping for a taste of each at least! I plan on getting some more cuttings from the Chocolate mint and dry it for winter tea. It has been nice to have the Basil so prolific, and I just pick the leaves and freeze them to use in sauces or on pizzas later in the year. I've also dehydrated some and used them in my homemade Whole Wheat Italian Crackers, which my husband really likes. It is always nice to find something healthy and homemade that he likes!
The carrots are growing contently as well as the green onions, but the potatoes grown in a separate container this year to control watering are not as healthy as I would like. (yellow and brown leaves...perhaps I under watered them this year hmmm) while the Purple Tomatillos are a spectacular sight of little lantern looking globes on tall sturdy stalks. I've already harvested my Lavender, and Sage and they are drying. The Bell peppers, and strawberry plants are not doing as well as I would like, but hey, You can't have everything. The tomatoes that are doing well are the ones I put in smaller containers like an old tire, and pots. It seems those in containers that stayed warmer, were able to do better than those in the raised garden bed. but it has helped to stagger the time of ripening to be able to eat them fresh. I've enjoyed watching the "silly little peas" growing right outside my kitchen window, and the grandchildren and niece and nephew have enjoyed eating them fresh from the Backyard Garden. It's probably time to harvest some the peas for seed next year too, and hoping the new batch I planted may bring a second crop in the cooler weather.
Fish Emulsion has helped keep the Garden growing well this year, but I'm sure Prayer and God's mercy are what brought a harvest at all this year.
One nice thing that has helped me keep the weeds down on the gravel, was Vinegar poured on the weeds during the heat of the day. It didn't take them long to whither and die, without chemical intervention.
I love a well manicured yard, but am adjusting to a more natural look to avoid chemicals. Good old fashioned weed pulling works wonders. I've got new respect for those spiders in the yard, and avoid them all by using thick rubber gloves.
I've been busy inside canning and freezing and organizing the kitchen, and making Kefir cheese balls, as well as homemade crackers and homemade bread and preparing for another workshop soon. If you have any suggestions on particular topics for the next workshop send me a comment or an email.
Homemaking skills take time to develop, but they are practical ways to help your budget as well as keep the family healthy.
Do you know that there is TSP in marshmallows? TSP is what is used to clean painted walls before a new coat is applied.
Do you know that Monsanto has genetically altered seeds to include a pesticide within the plant itself and the pesticide is now showing up in the blood stream of Pregnant women and in that of children!
Do you know that Home cleaners are making us ill?
Do you know that there are hundreds of ways to use Vinegar to safely clean our homes and kill our weeds without pesticides or chemicals?
Do you know that Kefir can help you live to be 100, and at least, help you feel better, it can help you loose weight, lower your blood pressure, blood sugars, cholesterol and help heal the digestive system of GERD?
Do you know what HFCS is, and that it is a poison, and that is in most of our food supply?
Do you know that most of America does not know these things and that it is making us sick and worse, killing us?
I've learned all these things out of necessity due to severe allergies. My hope is that you can glean something from this Blog to help make your life healthier.