Here We Go Again

poison ivyThis wasn’t the post I had planned to write today…actually yesterday.  But sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

Angel Girl broke her glasses last week and she and I ended up driving the 45 minutes to the eye doctor to get a new pair.

Before we left in the morning I noticed a rash forming on my upper chest and a few spots on my legs.

Since I’m a little sensitive to the prickles on squash plants and I have been spending a lot of time in the patch squishing squash bugs, at first I thought it was just more squash rash. Itches for a few hours, is gone the next morning.

But by 1:00 it started burning.

By 4:00 I knew it was poison ivy.

By 7:00 I knew I was going to the doctor just as soon as the clinic opened.

By 9:00 I knew I wasn’t going to get any sleep.

I was right.

Some steroids and a prescription inch cream (the largest one they sell with 3 refills!) made things more endurable. Slightly.

But how in the world did I end up with poison ivy again? I have been so careful and hardly left the house. I’ve avoided all areas where the noxious weed is present.  And then I’ve faithfully washed with my poison ivy soap every time I’ve been out!

The answer was staring me in the face. The rash on my chest is in almost the exact outline of my work out shirt.

Every morning, I put on my work out clothes, gather the laundry and carry it to the basement, sort it, start it, and then exercise.

The guys have been in and out of poison ivy moving cows and pigs and fixing fence. There must of been some urushiol on their clothes that I unknowingly got all over my upper chest.

Then I worked out and sweated, which only made it worse, causing it to drip to other places, like all the way around my neck. (I knew I shouldn’t have done crunches!)

There must have been some on my shirt that I wiped on my face.

Then I showered, but didn’t use my poison ivy soap because I never knew I had been exposed.

So while I sit here in misery tonight, with the largest band of poison ivy rash I’ve ever had – covering my upper chest and wrapped around my neck like a boa, I’ve decided that the morale of this story is simple –

Don’t do laundry and don’t exercise.

At least not on the same day.

Nothing Like a Trip to the ER

You know, there’s nothing like a trip to the ER to put a little perspective on your day!

Yesterday started out pretty normal for Jan. He was at work doing things he had done hundreds of times, using machines he had used for years. But one little slip, one split second, and his finger was smashed under 30 pounds of iron.

Two hours in the ER and several x-rays later, he was home with his finger in a splint, a doctor’s appointment later in the week and some pain meds that he, of course, said he didn’t need.

ER

The finger injured was the ring finger on his right hand,  making it painfully obvious that he would need to make some adjustments.

You don’t often think about the ring finger on your right hand. It’s just there – a part of team of muscles and bones that God created in a miraculous way to allow you to do some important things.

Things like feeding yourself.

Ever try holding a fork with your ring finger in a splint? Doesn’t work.

He also can’t write his name, drive a manual transmission, or cut his own food.

Some things are possible, but much more difficult, like buttoning a shirt and tying his shoes.

Turns out that ordinary finger is pretty important.  It will be greatly missed for a few weeks while it heals.

It struck me this morning that some of you might be feeling as unappreciated and unimportant as the ring finger on your right hand.

Are you feeling a little down? In a bit of a January slump? Thinking that you’re not needed?

Believe me, you are. You were designed by God with unique talents and abilities that somebody in your corner of the world is needing today.

Maybe it’s time to break free of the splints of self-doubt and discouragement that are binding you.

Maybe it’s time to let God use your unique talents to do great things for Him.

Maybe all you need is a different perspective.

Miracle Bath

Miracle BathYou wouldn’t believe the amazing things you can find on Pinterest.

Recipes, craft ideas, inspirational thoughts and even miracle cures.

Seriously.

A couple of weeks ago while browsing in Pinterest, I came across a site describing how to take a Detox Bath.

A few minutes later Dagmar come down stairs announcing that she felt like death warmed over – headache, body aches, vomiting. She didn’t look good. It was definitely a flu bug.

I told her about the detox bath I had just read about – and she was miserable enough to try it.

It was simple – fill the bath tub with warm water and add 2 cups of Epson salts, one cup of baking soda, and a couple tablespoons of ground ginger.

She soaked for about 40 minutes – sweating the whole time – rinsed off and went to bed, still sweating.

Four hours later she woke up feeling great and ready to eat.

I’m serious.

She declared it a miracle bath as she munched on saltines (just in case).

The head ache, body aches and vomiting were gone.

It worked so well with Dagmar, that when Jan come down with the same thing a few days later – I got a bath ready for him.

Same thing. Forty minute soak followed by a long sleep with lots of sweating. He woke up feeling fine.

I’m totally serious here.

The web site (which you can find here) gives the science behind the miracle.  The secret is in the sweating.

And since it worked so well to take down the nasty flu bug – I wonder how it would work for a head cold? Sinus infection?

It’s worth a try. After all it can’t hurt and it’s really cheap.

I’m stocking up on Epson salt, baking soda and ginger – just in case.

Whole Grain Blender Waffles

WaffleRaise your hand if you ate too many sweets in the month of December.

Come on – ‘fess up now. 🙂

I know I did! And every year when January comes around my body starts craving some real food.

Something simple after all those rich holiday meals.

And maybe something with whole grains to counteract all those truffles. 🙂

These waffles are the perfect choice! They are a whole grain waffle that I can make with things I almost always have in my pantry. And best of all – I mix the entire thing in my blender in minutes!

They are even gluten free.

Whole Grain Blender Waffles
Adapted from Sue Gregg’s Eating Better Cookbooks

1 egg
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  cup of brown rice
1/2 cup popcorn (unpopped)
1/2 cup of oatmeal (rolled or quick)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat waffle iron at highest temperature.

Place the egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, rice, popcorn and oatmeal in the blender in the order listed and blend on high speed for 3 minutes.

Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder and blend briefly. It should start to bubble immediately.

Grease your waffle iron well (I douse it really good with cooking spray).  Pour the batter -which should be thin – on the waffle iron. DO NOT PEAK! I’m serious here. Do NOT open that waffle iron until the little light goes off. Trust me on this one – just step away from the iron.

This should yield about six 7-inch waffles. (Although the first waffle you attempt will not work – it never does. I think it’s part of Murphy’s Law or something!)

Make sure you give the batter a quick stir before you pour each new waffle – it has a tendency to settle.

These are wonderful with the super-lean “Amish Chwistmas Sausage” and hot apple sauce on top for an easy “breakfast for supper”.

If you prefer – just substitute 2 cups of flour for the rice, popcorn, and oatmeal and blend briefly.

Or if you want to get fancy – you can substitute kamut, millet, barley, kasha, or wheat berries for the grains listed. That is – if you know what they are and actually have them in your pantry. 🙂

These are best when hot and crisp from the waffle iron – but you can freeze them and pop them in the toaster for a quick meal.

Wow! Don’t we feel healthier already?! 🙂

I’ve linked these posts up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Mental Slippage

I seem to have a bad case of mental slippage this last week.

Brain burps. A momentary lapse of thought.

Or just plain forgetfulness.

On our trip to the big city last weekend I had meticulously written out a detailed list for every store I needed to go to – and left them in the car. Except for one store – I remembered the list but had forgotten to put several important items on it.

That wasn’t nearly as bad as my mental lapse on Sunday. My friend Cinnamon just had the sweetest little baby you ever did see – and I was supposed to bring her a meal on Sunday.

Totally slipped my mind.

Then I discovered that the gal who was bringing their Saturday meal forgot too. Ouch. Two days in a row. Her kids even said, “Melinda won’t forget – she’ll bring us something yummy.”

Double ouch.

I did bring them a meal on Monday – but forgot the pile of movies and the extra Easter script I was going to bring along.

The rest of the week continued like that -forgetting to put the pan of scones in the oven, walking into a room and forgetting why I went in to it, the kids needing to remind me several times to correct their math.

The list goes on and on.

I don’t know what my trouble is – but I blame senioritis.  You know –  having a graduating senior in the house.

My mind is full of ACT scores, financial aid packets, college visits, and senior pictures.

All those numbers, the dates, the decisions!

Just looking at the price of college tuition is enough to freeze some brain cells.

Or <gasp> maybe the senioritis is mine.

After all – I did just have a birthday.  You know – they say the mind is the first thing to go.

No – on second thought – let’s all just forget I said that.

Here’s hoping that a nice quiet weekend and a few good nights of sleep will restore my cognitive prowess.

But until then – I’ll keep slugging away at my to-lists.

That is – if I can remember where I put them. 🙂