Month: May 2008

  • Small Beginnings

    TN is so beautiful in the Spring. The past couple of weeks of gorgeous weather have reminded me just how very grateful I am to live here!

    We have started our first attempts at a garden. It has been haphazard at best but thus far the little plantlings look happy. We have in the ground 18 tomato plants. Yes, you read that right. 18. And yes, we are aware just how much even ONE plant produces. We arrived at the conclusion that we need to be growing our own tomatoes fairly recently. Our goal has been to eliminate as many store canned/processed items as possible from our diet. Over the past year or so I have been tackling one thing at a time and quietly changing our diets. The most recent change was the discovery that we can make delicious and super healthy salsa right here at home. Unfortunately the cost of said homemade salsa, especially when consumed in such large quantities and using organic ingredients very quickly adds up! So our solution to the bank breaking salsa problem has been to grow several of the main ingredients ourselves and can our own salsa like crazy when our hopefully bumper crop comes in.

    There are also 9 cabbages that really took off just this past week. Beside them is a row of Cucumbers. Down by the newly planted peach tree is a water melon. There are also a couple of pepper plants as well. Yes it is a strange start for a garden and if you saw it you would probably think it even more strange. We have not done any of the tilling or mulching traditional gardening calls for. Actually we have hardly done anything at all. Thus far we have literally dug holes in the ground just big enough for the seedlings, mixed in some black forest dirt in with the sandy clay and watered well. Along the sides of the plants and inbetween we are layering cardboard. It kills the weeds, keeps the sun off the roots and holds moisture well. I anticipate over time the cardboard breaking down and becoming a layer of mulch.

    We are now dreaming of what it would take to have a truly fantastic, organic garden complete with green house etc. Will probably only ever stay in the pipe dream stage but that is something we have always loved to do as a couple. Dream of possibilities. Figure out how we would make something work and how much would have to be invested vs. possible return. Being able to dream with Steve and figure out practical ways to make some of our dreams/goals/desires come true is one of the many reasons I so passionately love that man. Our lives are consumed to over flowing with work and ministry but we are so very blessed to be able to do it together.

    I want to start posting some of our favorite recipes soon. Have been having so much fun converting old favorites into healthy new favorites without compromising too much taste and texture. In most cases we actually prefer the taste of the healthier versions now! I just found a recipe for homemade tortillas so will be adding that to our list of items to make at home now vs. buying pre-made. My only complaint with this “new” way of life is that it is SOOooo much more time consuming than simply running to the store and buying something when we are out. We are slowly adjusting though and are starting to see benefits in our health.

  • Misery and Spiders (Warning, Gross pics)

    The past few days have been rough for me. We have finally concluded that I was bitten by a spider. Most likely a Brown Recluse or Black Widow. Brown Recluse is more likely considering our geographical location but my symptoms match a Black Widows bite better.

    I honestly do not remember being this miserable ever before in my life. In case anyone reading this is not familiar with what a spider bite can do to you allow me to elaborate.

    I personally experienced all of the following symptoms from my bite(s):
    - Continual low grade fever that would occasionally spike resulting in violent shivering
    - Shooting pains in the major muscle groups
    -Severe headache
    - Tachycardia (rapid heart beat)
    - Numbness in hands and feet
    - Difficulty Breathing
    - Anxiety and some mental confusion (although who knows. Maybe this was just me being me. )

    Because it took us so long to figure out what the bite was, much less what probable kind of spider it inflicted this upon me we decided against seeking medical care. According to several resources all an ER could do without having a positive ID on what sort of spider inflicted the bit is to pump you full of high powered anti biotics to fight any secondary infection, give you pain relief/fever reducers while having you on an IV to help flush the toxin/venom out faster. We have been treating it with a variety of natural things with varying degrees of success. At least now I know what DOES work naturally and what does NOT. Here is what I would do from the beginning if I had it to do over again, and what I plan on doing if something like this happens in the future.

    - If you have an arsenal of Essential Oils at your disposal skip over things like tea tree oil (was recommended on one site…Didn’t do a THING for me) and go straight to Clove Oil. Not only will it relieve the pain of the actual bite but it will kill any bacteria that might cause a secondary infection to build up in the deteriorating flesh in the middle of the bite.
    - The Four Thieves Essential Oil from Young Living will also help with any possible infections when taken internally and rubbed on key points of the body externally. If you slather Aloe on with the Essential Oil it acts as a carrier and aids in it being absorbed into the blood stream faster/more efficiently.
    - Raw Garlic: I had been putting off starting this but as soon as I did it made a big difference almost immediately. A couple of cloves every two hours is what is working really well for me. I chop it and then try to hide it in something.
    - Bentonite Clay: Using this at the beginning can make a HUGE difference. I two other bites after the initial one. Knowing what was going on this time I put a plaster of Bentonite Clay on it overnight and it almost completely did away with them. With followup treatment of Clove Oil they have both disappeared without leaving any scarring at all.

    This is what it looked like before I started the Bentonite Clay Poultices and the Clove Essential Oil. You can see how it is starting to look infected in the middle

    This is what it looks like today. The infection has cleared up and the redness stopped advancing. Going to continue to treat it aggressively topically.


    I am feeling SO much better today and so grateful to God. Hoping the remaining symptoms totally clear up over the next day or so.