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Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm calling it the Five O'Clock Flu.

Because that is the time of the evening that it hit each of our family (with the exception of Jason) in turn this weekend.

So. not. fun.

But! I did discover that rubbing peppermint oil over your stomach can greatly reduce and help eliminate those nasty convulsions.

Anyway, apparently today is Blog Action Day, meaning you blog about environmental stuff. I know I do that kind of thing all the time over here, and I don't have anything really specific to point out today, but I would like to introduce this terrific site that my friend Dawn found yesterday, called Path To Freedom. It's pretty amazing what this family has done with a 1/5 acre city residential lot. (It also makes me wish I lived someplace as warm as California so I could have garden-fresh produce all year round!) I read an article on there last night about ways to save water--simple little tricks that you can easily implement around the kitchen sink. I already started using them. Lots of great stuff on there.

I am SO looking forward to when we move out to our "acreage" (if you can call it that!)--I plan on getting my own cow (or two) to milk, have my own vegetable garden, my own chickens to get fresh eggs from (and fresh meat from!), and thank goodness I managed to birth three strong boys to help with all those chores! :-)

In case you would like a few ideas on how to "reduce your footprint":

  • I, like so many people, have the best of intentions with using my cloth grocery bags--except all too often, I forget them in the van until I'm standing at the checkout with a loaded cart and three kids in tow--not too easy to run out and grab them. While you may not want to do this with a $300 order, today I only had a handful of things, and the bagger was happy to comply with my request of putting them back into the cart unbagged so I could transfer them once I got to the van. For a great reminder of how a small change like using cloth can make a big difference, check out this New York Times article.
  • Fluorescent light bulbs are getting a lot of press lately as the more economical, environmentally-friendly choice. Unfortunately, no one tells you the flip side: fluorescent bulbs are filled with mercury. If one breaks and you breathe in the vapours, you will be exposed to all the possible side effects of mercury poisoning. Not only that, an environmental clean-up of these leakages could (and have) cost in the thousands of dollars--to the consumer! Far better to go with LED lights--they last longer, on far less power requirements, and will not cause nasty health and environmental hazards. We have been trying out a few different brands, and they are a bit difficult to get used to--the light is very directional, and very blue. However, there are several companies working on the technology, so keep an eye on this as a viable option in the future. (Right now, we use one on our front porch, where a large amount of light is not required, and also to replace one or two of our track lights in a group of three--the "blue-ness" of the light makes them seem very dark, so we balance it by keeping a yellower or whiter one in the mix. But they are only a 3 Watt bulb each. Can't really beat that!)
Okay, I gotta go get some rest now. Happy Monday, friends!

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4 comments

  1. So how does the peppermint oil work? What all is it effective for? Do you apply it directly or dilute in something? How much?

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  2. Cool, Talena!
    Mark and I replace all our lights with the LED ones about a year or so ago and actually have been hugely disappointed. Many of them have burnt out despite claims to the contrary and they burnt out long before their higher watt buddies would have. Hopefully "they" are working on this along with warming it up a bit. I guess all of this stuff takes time.
    I can't wait to visit you and your cows and chickens and have a big gulp of REAL milk. That will be awesome.

    Also, PLEASE get better! It sucks when the whole house is taken down in one fell swoop. Does this mean Jason is making dinner and spoon-feeding everyone tonight?

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  3. Rohini - Essential oils work because they have chemical similarities to our own blood. They fight infection, have hormone-like compounds, and initiate regeneration.

    Peppermint oil is kind of an extremely multi-purpose "wonder" oil. Traditionally, it has been used to settle the stomach (drop a couple of drops on a sugar cube or a teaspoon of honey and swallow it--the origin of "after-dinner mints." Mint also cleanses the palate. I find it very soothing for a sore throat if I put a drop or two in a water and sip it--I've used it to get through several performances when my throat has been raw and ragged. It also reduces inflammation, so I've used it to blend with a few other oils to fight headaches (applied around the hairline), reduce fever, and numb painful, swollen muscles.

    If you have a therapeutic-grade oil that is safe for internal use, you can take it that way, as well as applying it topically or diffusing it into the air. For settling my retching stomach, I applied it topically, undiluted on myself, and diluted with very pure vegetable oil for Jude. (Children should always have it diluted with vegetable oil, as their smaller body weight will be affected more strongly.) The safest place to apply to children is on the soles of their feet--this was a rare case for me to put it on Jude's abdomen.

    If you would like more information, let me know. Essential oils are pretty amazing, but you still have to be careful with the way you use them, just like any therapeutic substance.

    Colleen - That's disappointing. I hope these bulbs hold up to their claims a little better than that! The one company we purchased from charged a pretty penny, so those at least had better last!

    I can't wait for that visit, either! (Oh! Oh! I got my grain-grinder in the mail today--birthday present from my mummy! I can't wait to try it out for the first time! Yippee!)

    Jason is also sick, just with a cold. So we've been sharing responsibilities. I'm actually 98% better now. He is only 60-ish% better. Sigh. This, too, shall pass away.

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  4. I love this post. Good stuff.
    I am really interested in learning about essential oils, and homeopathy.
    Hope everyone feels better soon.

    Staci

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