Thursday, August 25, 2016

Framing A Record Memory - Gift From Grandma

I blogged a few weeks back about my mothers estate items being delivered to my home. It gave me a full house in the living room until I could finish some of the "projects" needed to get the items into usable shape. 

One item I inherited was my mothers Pace Victrola. Here is that post. Interestingly enough, when I took the picture of the items I inherited for my blog, this very record was brought to my home in the Victrola and the picture I took shows this record in the dusty Victrola. It was the last record my mother listened to on the player.
The record is a "Cameo" album. One side was "A Boys Best Friend is His Mother." which is the record which is playing on the above video here where I share how I fixed the needle screw. Just listen to the beginning as that is the record with that song.  

I had the impression that my mother would like my niece whose name happens to be "Cameo" to get the record. I called Cameo's mom and asked when her birthday was as I am NOT one of those people who remembers everyone's birthday. I wish I were that way, but having over 50 nephews and nieces, it makes it hard. 

Her mom said it was a few months away so I wasn't worried, I knew it wasn't pressing to get done and I could figure it out after the crazy of car accidents, missions, returning to school etc was over. 
I was trying to sleep and of course, being exhausted, I couldn't so I just laid in bed for over and hour before dragging myself up to be useful since I wasn't getting sleep anyway. 

While laying there, I thought of this niece. She is so talented and I thought about hiring her to make me some Halloween decorations for one of the girls doll houses as she is really talented with little fimo clay food, etc.  
While out running errands, I felt like I needed to frame the record and get it to her today. I wasn't sure why but I bought a document glass frame with the see through sides. I thought it would make the record stand out more. 

I came home and cleaned the record and after consulting a specialist on old records, I found that "windex" is the product of choice to clean them. I sprayed it and cleaned it as best as one can with a record that is almost twice my age.

I put it between the glass and held it above my head to make sure it was centered and had to move it a few times to get it right. I show in the bottom video how I framed it and I really like how it came out. I obviously cleaned all the sides of the glass and I dinged the edge so I just took a Sharpie marker and filled in the scratches I made.

I called my sister and talked to her daughter and found out that Cameo was starting high school this week and was nervous and I then realized why it was important that I gave her the record today. My mom was probably up in heaven hounding me to get it done to let Cameo know that someone was thinking of her..... 

My sister dropped by and I gave it to my niece and she was very happy about it and I suggested maybe putting a little information paper in with the record or something but she told me she liked it just the way it was, simple and the focal point. 

I know it made her feel good that someone was thinking of her and for some reason, I thought she was still attending a charter school and not the public high school so I am glad that I was "inspired" to follow that "feeling" and follow through with framing that and giving it to her on a day when she may need it. 

I thought it came out nice and am glad it will be appreciated. I thought she could hang it in her art studio one day as she is one TALENTED girl! I have no doubt she will make it big some day!   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Clay Poultice With Cayenne Pepper To Open Pores

Over the past week, at least five people have mentioned clay poultices to me. I figured it was a sign that I should probably do them on Princess Five. 

In my mind, clay poultices are messy. I envisioned my mother putting mud on my bee stings when I was little and dirty water dripping off my limbs. 

I think because of those images, I was a bit hesitant to do a clay poultice. I have used clay on stings but always use "mud mask" and put that on injection sites, stings, or spider bites etc. 

I have never had a child with a large area of injury before. The biggest trama was a broken arm from monkey bars which was casted immediately, and Princess Three's foot being cut open on the fourth of July which you can read about here.

So, I just said a prayer and pulled out some "Redmond" clay which is mined deep in the earth in their salt mines. I have posted about the "Redmond" salt before here. 

I just made a quick past out of the clay and proceeded to lay it out just as I did the comfrey poultices as they have worked so well using the paper towels to hold the stuff together and allow it to work through the towel without making a mess on the skin.  

When I was about to put the poultice on, I had the "impression" or "inspiration" to put a bit of cayenne pepper onto it. It isn't a really hot version which I do have but I just used the table seasoning version and barely sprinkled it over the clay.  
When I pondered on why I was to do that, the thought came that cayenne opens the pours like a hot bath would, that allows more toxins, heat etc out. I thought it seemed logical but whatever the reason, I did what my "gut" told me to do and it didn't seem to hurt.

Before putting it on, I flipped the dry side to be touching the plastic wrap and put the more moist bottom side towards the skin. I wrapped it in plastic wrap but after about 20 minutes, I took the plastic wrap off and allowed the poultice to dry and hopefully pull out any toxins, damaged tissue die off in the area.   

Princess didn't seem to have a problem with this poultice at all so we are going to try and do some poultice nightly but things have been so busy, she falls asleep and I forget etc. 

We are learning so many things and I pray they will help her heal quickly so she doesn't miss the entire year of dancing! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fruit and Vegetable Facelift - Keeping Them Fresh - Crisp - and Plump

First, I just want to point out the cute apron Princess Four is wearing in this picture of her washing the comfrey for me. I made each of the girls an apron from overalls a few years ago. It is nice that they actually use them. Here is the link to  post 1 and here is the link to post 2 on the aprons.

The other day, I made hamburgers for dinner and pulled out some grapes that Princess Four brought home with her from college. She emptied out her fridge and make my fridge rather full so they got forgotten in the back. During that time, they shriveled and got wrinkled. 

When I pulled them out, the girls wouldn't eat them because they looked old. I told them they were still sweet and all they needed was a little soak in cold water. They gave me blank looks and so, I shared how to refresh grapes and leafy vegetables. I guess I had never shared that with them. 
Also, my girls are really spread out from the oldest to the youngest so in my mind, I already told "the girls" this or that or shared this or that or have taken them here and there. Later, I find that I did all that with my older girls but hadn't done it with the younger girls so I don't always remember who knows what and who has been where. It makes for confusing conversations at times.

So, I soaked the grapes in cold water in the fridge overnight and guess what, the grapes were firm, round, healthy looking and great tasting except for the few sticking out of the water! The ones that were soaked were perfect. 
I figured, perhaps if my girls hadn't learned that elsewhere, then maybe other people didn't know that information as well so I thought I would do a quick video and blog about it. It is a simple fix to old fruit and veggies! Make sure before you soak the fruit or vegetable, that you remove any old, mildewy or moldy ones so they don't contaminate the others you are soaking. 
The same can be done with leafy vegetables. Lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley, comfrey, collard leaves, chard etc. If your lettuce is getting limp and old looking, you can soak it in cool water for a few hours.

If you are planning on taking a trip or a picnic, you can dampen some paper towels with cool water and place the lettuce leaves in between the towels and they will crisp up or remain more crisp as long as you keep them cool. I will put them in the ziploc bags between damp paper towels and put it in the fridge overnight for a picnic the next day and keeping it in the cooler before use that day keeps it nice and fresh for your salad or sandwiches.    

If you are planning on leaving things for more than a day, don't leave them soaking as they will get overly wet and may burst. Things like celery can get slimy if you don't change the water frequently. So, leave them in just long enough to get re-hydrated but not over hydrated! 

I have used this method for years and have only had great results. The other thing I mention on my video is about presentation. When the grapes get down to "sticks" with a few grapes, people don't want to eat them. Pull them off the vine and put them in a bowl and they will be eaten. 

I mention how when I have parties, people don't want to eat anything at the bottom of the bowl so when chips, popcorn etc, gets down to the bottom, I usually pour them into a bowl that just fits them so it is full! 

People will magically start eating them again. When that bowl gets down to the bottom, I pour them into a smaller bowl still making the bowl "full" and this always works. For some reason, people don't like to eat the bottom of the bowl so I do this with all the bags of chips in the cupboard. If they are almost empty, no one will eat them. I pour them into a bowl on the counter, they are gone by days end. Funny how that is a common human behavior. 

I have done this to my kids for years and they never figure it out. I pull out whatever I want them to eat and leave it on the counter and within a day or two, it is gone. Just this week, I had two or three bags of instant oatmeal, some ramen soup cups and a few other things that Princess four brought home from college. Rather than putting them in the cupboard, I just left them on the end of the counter and yes, they did eat them. :-)

Just some tips from the single mom who hates to see anything go to waste and has learned how to stretch everything into lasting longer or transforming it into something usable from something not wanted. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Curing Toenail Fungus the Quick and Easy Way - Seconds a Day

I shared in December a post and video about curing toenail fungus. Because of the parasites, I did the soaks on my hands and feet for awhile trying to kill some of them off but it was quite painful so I stopped as well as not having the time. 

In January, I did an "update" to the blog post, both of which you can see on here along with my original video showing how I do the foot soaks. 
A nice side effect of doing the foot soaks for parasites, is that it started to cure my fungal infection under my big toenail. 

I was thrilled my nail was getting better and looking better. You can see this picture is of my toenail in December. You can see it is nearly down to the white portion of the "moon" on the nail. That was better due to soaks than it was when I started a few months before. It was getting better but I was only doing soaks on and off and not regularly. 

This next picture is in January shortly after my mother came to live with me, I had done two soaks since she arrived and don't think I did any after as she was so much work and I was exhausted. 

It got worse after that as I had her, then her death, then cleaning her estate, then two graduations, two pageants, elections and end of year stuff, Funeral, estate clean out for my mother, Princess One had her baby and Princess Five rolled her car and has some major health issues, Princess Four moved home and has her papers in to serve as a missionary and we should find out any day where she will be going. 

I am exhausted most of the time and don't have time to soak my feet. So, the toe started to regress and I was upset as I didn't want to lose what I had already gained so I pondered on what to do and as you know about me, prayer and pondering usually bring about some amazing results so this solution presented itself and I have been doing this for the past two months or so depending on the craziness of the day. 

IF YOU ARE A DIABETIC -DO NOT DIG UNDER YOUR NAIL! You don't want to get an infection in your toe! STICK WITH THE SOAKS and put oil on the toe nightly!!!

When you start this, begin with soaking your feet in 3% hydrogen peroxide. You need to clean out all the gunk under the nail so you can get the oils into the area. So, after soaking, use the pointed nail file to clean out the area and get any and all gunk out you can without digging into healthy skin. It may take a few days of putting the peroxide in and then the oils in before you kill off enough to get deep under the nail. Don't worry, just go as far as you can without digging into any healthy tissue. You should just be able to dig out white gunk without any pain. If you feel pain, stop!

It seriously takes me about ten seconds a night to do this after the first night and you can do the same thing in the morning but I don't always get to that but I do it most evenings and am thrilled with the results. As you can see, the fungus under the nail is dead and gone but to make sure, I just put some 3% hydrogen peroxide from Walmart in a spray bottle. I spray some under my big toenail before blogging. After about 20 minutes, I use a nail file to scrape out under the nail and remove anything that is loose. DON'T DIG INTO HEALTHY SKIN! 

Also, clean the nail file each night with alcohol and peroxide to make sure you don't reinfect yourself! Just keep a small container and put the file in it and then let it air-dry each night after doing this.

After I have cleaned out under the nail, I put 1 drop of "Thieves" oil from "Young Living" under my toenail. It shouldn't burn but if it does, you can put a drop of olive oil under there as well. IF YOU HAVE AN ALLERGY TO: cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary or lemon, don't use this! 

Also, Don't use this oils straight on children as the cinnamon can burn their skin. Always dilute essential oils on kids. I use one drop of Thieves to a tsp of olive oil on children. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to diluted it for yourself as well. However, the spot where the fungus is, is probably dead so it shouldn't hurt unless you dug into your healthy tissue. 

The yellow color will go away as you finish using the oils. If you are going out somewhere in a shoe where your toe is going to be seen, you can just paint that area with a flesh tone polish but remove it after to allow the nail and toe to "breath" and it is a reminder to continue treatment. 

If you don't want the yellow color under the nail, you can just do the peroxide but I think it will take longer as it dries quickly where as the oil continues working all night. The soaks are your best bet if you don't like the yellow color but I just put some peroxide on it and scrap it out if I am going somewhere or I take a bath and scrap it clean and don't reaply oils until after the "event" so I figured some work arounds to the color issue. 

You can see that it is working and it only takes me seconds to scrape it out and put a drop of oil in it. 

I will post when it is completely grown out which I hope will be in a few months. There is a little damage on the  toenail just below the fungus and on a few other toenails as when we hiked in the river in mid June, I got pebbles in my shoe and the uneven rock bottom and water in it caused some bruising and damage to three toenails so that will grow out. Click here to see the post about the hike. 

Here is some information on "thieves" oil: Thieves oil is a blend essential oil mixture that contains; lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and clove oils. Many companies make similar blends. I have tried at least four different blends that are similar and have even tried to make my own but have never had the same results as I get with the "thieves" blend from "young living" oils. I have been using the product for nearly 20 years and carry it in my purse. Since we started using it for different things, we rarely get sick. 

For the toe, I don't think it has to be that company blend as the oils included in most blends would be similar but I personally only use their "thieves" oil as I love it. 

"Thieves oil" gets it's name and the recipe from robbers that went into homes of plague victims to rob them and when they were caught, the judge said he would be lenient with their sentence if they told how they didn't get sick. They were spice traders and would rub these oils in a vinegar base on themselves before entering the homes. Thus the name "Thieves" oil. 

I have shared the oil with friends that would get sick all winter and they no longer get sick. I diffuse it in my house, my car and we take it by using a drop in the mouth and swishing it around with spit and then swallowing it if we feel something coming on. Truly, it is something I would NEVER be without. I make my own mix to diffuse as it is cheaper but when it comes to putting it on the body, I only use the young living brand

Best of luck and feel free to ask questions. Here is a link to where I describe how we use "thieves" oil normally. Here is one where I used it to heal my mother in ICU.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Making Fast and Easy Comfrey Poultice and Freezing Them For Later

Ok, I have to say that God is VERY amazing at times. After our first poultice experience the way my friend suggested, she only lasted 2 hours and her skin was irritated. I KNOW that God gives me different experiences so I can learn new things. I was talking to a nurse friend of mine the other day when she called and asked how Princess Five is doing. 

I shared that if I had known what I know now, I probably wouldn't have become a nurse. God has put me through so many times when medical science couldn't help my family members that I think I wouldn't have taken the time to go to school knowing how much we don't know about the world and health problems.

There is so much to learn but sometimes I wish he wouldn't give me these "opportunities" to learn new things. ;-) 

With that, I pondered and prayed about the poultice thing. I did research looking at how others made their poultices and found that I didn't want to deal with fabrics. I didn't want to deal with irritating the skin in any way. I saw others use wheat to thicken theirs but so many people have issues with wheat that I didn't think it the best method.  
I knew from crushing them in the first poultice that the mucosy stuff was in the stems and know from drying veggies for years that stems don't dehydrate well anyway so I figured that drying the leaves and flowers and then using the petals and stems for the frozen poultices would be the way to go. 

So, I dehydrated the leaves which I showed in yesterdays post here.  After which, I put the stems in a vase with water to keep them fresh until I made the poultice. 

Once I was ready to make the poultice, I decided that paper towel would be the best idea to keep the poultice off the skin which is messy but thin enough that the comfrey and tobacco can come through healing the skin. 
The first night, I wrapped the entire thing in plastic wrap and then in an ace but it leaked onto the ace and her pillows so I put down a scrap fleece blanket to keep her sheets and pillows clean but things worked out much better the second time as it was frozen to start with so not as "liquid" to start.  

I cut the stems and leaves I chose to use into small lengths so they didn't become ropy in the blender like celery tends to do. About two inch lengths using kitchen sheers. You need to put a little water in to blend it and I just blended it into a paste. 
I would use as little water as possible so that you don't have to add much diatomaceous earth to thicken it. I pondered on what to use to thicken it and remembered that diatomaceous earth is calcium which would be great for her bone mending so I used that as the thickening agent. Make it into a paste. You can watch my video on how I did it here and if you have any questions about how I did anything, feel free to ask here or on my youtube channel: thesecretisgratitude. 
I didn't show how I made the poultices to freeze completely on the video so I will show them here. 

I laid out some wax paper, then put on plastic wrap. I then put down paper towels and spread the paste onto the paper towel. I then put on some tobacco to help pull out the bruising as it has been nearly a month and she still has arm, elbow and under the arm bruises.  
You can see how quickly, the paste comes through the towel and will be able to contact the skin but not be so messy to take off and put on. The paper towel worked WONDERFULLY and was easy to throw away in the morning and doesn't waste fabric or leave anything to "clean up." Also, not many people have issues with paper as far as allergies so it is a wonderful way to apply it. 
After pulling some out of the freezer to use, I am going to put TWO layers of waxed paper between each saran / paper towel poultice as it wasn't quick to pull them apart. It wasn't horrible maybe 40 seconds but if you know me, anything that can be made to be faster or done more quickly, I will figure it out! 
So, Start with TWO pieces of wax paper, put down plastic wrap, paper towel, paste, (tobacco if you want), fold over the paper towel, and then put down TWO pieces of waxed paper so that when you pull the stack of poultices out of the freezer, you can quickly just pull apart the two pieces of waxed paper and get to your pliable poultice in seconds!  
Repeat this process until you have used up all your paste of comfrey. Once you have the entire stack done, I wrapped the entire thing in waxed paper, put an elastic around them to keep them in the wrap and if you have the larger zip bags about 2 gallon size, you could put them in there or it would fit nicely in the small casserole Tupperware containers to freeze.  

I was able to make about 6 or 7 poultices with about 7 stems and some leaves. I truly LOVE this method and so after the 2 hours of irritation the first night and then, it was a bit messy the second night, she wasn't really thrilled for me to put them on again. 

I told her we needed to do what we could so I pulled the frozen one's out of the freezer and pulled them apart and I LOVED that they were thin enough to wrap around her shoulder but the were stiff enough it wasn't oozing and drippy. It was cold at first so I stuck 2 paper towels under the poultice to keep the cold directly off the skin but it was it's own cool pack and she was grumpy at first due to the whole idea of another poultice but after a few minutes she said, "This feels good."  
So, YAHOO for inspiration, prayer, divine help, whatever you choose to call it, I am SO grateful for it. Very easy to put on and take off, cool so it feels good. You can make these in little squares for little "owies" or "boo boo's" on little one's and it is cold and molds to the spot as it is thin enough to bend. Once I wrapped the area with plastic wrap to hold it on, you really don't need the ace if you aren't moving but she was sleeping with it on so the ace held it in place better. 
The shoulder is a hard space to wrap and keep it secure so the tank helps secure the ace around the shoulder rather than having to wrap her all the way around to keep the ace on her shoulder.

These would be great for sprains, knees, ankles, arm, elbow even neck. Basically, it would wrap around just about any sprain, break, bruise, strain, muscle, tear, injury or trauma the body gets. I SO wish I had known about this when my kids were little. Just having these in little folded paper towel squares to put on after a fall is much better than the bag of peas we usually pulled out! 

Feel free to ask any questions you may have but I am thrilled with the outcome! She said today that she is feeling so much better and that she could move so much more today without pain and that her second day of physical therapy was great and today was her best day yet since the accident. I truly think she may end up not needing surgery if she can keep up on all the stuff we are doing as she seems to be making a much quicker recovery since we started this in the past week than she did in the first few weeks. Granted, she had lots of trauma to overcome but I personally see much more improvement on the days we do everything verses the days we have missed things.

God is good!  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dehydrating Comfrey For Later Use in Poultices

Princess Five has a bone bruise that is so significant that medical science can't do anything for her for the next six months. 

Her shoulder was hurt in a roll over car accident. I could put some links here to the accident, the MRI and x-rays etc but there are too many to do that with so I will just suggest that if you want to see the car, accident, injuries etc, that you search at the bottom of the home page and type in "Princess Five accident" and you will get to view those posts. 
Since science has no options for her treatment for six months, I have been forced to turn to non-western treatments and herbs as there are no "pill" fixes to bone bruises! 

I share in the video below how I dehydrated the comfrey but also making poultices which I will post about tomorrow but since it has been a VERY long migraine and feet swelling day, I opted for the short of the two posts. 

I will include the video in tomorrows post as well as it covers both days posts but basically, to dehydrate comfrey, I just washed the leaves, cut off any stems that were not on the leaves themselves. Save those for other purposes or cut them into very small pieces to dehydrate as you don't want long hard stems.

Lay the clean leaves onto your trays and dehydrate at 100 degrees or less as herbs lose potency with heat. They will dry quickly overnight and if there are any "wet" or pliable spots, continue to dry those and break off the dry leaves for further processing.  

Put the leaves into a vitamix or other "dry mixer" or coffee grinder and blend into a fine powder and store in an airtight tupperware until you need it. This works for poultices that are needed in the winter if you don't have a plant in the house or a greenhouse. 
Just add water until you have a thick paste and watch tomorrows post or the video to see how I make poultices to freeze for later use. We used the frozen ones tonight and Princess said it made her arm "feel better" tonight. More tomorrow.... I need to thank Sunny here for her donation of the comfrey used on Princess Five's injuries and for dehydrating for later use!