Health

Staying Healthy

Any guesses as to what is in the bowl? It’s edible. It “grows”. It eats sugar and it can help your tummy. These, my friends,  are water kefir grains. Similar to the kombucha and the milk kefir that is for sale everywhere these days except these are for use with water.

Quite simply, these grains allow you to make a liquid probiotic. You “steep” the grains in sugar water and then strain them out after 12 hours. The remaining liquid is your end product.

I chose water grains as we have issues with milk. You could make a milk kefir but as milk isn’t our friend I do water. I must admit, I really have no idea how this all transpires. I do know that it works much like the yeast in a bread recipe will.

So why do I bother with the daily sugar water routine? Umm…have you priced a decent probiotic lately? This I a wonderfully low cost way to help heal your tummy. We have had our fair share of issues. I cannot speak for all members of my family but I see a vast improvement! (I’ll spare you the details)

We are super sensitive to any kind of fast food. Even quality foods that are new to us can set stomachs turning. Most of the time we eat at home for both health and cost. I can always tell if I’ve been straying too far from my regular diet. Anyway, if we have been “off our feed” this stuff really helps us get back to normal.

I remember running errands one day and we sped through the drive through so I wouldn’t have to go home and feed the kids in the middle of my “doing”. When I finally made it home, hours after I had expected, my stomach was in knots. I had rushed all day and the fast food did not sit well. I remember thinking,  I need a glass of kefir water as soon as I get home! I felt better almost instantly after one glass. So, pretty unscientific experiment-I make no medical claims- but it worked for me.

Stay healthy!

DIY, Health

Soap

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Looks yummy! Smells good too- but don’t eat the soap!

Today I made soap.  I have only made soap once or twice before and used a very simple recipe.  I had a more steps involved n the recipe I used today and got a little flustered when I reached “trace” much quicker than I anticipated but all went well and now I have a lovely oatmeal cookie soap waiting to be unmolded .  Everyone keeps trying to eat it here at the house because I used a muffin tin  and a bread pan for a mold. It really does look and smell like baked goods!  Hopefully I can get some molds made up for future batches…. pretty sure taking a bite out of freshly made soap is not a good idea :/

I am hunting for the perfect shampoo bar recipe.  I made one before that was heavy on the coconut oil and found that to be too drying for my hair.  I am hoping to add a bit more moisture to my shampoo bar as well as all the good add ins that promote hair growth.

I have tried sulfate free shampoos and ‘no poo’ as well as CO washing with mixed results.  I always end up going back to the homemade soaps as they clean well without stripping the hair and they have zero sulfates.  Also, you don’t need to take out a loan to whip up a batch of soap.

The oatmeal bar that I made today will work fine for shampoo for my family but I want to dose up a batch with rosemary, lavender, tea tree and all the other hair goodies.  We have varied needs as far as hair care goes so the souped up shampoo bar will most likely be just for me.

Through the course of time I noticed my hair was getting thinner and thinner and the texture became more brittle.  I was careful with it but still it broke off a lot.  I started my “hair health” by taking out sulfates.  That helped a lot but products still left my scalp itchy and sore and my hair was not happy.  I began to treat my scalp with essential oils.  mainly, lavender, tea tree and cedar wood.  That helped too and I notice a difference when I treat it regularly.  Now, I oil my ends before and after every washing and I have started doing an egg mask once a week.  I brush my hair out thoroughly at night and wither braid it or put it in a bun.  I rarely (like maybe 4-5 times a year) use heat other than a hair dryer.  Each step I take toward healthier hair has given my hair new life.  Genetics has given me thin hair and it will probably remain that way but with care  I have been able to keep it healthy.

I can’t wait to get a new batch of soap going… next up: shampoo bars, goat milk and castile 🙂

Being Mama, Health

Cold season

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A day when we were feeling frisky and fine- not today

Today I am a bit out of sorts.  There has been a bug going around and I was the lucky one to kick it off.  It has traveled through all the kids and it’s now on it’s second round. I am resisting for all I am worth.

Confession:  My daughter has been sharing her stash of library books and I have now on my third Sweet Valley High.  Yes, this is part of my get well program.  Chicken soup and not thinking too hard.  Thinking makes my head hurt when I have a cold.

I am an avid hand washer.  I use thieves oil.  I have a stash of lysol wipes in my classroom.  I have immunity boosting supplements in my desk.  I am not going down without a fight! And yet the sinus pressure is real.  Ugh, more vicks!

Another part of my resistance program is to nap as frequently as possible.  It seems to be working… wait, I’m not certain on that… better test that theory some more.

I have been getting outside for walks as well.  A good walk will help a lot of things.  Now that our weather is cooling we may not have the opportunity to hang out in the lovely out of doors much.  I had a problem with low vitamin D last year so I’m soaking up as much as I can now.

Ok, enough.  I’m overdue for my walk to the mailbox and I still have that nap theory to prove…

 

Farm, Health, Kids, Life, The Begining

Authentically me- How I happened upon blogging and farming

I began blogging in an effort to ease myself out of my introverted tendencies.  I don’t hibernate and I’m not a hermit but I do keep to myself.  Pent up ideas, emotions, thoughts, energy and opinions that never get out can eat you up if you aren’t careful.  I treasure the quiet times and the peaceful moments just as much as I do the happy gatherings and visiting friends but I was never truly myself.  As time wore on and life continued it’s demands I found myself pushing back what I really wanted to say and do in favor of what I thought I should say and do.  This is what I want to break.

I want to be authentically me. My thoughts, opinions and views.  My hopes and dreams and goals.  I  know God has a plan for each of us and I want to reach my full potential.  I wasn’t doing that.  I was waiting for some little fairy to come and tap that wand on my shoulder. Sprinkle a little pixie dust maybe.

Isn’t it amazing how we are told that we can be anything we want to be but so few of us know what it is that we really want?  Life has come full circle for me at this point.  The ideals I held in my mind were really just mirages in the distance.  They don’t ring true anymore. The true me was there underneath it all the whole time.

Truth is- I don’t want a career. I want to be a farmer.  I want to dig the cold damp earth of spring and to pull weeds under the hot sun.  I want to cultivate things of the earth so it can in turn feed my body and spirit.  I want the open air and the seasons hot/cool/mild/freezing.  I want to feel alive and grounded and to know that the animals around me are serving their purpose.  I want to appreciate the bounty that is around me and thank the God above me for not only providing it but for allowing my body to be fully active in the work.  This is the real me that I never knew.

I probably wouldn’t have discovered this fact if my kids had not become involved in 4H.  The daily work with my son’s first goat set something stirring in me. I became almost more attached to that animal than he did.  We both grieved on sale day.  We will grieve every sale day.

I know that our farm is small and we are very inexperienced.  We have a couple strikes against us there.  There are even more in our favor.  Strength and our family and the blessing of God upon our home. I am so thankful for the opportunity given to us!

Being Mama, DIY, Get Happy!, Health, Kids

Monday DIY

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These are my lovelies.  Cute right?  I know, I am blessed!  I love them all but sometimes a mama need her own space!  And spa treatments…

Here is my Monday cure for getting myself prepped and feeling good for the week:

*Hair mask*

1 Tbs conditioner of your choice

1 Tbs oil (olive for thick/dry hair, coconut for finer hair)

1 egg

mix all ingredients and apply to clean WET hair- leave for 30+ minutes and wash as usual

 

*Face mask*

In a blender mix 2 Tbs oatmeal, 1 Tbs honey and 1Tbs warm water.  You can add extras like bentonite clay or charcoal if you have any of those fancy things.  If not, no biggie.  Blend until it is soupy and apply to clean dry face.  Leave to dry (it’s a thin mix, it won’t take long) Wash face as usual and moisturize!

Also, stop and get your favorite drink while running your Monday errands.  That is a treatment in itself!

Health, Kids, Life, Marriage

Investing in myself

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Today is Monday.  Most of the working world treats this day as one big UGH.  I happen to have Mondays off so I’m in errand mode most of the day. I have to start off with a little pampering first though.

I decided a while back to do some investing in myself.  This was long overdue.  LOOOONG overdue!  Let me tell you a little story…

My baby brother (ok, he’s 30) just graduated from the lineman program.  BIG DEAL!! Like, REALLY big deal.  This guy struggled through school and it was touch and go that final year of high school.  To celebrate the accomplishment there was a shindig- Yay! My dear sweet hubs decided that there was no room in the budget for this big sis to attend 😦 So I sold the boat.  He actually sold it but i convinced him as we:

A) NEVER use it

B)it needed repairs and

C) I was NOT going to miss the shindig!

Off I went on my merry way.  Hubs suggested I take the kiddos. (he had to stay home and tend the animals)  I suggested they would be more help on the farm than screaming in a car for 7 hours only to return in a day for another 7 hours….so they stayed.

Upon my return I called a friend and as my family walked in the door I was chatting away to a girl having a rough time.  I was in the middle of the convo and waved hello.  The fam was not happy.  In fact, they were all completely mad at me.  I had got their goat without even knowing it.  I had dared to return and not bring them presents or give them every ounce of my attention.

I.WAS.FLOORED.  Clearly, we needed a change here.  When did I change from an individual to the chief gopher girl?  It was astonishing how upset everyone was.  I simply had a call.  It happens.  Apparently not to mothers and wives though.  Somewhere there is an unwritten rule that we are not allowed.  I missed that.

So, I decided that I am going to have to  work a little less around the house -DELEGATE! I will make a point to take care of important things first and to make sure my name is at the top of that list. I vow to not let myself down.  I want more out of life.  My kids will thank me later.  My husband will too.  He will have a happier wife for it.

At this very moment I have my head wrapped turban style as I soak in a DIY hair mask. I figured I toss on a face mask while I was at it.  Yes, its a small thing but it’s a start.  I think I’ll book a massage and check out the schedule for the local fitness group.

Oh, and my amazon packages should be arriving today….

Get Happy!, Health, Life, Love, Marriage

Lingering PTSD and your sanity

IMG_8677Hey there! I am well aware that this title is a bit foreboding but please don’t let that color me scary.  I am a milspouse and proud of it.  I have actually “graduated” as my hubby has since retired from the military. Adios Uncle Sam!!! So- you may think it’s over.  It’s done! No wars or deployments for this all American couple! From the practical side of things they are.  From the relationship side? Not so much…

First step is knowing the signs and sometimes that isn’t all that obvious.  I have a sweet tempered and relaxed attitude type hubby.  If he is strangely tense or irritable- something is up.

He is never one to be hostile but it can get lonely as he withdraws into his own headspace.  Kid dealing with a life struggle?  Hubby can’t help.  Overwhelmed with caring for home/work/kids/ect? Hubby can’t help.  Having an emotionally over the top day because your hangry and Aunt Flow is banging at the door-or just had a bad day? Hubby can’t help.  That’s what PTSD looks like at my house.  No angry outlashes but I feel as if I have lost my friend.  This is the heartbreak.  These things don’t stay constant. Thankfully!

We have good and bad days.  Here are my top tips to keep more good days happening:

  1. Pray daily for your spouse and your relationship *Daily* yes, daily! This is so important because all it takes is one harsh word and Mr. Strong and Silent is all clamped up again. He has to be able to trust you.  Show it with your words.
  2. Get out! Do your hair! Be gorgeous! Read a book! Get some me time.  Dealing with life gets hairy and you need to step away now and then.  I did not follow this advice and I fell into burn out.  Oh, wicked burnout- it’s ugly y’all!
  3. Confide in someone -ANYONE.  Well, not just anyone. Someone you trust.  Even someone who has no idea what you are facing will do.  You just need a good ear so you can release any built up frustrations safely.  *please* do not “DUMP” on your friends- use good judgement here. You want them to listen to you next time too so keep your friends happy and be an ear for them when they need it too 🙂
  4. Look for people who “get it”.  This might be joining a FB page or making contact with another milspouse.  I have only a handful of wives that I know well so I went online and listened to webinars.  Whatever you need to connect and feel understood. You aren’t alone.
  5. Be proactive about your marriage and your home.  Plan fun activities for your children.  Plan date nights.  Be the cruise ship recreational director! Your spouse may need the nudge to get out and do.  You may be exhausted already but getting a jolt of “something new” may just unlock a door or two.  You may end up with many happy surprises along the way.
  6. Seek wise counsel when needed.  Not your favorite Auntie who hates all men or your high school girlfriend three times divorced.  I am forever thankful for the mentors in my life.  Their lives have inspired me to live better and kinder.
  7. Finally, don’t be afraid to start over.  Sometimes we truly need a restart.  If you are really struggling-get that restart.  Get “remarried”, say those vows again –  they will have an even deeper meaning now than ever before.  You can’t avoid change so embrace it.  Commit yourself to marry the man that came home to you- not the memory of the man you remember. Best wishes and big love, Veronica
Health

thoughts on hair

I’ve been working on healthy hair lately.  It’s way more in depth than I had thought! For one thing, you have to have a healthy scalp.  Kind of obvious, I know but really how many people moisturize their scalp like they do their face?  Not many I would guess. I sure didn’t. It seems to be an important step in the process.

Anyway, I’ve been “no poo” for about a month and that is going well.  My hair isn’t as dry or unpredictable.  It actually feels happy!  So that is awesome.  I have taken out all store bought products as well.  I still occasionally use aloe vera gel in place of regular gel but my hair spray is basically scented sugar water in a bottle.  I have super fine hair so a tiny bit of product is all I need.  And….nobody even knows the difference!  Except now you all know.

I did use some lavender oil on my scalp the other day to help it out some.  The jury is still out.  Not sure what that did for it as there is really no way for me to view results.  I think I’ll try it again in a week or so.

The book I’m reading is Every Woman’s Guide to Beautiful Hair at Any Age by Lisa Akibari.  Lots of info!

What has worked for you?