Thursday, November 20, 2008

More empirical evidence for the Baking Soda Solution and a word of caution

Look at me! Two posts in two days! Who'd-a thunk it?


Greetings fans of natural remedies!

I just wanted to pop in for a moment and give you an update on the whole Miracle that IS Baking Soda thing.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a doctor. Don't claim to be a doctor. Don't want to be a doctor. Read and consider the following at your own discretion and good judgment. If you need a doctor... see one!


In a nutshell. Our dear friend Sodium Bicarbonate has saved the day twice in the space of a little more than a week.

In both cases, a well-established (if not clinically diagnosed) UTI was halted in its tracks and the symptoms reversed within an hour or two by drinking a simple solution of baking soda in water. Isn't that just awesome and amazing?!!!

One of the cases was even a man. When men get UTIs they're even worse than in women. (I know, girls, that seems impossible, but it's true.) Men don't get them as often because the bacteria have so much farther to travel and ordinarily don't get far enough to cause trouble. On the occasion when the bacteria do manage to cause a ruckus, however, it's because they're nasty, mean and royally pissed from all that traffic, heat and distance. Consequently, UTIs in men are also more likely to turn into kidney infections. It's like the bacteria say, "We've come all this way, we're getting our money's worth, dang it!"

YUCK!!! Been there. HATED IT! Imagine the joy that is a UTI all wrapped up in never-ending kidney punches... FUN FUN FUN!

But I digress...

Here's where the word of caution comes in.

It is very important to be aware of what you have been and will be eating when you use baking soda as medicine. It's sodium. It's natural and non-toxic, sure, but you can still overdose on it.

In my experience, the UTI had a chance to really get going so I made the mistake of taking a rounded teaspoon in a cup of water twice, back-to-back... following a Chinese food lunch... followed by a kinda salty dinner and another teaspoon in water before bed.

The result: I woke up feeling like I had the flu. Bad headache, rummy, tired, nauseous... but no UTI symptoms. I called poison control and was informed that two tablespoons is considered an overdose, so I was halfway there even before factoring in the salty food.

It is also important to note that I was quite deydrated before the UTI even got started... which most likely greatly contributed to its onset in the first place and heightened my chances for over-sodiuming myself with the baking soda solution to boot.

Treatment: 6 to 8 oz of water every hour. It could take up to three days for the chemistry to balance out again. If I had actually overdosed, poison control would have advised I go to Emergency to have blood drawn to check for an electrolyte imbalance.

In summery: Both cases were established enough to cause a fever and extreme pain. In the fellow, it was bad enough he left work nearly in tears... when we checked on him that afternoon he was much better. He was back at work and very grateful the next day.

In my case, the discomfort from too much sodium quickly overtook the UTI issues. Those symptoms were gone before the evening was over. The sodium stuff lasted for a couple of days, though steadily lessened once I started drinking enough water.

Lessons learned:
1) Evidence continues to mount in favor of baking soda in water as a fast, effective, convenient, inexpensive, non-pharmaceutical treatment for UTIs.

2) Baking soda and water is CHEMISTRY. The food you eat is CHEMISTRY. Your body is run by CHEMISTRY. Respect the CHEMISTRY. In other words... be aware of what you're putting into your body. Period.

3) What seems to be a safer dosage for UTI treatment is 1 teaspoon in a cup of water to start followed by a half-teaspoon in a cup of water a couple of hours later if symptoms persist. Don't exceed about 2 teaspoons in a 24 hour period. Watch how you feel and don't get crazy with the stuff.

4) Drink plenty of water, but don't overdo that either. 6 to 8 oz per hour seems about right.


If only I had figured this stuff out 20 years ago! I could have a beach house in Bali for all the money I would have saved in trips to the ER and meds... not to mention trying to undo all the wreckage in the pharmaceutical aftermath.

Again. I'm trusting you people to know and listen to your body and do what's right for you. Take control of your health, but seek professional advice if you need to. I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on the internet... I'm just passing along personal experiences and observations for you to consider in conjunction with your own good judgment.

I know lots of you get to this blog because you Googled baking soda and UTI. I would love it if you would comment (anonymously is fine) and give feedback on your own experiences. We could compile a wealth of empirical evidence. How cool would that be?!

Stay healthy, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snapshot of a bloggers absence

Yep. I've been MIA.

No, I haven't been trapped under anything heavy... except my life.

My life isn't "heavy" like a burden, there's just a LOT in it.

Like your favorite purse... it can be a lot to lug around, but you wouldn't DREAM of being without it or anything it contains!

So, since my last post of actual significance which was... hmmmm... let's see... August 16th! Agh! Shameful! Since then, a lot has transpired and I just haven't had the organization of thought to make it all presentable in a palatable manner. As a result... I am resorting to a list.

Disclaimer:
Due to the fact of linear thinking and a chaotic mind being mutually exclusive, this list is most certainly NOT in chronological order:

• On August 21st, Princess gave birth to our newest heifer: Rosalina. She's ADORABLE and is a constant source of smiles and general amusement. (No. I don't have a picture yet. BAD cow mom! I'll post one when I can get her to hold still long enough to snap a shot.) This brings our herd back up to four ladies. If Sparky doesn't throw a bull calf in February when she's due, we may have to resort to buying our beef. Yes, I know it's possible to "freeze" females... I just can't do it. I'm weird. I know. No shock there.

• We are now down to four cats. On October 24, we had to put down our oldest kitty, Houdini, aka: "Old Pet." It was difficult, but better for everyone in the long run. He was 15.

No, I won't be changing the name of the blog to Fabulous Four Cat Ranch. Lucky Seven it will remain because... well... I'm confused enough and it rolls off the tongue so nicely.

• I'm now buying our coffee beans green and (thanks to the tutelage of Lisa B.!) roasting them myself. It's fun, economical and STUPIDLY easy! I may have to do a tutorial post. If you only knew... You'd kick yourself. James has even gotten into helping out with the roasting from time to time. Purely due to his innate brilliance and good judgment he has become quite the roast master himself with virtually no help from me.

• Also, thanks to Lisa B., I am learning to make my own soap! It's so cool. She has these brilliant formulas she has devised herself and has kindly taught me how to prepare them. Chemistry is so cool! Don't be expecting a tutorial on soap making though as this is top secret, proprietary stuff and if I tell you how to do it, she'll have to kill me. If you would like to experience the loveliness and quality of Lisa's hand made soaps you can purchase them at her Etsy shop. Go there now! Christmas is coming, people!!

• Other ongoing projects: making my own pot cheese and Kombuch Tea. Both YUMMY and fun... though the whole Kombucha culture/mushroom/SCOBY thing vexes James. Yea, it's a little creepy looking while it's brewing, but it's SO GOOD and cheap to make as opposed to buying it. Example: At Whole Foods you can buy what I think is about a 12 oz bottle for around $2. I can make two gallons of the stuff for HALF THAT! Uh huh. That's what I'm sayin'.

• Since October 6th we have been making dinner for twelve every Monday and will continue to until at least the end of the year. Due to completely unfathomable and overwhelming circumstances, our Pastors' family has blossomed from four to eight... six of whom are teenagers. That's a pretty expensive endeavor on ministers' incomes, ya gotta admit. So, when the opportunity presented itself for us to contribute in the form of a dinner once a week, we jumped on it. Really, it's fun for us and such a blessing to get to do something so helpful for people who do so much for us. They are SO appreciative it makes us want to do even more. If only we could.

• We had yet another epic battle with the Tar Weed this year. Yuck! There is no magic bullet for this menace of Biblical proportions. It feels SO GOOD when we can finally mow it down in the Fall.

If anyone has advice for how to safely wipe this stuff out for good, please SPEAK UP!








• Anna got her Red Belt in Tae Kwon Do! So, yes, that does mean I travel with my own personal body guard. Don't let the sweet smile and angelic demeanor fool you...

If you're a board, she's lethal.

Lumber trembles at the sound of her name.

She has never missed a board break.

Her kihaps are a thing of fierce beauty. The stuff of legend around the dojo.

I'm glad she's on MY side!

Go, A-Bomb!!


• James had fun painting my hair for Halloween. We even thought briefly about doing something similar the next time I got my hair colored for real but wisely reasoned that much more than a week past October 31st it would cease to look cool and fun. Rather, I would take on the appearance of a soccer mom trying to pass as a rock star. Not pretty.

I stuck with the tried and true color combo and will keep my rock star fantasy safely confined to the shower.


• Under the heading of "Sometimes 'too good to be true' Really ISN'T" or: "God is totally mind-blowingly generous!" we found ourselves the fortunate recipients of a FREE SPA!!

Yes, you read correctly.

F-R-E-E

S-P-A

To make a VERY long story short... Our church owns a house that had a spa behind it that had to be removed or the insurance company wouldn't cover them.

In the weekly email mail bulletin, buried in the middle was a message that basically said, "if you want it, come get it and it's gotta be gone before the first week of November is up."

Well, as you can well imagine, we were all over that one like syrup on a pancake. We were the first to respond, thanks to the fact that I'm in front of my computer most of the day, and gave the spa a happy new home.

After investing in professional moving services (can you say 700 lbs!) and a small fortune in electrical wiring, breaker and a replaced power relay, it's up and running! Of course we had to shell out some cash to get it set up and working, but we would've had to do that even if we bought a brand new one so we're ecstatic... as are all of our parents' aching backs... :)

Gratitude? We're SOAKING IN IT!!


Well, folks, you are now officially up-to-speed on the dizzying swirl of excitement that is my blissful little life. :) Hope you're all well and happy out there in the blogosphere!

Cheers, Y'all!

Monday, October 20, 2008

TMI


Six random things about me.

Blame Beth. She tagged me and I'll have guilt if I don't comply. Resisting Beth doesn't work out for me. Ever.

Here are the rules:

1.Post the rules on your blog
2.Write 6 random things about yourself
3.Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4.If you are tagged, just do it, and pass the tag along!


Here goes...

Eins. At one time I spoke nearly-fluent German. In college, I took so many Deutsch classes, it was almost my minor. As of today, I can remember slightly more than squat. Auf Deutsch? Ein Bisschen.


Zwei. I have so much to blog about my brain just may explode but so lack the prioritization skills as to even know where to start. When I think I WILL start, the mountain of clothes in the laundry room glares at me with such distain and disgust I chicken out.

Drei. I am currently forgoing coffee and wine on the weekdays (except in very specific circumstances) in an effort to 1. lose some weight. 2. prove to myself that I really DO have SOME self restraint.

Vier. I'm married to the most amazing man on the planet. Period. Anyone who knows us, all we've been through in the last 12 months, and where we are now can only emphatically nod their heads in agreeable abandon. There are some SLIGHTLY less amazing men out there, sure, but my James? He's the KING of the great men of his generation. So there. Now you know. Feel free to laud him openly.

Fünf. One reason I love this time of year is because the weather is still mostly sunny, but cold enough to have fires at night. I ADORE FIRES! Were it up to me, when it's just a little too warm for fireplace activity, I'd open all the windows in the house and build a fire anyway.

Sechs. I am the most grateful woman in the known universe. See "nummer vier" and the little beauties on the right below.


SO, that's it. All my over-tired gray matter can produce at the moment. For both of you who come here on purpose, I do hope to ACTUALLY blog again some time soon. Hi, Mom!


Now tagging:

Lisa B.
Richie
Angelina (though I seriously doubt you'll do this)
Wendy (since you've done a zillion of these things... lets say... list the six strangest things you've eaten on purpose!)

I know that's only four people, but I just don't have that many blog friends. See, you have to actually WRITE for people to want to be blog buddies with you. *sniff*

Good thing I'm not hung up on my virtual popularity! LOL!

Happy Monday, Y'all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ninja Cat: Fun Filler For the Feline-o-phile




Dude. I just shot coffee out my nose.

This is awesome.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So much to say, so little time.

I have tons to write about, even one post half completed and abandoned due to too many things to bake and clean and harvest and can and step on and off of and roast and photograph and eat and now the girls are about to walk through the door in need of a snack and some face time and there goes another day of blogging because I try really hard to ignore this infernal machine once those sweet souls get home but there's just so much to report and I hope it's soon or my head just might explode from all the words building up inside my cranium in that other form of information overload!

{{gasp!!}}

Help me.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Accidental Afficianado: The Sequel

Alternate Title: Cat Litter Post...

wait for it...

Number TWO!

Sorry for the toilet humor. It can, at times, be somewhat unavoidable.


So. When last we checked in on the cat litter saga, I had relented and turned to the of-questionable-safety, but preferred-by-one-cat-out-of-seven option of clay in one box. The rest were filled with Feline Pine.

Well, guess what? Feline Pine got stupidly expensive for a lumber industry by-product, was still rejected by at least one cat and my success was taking a very sharp dive into... nah...

In addition to six young and healthy cats*, we also have a very old, VERY particular fellow whose cat box record is, shall we say, not spotless. For years I have blamed his inconsistency... and incontinence... on urinary tract infections. There is some accuracy to my hypothesis, but I'll get back to that in a minute.

So, our quest for the perfect cat litter was resumed, much to our dismay, in conjunction with our pursuit of a superior accident-clean-up product. We found "Anti-Icky Poo" (Yes, that is its real name. Don't blame me. I know it's stupid) and a silica-based cat litter that I now can't even find online anymore to show you.

Both products work great. Both are so maniacally overpriced that it would be cheaper to fill your cat box with actual gold nuggets.

The Anti-Icky Poo is totally worth it, though it can only work so well for so long. When the poor Old Guy is saturating the bathroom carpet before you realize what has happened... the product's efficacy is bound to suffer.

In an attempt to help the Old Guy not fall prey to the "He's FIFTEEN YEARS OLD and stinking up the bathroom! How long do you expect me to let him live?!" argument, I took him to the regular vet... three times... for UTI treatment (which they confirmed) without ANY results. I finally turned to a naturopathic vet who immediately informed me that dry food was possibly the worst thing I could feed him next to, oh, I don't know... asbestos! "It's dehydrating him by sucking up what little moisture he's getting from drinking... which, by the way... cats in the wild DON'T DO! They get all their 'water' from their prey."

What the...?

His issues had many layers...

First: He was so dehydrated that "going" was painful and had very bad associations with The Box. Not that going anywhere else was more fun, but it sure didn't make him want to squat in a pile of wood shavings... or in a bed of silica pellets either, for that matter.

Okay. I'm REALLY digressing here.

Sorry.

The silica litter worked great, but with seven cats, it doesn't last the two months touted on the bag. A couple of weeks, MAYBE so that means going through a LOT of fifteen-dollars-a-five-pound-bag litter.

Much to my very temporary glee, I found big, square buckets of something very similar at the feed store for a fraction of the price! There is a reason... the bargain product is what's left after they punch out all those nice, smooth little pellets... and it's sharp as freakin' GLASS... not kitty-pad friendly! Nor is it very nice to bare feet that stumble across the random shard in the carpet.

The packaging was also EXTREMELY WASTEFUL.

I went back to the slightly-more-economical-than-what-I-found-online version... "Litter Pearls." It does work really great. Most of our cats were fine with it... but not all.

Fabulous.

On yet another trek to the feed store I was met with a new and intriguing option in the cat litter aisle... a NEW, healthier and fantastical variety of clay litter! Can it be?

For five bucks, I can afford for it to tank.

I put it in the Old Guy's personal potty and, what do you know... HE ACTUALLY USES IT! He hated all the other litters AND was having health issues that weren't helping matters.

What happened next?

ALL THE CATS were using HIS box. They completely rejected the fancy stuff once they had access to this much better clay product.

"Wundercat," as it is so adorably named, is a combination of clays. It doesn't produce much dust at all and it REALLY does NOT STINK!


I switched the two boxes in the house to Wundercat and left the two boxes in the garage with the Litter Pearls. No one has stepped foot in the garage boxes since the Wundercat appeared. Interesting, 'eh?

The critics have spoken!

So, to finish my story about the Old Guy... He now gets mostly very high quality canned food and sometimes I make or buy raw food. He has access to the occasional bit of kibble and still prefers to drink running water from my bathroom sink. The change in his diet has made a new cat out of him. For literally years he has barely emerged from our bedroom (hence, he had his own box in our master bathroom to encourage its use.) He almost never went outside. He regularly vomited and, the older he got, often had such dry stools... well ... we'll leave it at that, shall we?

As I type, he is sitting in the other office chair with Grace. He rarely vomits except to do "maintenance" and he recently even spent an entire night outside by choice. That hasn't happened in at least ten years! He is much healthier and happier thanks to the naturopath's brilliant information. What's more... he is now so energetic that I have been able to successfully move the cat box out of our bathroom and into the laundry room with the other one. That, folks pretty much constitutes a bone fide miracle!



*As for the SEVEN in Lucky Seven Cat Ranch... I'm afraid we are now down to a Fortunate Five. Boo, our super-friendly 20-poounder, went missing a couple of months ago followed shortly by little Midna. Losing two cats in the space of a month for us is unheard of. Cats are wandersome creatures, though. I hope they mosey home from their walkabout some day.

My sister-in-law's cat returned after five months, so here's hopin'.
























If they are gone for good, though, I hope it is somewhere plentiful in fat, juicy mice and "crunchable birdses."

... And miles and miles of fresh, clean, scratchable sand, of course.



That, Dear Readers (Marty!), concludes the "highly-informative post" I promised you back in June! ;)


I hope you are all enjoying this gloriously much cooler Monday!























Friday, August 15, 2008

Real post coming soon...

While you're waiting for my gray matter to issue something of reasonable pertinenance, here's an awesome quote I found on the NYT humor page:



"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid."

— John Wayne



Truer words were never funnier, Pilgrim.

Happy Friday, People!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My new favorite B&B!

Cozy!

Romantic!

Amazingly affordable!

Best of all...


...it is my very own bedroom!


There's much more updating to be done in the rest of the house, but I really wanted to pay proper tribute to James' and my Divine love affair by starting with our boudoir.

I surprised him with all the accessories, but we painted the room as a family weekend project and got it all done in a day! Go team!


video

Before: Like, yuck, man.

video

During: For your next home improvement project, I highly recommend child labor! They have a ball, work for potato chips and soda, and have no idea your totally exploiting them! Now that's what I call a "win/win!"

video

Ahhhhh... it's just so nice to have an actual grown-up's bedroom and not a storage room with a bed in it.

These little beads dangling off the burgundy *velvet* valance are so sweet,
they just make me tingly all over...



So TRUE!! The picture really doesn't do it justice. Rats.


I absolutely adore walking into our bedroom to the aroma of freshly cut roses and herbs! So rejuvenating and inspiring, I think.

For a couple hundred dollars and a little effort, I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. No, it'll never make it into Portland Spaces Magazine, but I could afford it and it just feels so much better. I absolutely love the way this room looks at night... especially from the outside.

I once walked up the path that runs in front of our house and peeked in the window to see this inviting nest aglow in soft candle light. I thought to myself, "Wow, that looks like a really lovely place to stay... I would love to spend the night here with my Honey... Hey! I can and will every single night of my life. Sweet!"

Slowly but surely, I'm living my dream. I am so blessed!

Folks, it's like the tag line on this blog says... "There is no place *but* home."

Make yours beautiful and inviting to you.


Up next: Operation Master Bath!!

For the men in my life... and my mom.

Although they were kinda makin' fun of him on the New York Times humor page, I can think of at least six men in my family who will think this guy and his contraption are super cool! I know I do. Who does this remind you of, Gentlemen?




Here's to old guys who will find a way to stay productive and follow their passion no matter how many years have accumulated under their belt.

Rock on, Del!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sharing with the locals

The girls and I got a beautiful surprise this morning when a fawn hopped the fence and began voraciously chowing down on our radishes!



Normally, this is not the sort of behavior I would encourage in the local wildlife, but she was so lovely and bold... looking us straight in the eye as we ogled her from my office window... I couldn't bring myself to shoo her off.

Our radishes far outnumber our opportunities to interact so closely with one of my favorites of all God's creatures. Deer also seem to mark special times in our family.

The last time I saw a deer on our property was my most recent birthday.

The previous sighting in our yard was four years ago on the morning of Anna's sixth birthday when a family of THREE, including a two-point buck (!), waltzed across our grass to our muffled squeals of approval and delight.

Something very cool just may happen today... and if all that turns out to be is the exceedingly rare glimpse of a fawn in our very own garden... that's more than enough for me!

Happy Tuesday, Deer Readers! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

This could be me!

Well, except for the receding hair line and the fancy downtown office, but otherwise...

Enjoy this momentary glimpse into what my job can feel like sometimes. This is sheer brilliance!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dude.

"The One?"

Sounds like an awful lot of responsibility to me...

How about "The Really Enthusiastic Alternate" instead?

Can I still have the cool trench coat, shades and mad bullet evasion skills, though? OOO! and The Jiu Jitsu! I want that too!






Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Neo, the "One"

Neo is the computer hacker-turned-Messiah of the Matrix. He leads a small group of human rebels against the technology that controls them. Neo doubts his ability to lead but doesn't want to disappoint his friends. His goal is for a world where all men know the Truth and are free from the bonds of the Matrix.


Neo, the "One"


71%

Maximus


67%

William Wallace


67%

The Terminator


63%

James Bond, Agent 007


58%

Captain Jack Sparrow


54%

El Zorro


50%

Indiana Jones


46%

Lara Croft


42%

Batman, the Dark Knight


33%

The Amazing Spider-Man


33%


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Orange water and Triskaphobia

We got our water back one week ago... however, it still runs orange. It's the rusty minerals in that good ol' Dundee Appellation soil that make the Pinot Noir so gosh darned good, don' cha know!

I'm still twitchy about washing anything white lest I end up with a lovely array of quasi-tie-died garments in varying shades of burnt umber.


Amid all the water woes came the dishwasher debacle. Dishes in the front half of the machine retain a revolting residue of co-mingled food particles and oily remnants.... mmmm... YUMMY!

The issue was, of course not, as we had hoped, the replacement of the twirly thingy that shoots water around in the top of the machine which we found resting conspicuously out of place on the heating element... that leaves the motor as the culprit.

Interpretation: motors are so spendy, we may as well buy a whole new dishwasher.


As unexpected breakdowns of major appliances/utilities/vehicles tend to arrive in packs of three... I am rapidly developing a paranoia of unusual noises, smells and/or vibrations from any and all major moving and/or vitally important machines in my service.

So, now that you have the most recent update from L7CR, I am off to back up the Macs and stare suspiciously at my truck.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm craving doing laundry...???

Photo courtesy of Flickr... though this could be a scene at my house right now.

That is what happens when one is without a reliable water source for three+ days.

We lost water on Sunday morning and have yet to get it back in earnest. We got a new water pump installed and had a day of about half normal pressure. The water pump was not the source of the problem. Thankfully while we had at least a dribble, my brilliant husband thought to fill one of our bath tubs to ensure water for toilet flushing(!) and minimal hand washing. However, as the issue required more investigation and repair we currently have no running water at all.

It is very interesting the things one is forced to consider upon deprivation of precious H20.

For example:

• What am I touching? I can't just wash my hands "willy nilly."

• What do I feed people? The fewer utensils, plates and clean-up the better.

• How much clean underwear do we all have... or lack?

• How does one fill two 60 gallon water troughs with no running water?

• Ever contemplated watering a 40 x 20 garden full of tender, tiny sprouts with a watering can and swimming pool water?

• How does one get ready for work in a dignified office setting when you can't shower? This I can tell you involves a bucket, an empty bathtub and very cold and speedy hygienic practices... Poor James!


These are just a few of the thoughts that have rattled across my brain pan in the past 36 hours.

How do I feel right now?

Thirsty. We have plenty of bottled water, but somehow knowing there's not water in the faucet makes me feel parched.

Dirty. I am very deliberately not exerting enough energy to get all "dewy" as I already feel like every molecule of dust floating maliciously in the air is preternaturally attracted to my skin and fully aware of my inability to bathe conveniently.

But mostly it's a lot like I'm camping in a *really* nice motor home in one of those spaces without the water and sewer hookups... and the bathroom/shower hut is a half mile hike away on the other side of the camp ground.

I hear there is a plumber working up the hill at my in-laws' house connecting by-passing pipes as we speak. The broken pipe, it seems, lurks beneath a concrete slab so re-routing the flow of the life-sustaining liquid is far more practical, and preferable, to ripping up a ton of driveway to fix the leak directly.

God bless the family members willing to dig for hours to expose the pipes and a plumber/friend willing to massage his schedule to make our problem a priority. We would be in dire straights... and stinky for much, MUCH longer... without their generous help!

Whenever we lose water or power I am always forced to think of those living in countries where utilities are intermittent at best or even non-existent. I don't think I take the luxury and privilege of reliable infrastructure for granted until I spend even an afternoon without... and then I feel very guilty for not appreciating them much more than I actually do.

In this particular shortage, I have noticed myself very aware and possessive of half-consumed glasses and bottles of water I spot laying around the house. Suddenly, I see them as opportunities to wash my hands or rinse off a spoon. Maybe give a plant a drink. I am afraid free water has made us more wasteful in its abundance.

I have never really thought, *really* thought about what a luxury it is just to have the opportunity to have a clean body and clothes. Right now, after a shower, all I want is to run my dishwasher and do about six loads of laundry. I can't imagine living permanently in conditions where you can't even count on a safe glass of water to drink, let alone access to enough to wash anything.

It makes it difficult to feel too sorry for myself when I think of our dilemma on a global scale. I mean, if I got desperate for some form cleanliness I could go for a swim in my inlaws' pool. Not so for all those dust-encrusted African kids we see on the big screen TV broadcast in high-def digital cable...

Somehow, when I think about it in those terms I don't feel nearly so inconvenienced and a whole lot more grateful that my "plight" will last a total of a few days and gave me an opportunity to begin to really appreciate how fortunate we are to live where and when we do.

It's the *little things* Y'all... Seriously.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When I say "Baking Soda Works Miracles," it's not a rhetorical statement


Yes, you're seeing correctly. It is a TWELVE POUND bag of Baking Soda.
This post is especially for the Ladies. The only reason I say that is because it deals with an affliction from which, to date, only one male I know of personally has ever suffered. (And that, I'm SURE was karma!)

I am speaking of the dreaded and much-loathed Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) also known less accurately but far more conversationally as the "Bladder Infection."

People, there are few things on this earth that make a girl hate being a girl with more fury and gnashing of teeth than this bacterial menace. To add to the *enjoyment* you can rest assured that the vast majority of the time, said loveliness will usually choose, say Saturday morning at about 1:45 to present itself so as to make sure you are just miserable enough as to render you unable to wait for your regular doctor's office to open Monday morning to seek treatment... And the local ER's cash register *Ka-CHINGS!* with satisfaction.

Seriously. The last three times I've had one of these curses of gal-dom, I have had to fork over a $100 co-pay... only to be billed $160-and-change more from the ER after insurance! For which, by the way I am EXTREMELY grateful because just to walk into the ER in Lincoln City, tell them what was happening with me, get my blood pressure taken, pee in a cup, wait in a room under a pre-warmed blanket, tell the doc three times that yes, Pyridium DOES, in fact, contain red food dye... "what do you think makes your urine orange???" and therefore yes it WILL make me vomit, yes, I'm allergic to sulfa drugs and Cipro makes me sick as a dog, at which news he looks at me accusingly like I'm telling him all this just to challenge his medical knowledge and spouts at me with disgust, "Well, I'm running out of things to give you so you're going to have to take something or just take your chances until maybe this thing kills you!"

"Can you just give me some Macrobid and let me be on my way, please...?"

"Um, okay... $816 please!"

Can you imagine what it would have cost me if I needed, oh, I don't know, for them to actually figure out what was wrong with me? What if I had needed a stitch or something?! Ka-CHING!!

But, I digress...

So. Fast forward to Monday evening.

The unmistakable sensations begin and I'm thinking how grateful I am that at least it's not Saturday, but it is too late to call the doctor at the moment. I'm going to have to try some home triage until morning.

My mom happens to call and I tell her what's up and she says "Oh, I read the coolest thing about Alka Seltzer and UTIs! I can't remember exactly what it was, but, you know..."

Well, I don't own any Alka Seltzer, but I do have... you guessed it... Baking Soda!

What is Alka Seltzer but fizzy baking soda in a tablet?

I have nothing to lose at this point so I decide to improvise. I took a rounded teaspoon of Baking Soda and dissolved it into about 10oz of water. I drank it down as quickly as I could, *YUCK* and followed it with most of another glass of clear water. Of course, the burping erupted immediately... followed by some nausea, but that passed pretty quickly. An hour later, I began to notice some other, um, plumbing activity. It seemed I was purging a lot more than just urinary bacteria, but it wasn't like when that happens when you're sick. There wasn't any cramping, just an urgent need to "go!"

By bedtime, I felt mostly fine, but still made an appointment with the doc's office the next morning so as to not get another "ER Surprise" over the weekend. They couldn't get me in until Wednesday.

Tuesday, I felt fine all day but decided to do the baking soda and water thing again that evening, just for good measure. No extra "plumbing" action this time.

This morning, I kept my appointment with the doctor.

Guess what? For the FIRST TIME EVER my UTI test came back NEGATIVE!!!

The doctor walked into the exam room, results in hand, with her mouth hanging open in disbelief! There was not a TRACE of bacteria. Believe me, and gals who have experienced a UTI more than twice can attest... once you start down that road, there is NO question what those specific symptoms mean and they do NOT get better by thinking happy thoughts and waiting it out.

I'm not a doctor. I can't (legally) say the baking soda thing cured my UTI. All I can say is, somehow between Monday evening and this morning, with pretty much just baking soda and a whole bunch of water in between, the UTI was rendered completely undetectable... and the doctor was amazed enough to make a big deal about it.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...

Baking soda: takes the stains out of your sink, deodorizes your fridge, cleans your teeth, and apparently your urinary tract... and the list goes on, and on and on...

Now THAT's what I call versatile!

Baking Soda and Water Cocktails all around! Woo Hoo!

Party on, Y'all!




Monday, June 9, 2008

While you're waiting...


I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce you to my favorite new small kitchen appliance... the Cuisinart electric ice cream maker!!

This thing is PERFECTION!

It doesn't require ice so it's not very messy.

It isn't self-refrigerating so it's not an electricity hog, nor is it insanely expensive.

It is super easy to clean with only three parts that are simple to hand wash.

It makes ice cream in about 30 minutes once you assemble the ingredients!!

I LOVE THIS MACHINE!!

I have already made simple vanilla and a vanilla bean ice cream that requires making custard first but is phenomenal! In a recent outburst of brazen culinary self confidence and ingenuity I even made a dairy-free chocolate ice cream with coconut milk that was so good I may never eat regular chocolate ice cream again!

I once had an ice cream freezer attachment for my old (smaller) KitchenAid mixer and it was very disappointing. All the cold escaped from the sides and top and the results were mediocre at best. This machine has the freezer bowl completely surrounded and insulated so it stays really cold. I throw a towel over the plastic top to help retain what little escapes there but the freezy part stays super cold through the whole process. It remains so supremely chilled in fact that I've had the water I'm washing it out with freeze!

For $50 at Costco... WELL worth the investment! Of course if you get this little beauty, homemade ice cream becomes so easy and fun that you might find yourself in need of another investment... a gym membership.

Willpower to the people, Y'all!

Peas, out!

Stay Tuned!

There is a very important, highly-informative post brewing.

All I need is more folded laundry, more visible floor space and less visible dust and it's all yours!

Come back soon!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Late, Late Mother's Day Report

Yes, Angelina, I will be keeping the hat. We've had adventures together and now I can't bear to part with it. I knew you would especially appreciate a picture of me wearing it in a boat... drinking wine and eating chocolate... and, yes, even fishing... poorly.

Last Saturday, my wonderful family took me out to Camp Tilikum for a belated Mother's Day outing. Since *The* Mother's Day was spent honoring *our* moms, I was more than happy to wait for my day.

James did an excellent job of planning the whole thing and keeping it a secret from me. I *never* get to be surprised... being the mom and generally pretty observant, it's nearly impossible to keep me from figuring out what's going on, even when I don't want to know.

I had an idea of what he had in store for me, but nothing definite and certainly didn't know any details... and I loved it!

He packed a bag full of loveliness including wine, cheeses, bread, soda, water, ham and, of course, chocolate which we ate in a canoe while fishing in the lake! Well, Anna actually fished. I did my very best impression of a person who has been fishing maybe once in her life and slashed at the air with my pole while the fished mocked me openly.

Anna caught five fish.

All I had to show for my efforts was a lopsided sunburn on my right arm.

She was in her glory!

It was an amazing outing that was immediately followed by a trip to the Cameo to see Prince Caspian and dinner. A better day I cannot imagine. Very well worth the wait.

Thank you so much, my Darlings. I am so very Blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cows fly

Two weeks ago I put an ad in the local paper and didn't get a single call so I really didn't have too great a hope of generating any interest in Bossy and Daisy on Craig's List, but I thought, "What the hell. It's free, right?"

I got the first hit at 9:45 this morning.

By 10:30 they were sold.

Wow!

The really cool thing about the buyer... He wants them for dairy stock!

That makes me very happy.

So long, Bossy and Daisy. I'll miss you terribly, but I'm oh, so glad you're going to what sounds like a very green pasture.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pssssst... wanna buy a cow?

Or, more accurately, a cow and her darling calf.



Yes, folks. It causes me great pain to say this, but Bossy and Daisy must go.

We have maxed out our grazing capacity and need to move a couple of my girls on to other pastures. I originally wanted to keep Daisy and let Sparky go, but in a demonstration of my TRUE LOVE for this little beauty, I am choosing what is best for her over my own selfish desires. *sniff* *sniff*

It will be much less traumatic for them... well... and me too, really, I suppose... if we sell the pair together so...

Who wants to start their own herd?!

Common folks! I know there's a frustrated dairy farmer out there among you!

Seriously! The calf is ready to ween. You could have your very own fresh milk twice a day... from your own backyard!

Here's the sitch:

Bossy is 3 years old, Herford, Holstein and Angus. She's a great mom.

Daisy is 3 months old, all of the above breeds plus black Semental.

We'll let the pair go for $985.

Any takers?

Common, Angelina! Now's your chance to commune with your favorite bovine on a daily basis! Just think of the endless supply of prime fertilizer!

Okay. Sales pitch over.

Operators are standing by...

Friday afternoon amusement

Been wondering what to do with all your old vinyl LPs?

I guess if you can't play the disk, your last resort is to play with the cover.










You can check out more of 'em at sleeveface.com.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A study in green

Welcome! Welcome! O tender, sweet and crunchy Spring!





O, the succulent, green shoots and pale, infant blossoms so laden with the promise of luscious Summer fruit!

Even my heart is salivating.