All Things Monica

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New Endeavors!

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I have always been both cursed and blessed with many interests. The plus is obviously that I enjoy all of these things. The curse is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and a great deal of that time is taken up with work and sleep. So far, my way of handling that is to bounce from one thing to another every few months. This time, I’d like to take a more purposeful approach. I’m going to try to plan out my time among the various pursuits. For example, to work on writing, I’m attempting to take 30 minutes to write/research every day after work before I do anything else. After that, I can concentrate on the traveler’s notebooks I’ve started making, as those are often time sensitive. I’m doing research on blogging, branding, taking advantage of social media, etc. I don’t know that I’m a painter, but I at least want to give it a shot. I’ve customized some planners for a few people. Let’s not forget the photography! I have to find time to take, edit, and print/upload the photos for others to critique and/or enjoy. There’s just not enough time! Does anyone have suggestions or plans that have worked for them? Please comment!

Serious Blogging

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ve had this blog for a while, but I’m not very consistent about frequency or content. That’s been ok, but I’m thinking of getting more serious about this. I’d like to be able to get to the point where I only need a part time job then no job. To that end, I’m doing some research on this idea. I need to figure out my niche. I will also most likely move my blog to another host. This one is fine for a personal blog, but I don’t think it offers as much as some others when it comes to monetizing. We’ll see. If any of you have suggestions, I WELCOME them!

 

Train Trip Talk

Posted on March 7, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

My mother and I boarded a train at 5:45 am in Toledo, Ohio. We were traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico to see family. I have never been on a train cross-country, so I was pretty excited. Some questioned the loss of time with family going by train rather than plane. However, we don't really have the money for plane tickets. More importantly, the train trip is part of the vacation. There is more room. you can get up and move around, you can watch the scenery, and you have time to do some things you don't normally do (like writing blogs). So far, the experience was great. The only bummer is that the 2nd leg of the journey (24 straight hours) and THERE WAS NO WI-FI! That might drive me nuts, but we did bring plenty to do.


Mom brought a book and crochet, which is all she needs. I brought my phone, camera, magazines, and iPad. The iPad has more magazines, books, games, and ways to write (obviously). What sucks is that because there’s no Wi-Fi, I don’t have access to my novels, which I was going to work on. On the way back, I will be sure to save the info on the pad itself. I’ve listened to music, slept, and watched a little Netflix (on my phone). Not too bad. 


Some things I learned:

  • DON’T RIDE IN THE LAST CAR! It was like being on a plane for 24 hours in constant turbulence. Shaking, rocking, lurching, etc. I don’t see how this is possible, as we were on straight, smooth rails, but there you go.
  • Make sure to bring plenty of liquids to drink. You can get drinks on the train, but everything was closed overnight. Bring it or stock up before they close. We brought a lot of food, but we did run out at some point. The dining car is expensive, but we wanted to have at least one meal there.
  • It was dry in recycled air, so bring lotion, allergy medication, etc. My poor mom has been coughing her life away for the last 5 hours.
  • Typical travel things are necessary for your carry-on, i.e. toothbrush, make-up, deodorant, etc. I’ve found it VERY useful to have wipes to clean hands, self, surfaces, etc.
  • A co-worker suggested a blanket, saying it was often cold. I had the opposite experience on the way out. Maybe it’s just the seats we’re in because plenty of other passengers were using blankets. I was HOT. Now, those who know me may say that’s not a big deal, as I’m always hot, but my mom was, too.


Things I enjoyed:

  • There is so much more room per seat than a plane or car! In fact, there are trays in front of you that have to extend to get them close to you. Not only that, but you can get up and walk around as much as you want.
  • The lady in the café is SUPER nice. I know her job is customer service, but we all know that that has all but disappeared today. She was much nicer than she needed to be to be proficient in her job. I gave her a big tip.
  • The seats lean WAY back, which is awesome. It’s not flat or anything, but certainly further back than on a plane.

 

Things I’ve noticed: 

  • I have never seen so many Amish on any other form of transportation; waiting for trains, on this train, getting off of others. It makes me wonder if that is their preferred method of travel. I almost said something to one of them in Pennsylvania Dutch, but I was afraid they’d think I knew more.

  

If you’ve never been on a train before, like me, you may not know that if you eat in the dining car, you sit with people you don’t know if your table isn’t full. My mom and I sat with a VERY interesting man named Steve. He was about my mom’s age, traveling home from a business trip. He works in the federal government in the national archives. Kind of cool.


After the initial pleasantries, we really got into some seriously good conversation. So much so, that the waitress asked us to continue our conversation in the lounge car because she needed the table. We tried to do just that, but there weren’t three seats together. I was going to let them talk and go back to our seat, but they decided to come back, too. So he just sat across the aisle till those passengers came back from lunch. He shared that he’d been diagnosed at one time as schizoid and having depression, bipolar disorder, and eventually Asperger’s. I don’t know if all or some of those were misdiagnoses, but he said since he started lysine supplements 5 years ago, he doesn’t have any symptoms of any of those conditions. It warrants further investigation for me and others I know. I’ll be reading some research papers in the near future. We also talked about neurofeedback, grad school, psychology, medicine, his wise wife, education, pharmaceuticals, and other subjects. It was a full and pleasant two and half hours.


BTW, we were almost to Albuquerque before we figured out how to lower the foot rest and that there are also leg rests. Sheesh. At least we know for the return trip.

 

Sabbatical

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (4)

I was at my friend Tom’s church this past Sunday. He taught about fasting and taking time out of your life for God. I have fasted before, but not much, so I’d like to instill that as a somewhat regular practice. I’m not sure what form it will take, but I’ll be praying about what God wants me to do in that area. Of course, often I would be fasting from food for a short time, but we can fast from other things, too. Tom said to think about things that we allow to come before God and to consider fasting from those things (e.g. Facebook, TV, etc.), too.

He also talked about taking sabbaticals, which he does pretty often. It doesn’t have to be like professors who take a year or two off. It can be as little as an afternoon and can increase from there if you feel called or just want to try more time. I’ve done it for part of a day before, but this is another area I’d like to make a regular occurrence in my spiritual walk. If you’re not sure what I mean by sabbatical in the Christian sense, it’s really about taking time out of your life to devote to God. It’s NOT a vacation. Vacations are about me and my desires. Sabbaticals are about connecting on a deeper level with God. The focus is on Him, not me. When I did it before, I went to a state park, turned off my phone, and just had my Bible and a journal with me. Yours may not look just like mine, but the idea is to separate yourself from the “world” in order to really concentrate on God and what He might be trying to share with you. It can just be you worshiping Him, learning/reading about Him, or whatever else He leads you to do.

I know that both of these may be a challenge for me. I’m not the most disciplined of people. I’m very mood/emotion driven. (I even forget to eat if I don’t actually feel hungry.) So, I will need to figure out how to work WITH my crazy brain rather than against it. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open to them!

If you’re interested I’m including the link to Tom’s message: Message

 

Life Changes Galore

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, my life path is changing once again. I'm finishing the MA in Speech Language Pathology without the clinical component. This means I'll have the degree but can't practice. Why, you ask? Well, having the Masters still shows that I have the knowledge and can complete Masters level work. This might help me trying to get into another plan. I'm looking into counseling/life coaching. Anyone who knows me will say, "Well, duh." Yeah, I know. What can I say, I'm stubborn.

 

At the same all of this has been happening, Matthias and I decided not to have contact for the time being. The idea is to give is time and room to move on. I believe it was the right thing to do, but that doesn't stop the tears from flowing at times. He's an amazing man and a great friend. I hope we can be friends in the future.

 

I have been majorly neglecting this blog since grad school started. Now that I'm not doing as much, I'd like to return to some of my other interests, such as this website, my photography, crochet, making jewelry, etc. I'm in the process of finding a full time job so I'm not so broke all the time. If I can get one, I might be able to save enough money to go to Disney with my friend and her kids. I would LOVE that so much. Those kids are really great.

 

 

Hopefully, this is the first of many blogs. I will do my best to keep up and stay interesting.

Life-changing Natural Beauty Tips

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I have tried a few new natural beauty tips recently that I am in LOVE with. I wanted to make sure I shared them with anyone who might be interested.


Tumeric Oil : This stuff is amazing! I had some old scars and new wounds. At night, I used a very thin layer on just the areas needing attention. Within 2 or 3 days, there was a remarkably noticeable decrease in their appearance. I was astounded. I have to warn you that this stuff will stain any fabric yellow (and skin till it's thoroughly washed). That's why I used it at night and made sure not to sleep on my stomach. If you know you'll end up there, I'd recommend covering the areas with a bandaid or something to protect your linens. I haven't had the occasion to try it on pimples yet (I hardly get any now that I've decreased wheat intake and stopped using soap/shampoo), but I will assume that it will do wonders on them, too. You should be able to purchase it in a health food store. If not, don't forget the web.


Cornstarch & Milk of Magnesia: Ok, these blew my mind like you would not believe. I have extremely oily skin. I mean, I'm shiny within 20 minutes of washing my face in the morning. I will say it has improved a little since eschewing soap, but it's still bad news bears. You can imagine the kind of havoc that wreaks on makeup. (Yes, I've tried mineral makeup. I like it, but I want fuller coverage and I don't like the mess.) By lunch, I look like I'm wearing a brown/yellow oily mask. NOT attractive.


First tip: use milk of magnesia under you foundation. What?! I tried it. It really works. You can put it all over or just on the problem areas. It's easier to apply if you put it in a smaller squeeze bottle or something. You can use cotton balls, your fingers, or whatever you're most comfortable with. If you use primer (I always do for special occasions or nights out on the town - as if I get those), you apply the MOM under that. Seriously, NO SHINE ALL DAY.


Second tip (my fave from the last TEN YEARS): Use cornstarch to set your makeup. No joke. This changed my life. First of all, many of the more expensive setting powders are similar to cornstarch or are exactly cornstarch. Second, when it's not cornstarch, it's most likely some awful chemical that in ten years will be discovered as horribly carcinogenic or something. As with any natural ingredient, you may want to test to make sure you're not allergic. Let me tell you: I used this and very late that night, my make up looked like I had just put it on. I didn't even have that crazy eyeshadow crease mash up. Amazing. It's not necessary, but I dusted the cornstarch under and over the eyeshadow for extra protection. You will NOT believe how amazing this is. 

SORRY!

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I just saw that I haven't written anything since September of LAST YEAR.

Needless to say, I’ve been a little preoccupied with grad school. Things aren’t going too badly. I’ve had my share of meltdowns and had to be talked off of ledges here and there, but I hear that’s normal.

My love of phonetics and accents has been reinforced, but I’ve also expanded another area of interest: voice. I’ve always liked voice-related things, but in our class this summer, I was exposed to a broader idea of what that encompasses. I’m fascinated by all of it. So, I still want to work with accent modification and voice, but it’s really about what God wants. I have a feeling He gave me those interests to lead me in that direction. I also seem to understand those areas better than, say Specific Language Impairment in children.

I’m about halfway through the program and still alive. So far, so good.

Starting the Torture?

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I've started my graduate classes as of last Monday. So far, so good. I'm nervous that I'll be able to get all the reading done,  but I know that I have God on my side. I think I'll be ok if I can keep up on the reading (A LOT), but the key is that I no longer procrastinate since I started neurofeedback. I'm hoping to find a provider up here since I can't get it from my mom anymore. Of course, if I'd been consistent with her, I probably wouldn't need it anymore. Maybe with someone else, I'll be more consistent. At least, that's the hope.

I still don't have a job, but I'm not too worried yet. I have spoken to a few people about tutoring and had the meeting with the ClubZ director. Hopefully, with that and putting up flyers, I can get 10 or so students a week. I shouldn't need more than that. In fact, if that's mostly my own students (instead of though a referral company), I will definitely not need that much.

 

Feeling God Through Others

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 11:39 PM Comments comments (1)

I don’t know if I mentioned it or not, but I was a camp counselor last month for a week. It was an amazing time. I don’t want to try to write about everything that happened; I almost feel like that would diminish it somehow. However, I do want to share what God showed me through some of the amazing people with whom I had the privilege to spend a week.

 

First, I want to share a little about my small group. There were three of us counselors (I was the oldest by an unspeakable number of years) and 10 campers. From the first activity we did as a group, we were totally bonded. I have been going to camp as a camper or counselor since I was12. In all those years, I have never experienced a group like this. They were so open with each other, trusting, caring, encouraging, honest, etc. I cannot find words sufficient to express my awe of them and their hearts.

 

I told them a little of how God touched me through them, but I’d like to share a little more. I have always had a VERY strong defense mechanism of not feeling things that I deem too painful, sometimes even just mildly unpleasant. You can imagine how well that’s worked out. I have worked onit with a few therapists and pastors, not to mention much prayer. I’m certainly better than I was, but noted a few years ago that because of this auto-defense, I have trouble having much compassion for others. I’m afraid that if I let myself feel for others too much, I will just be undone 24/7. Think about it: war, famine, torture, rape, any kind of abuse, the troubles my friends/family may be going through, etc. I feel things very deeply, so the idea of letting myself feel anything for anyone on that list or beyond just seems to be too much for me to uphold, even with God’s help. I’ve just been too scared to allow it. I’ve always felt I would drown in an overwhelming flood of despair. Having a past with severe depression doesn’t help. If that’s where I was when I was turning off my feelings, what would happen if I allowed myself to feel for others? I’m not saying I’m a frozen, unfeeling robot. I just don’t let myself feel enough to risk that “coming undone” that terrifies me so.

 

In some of our small group meetings, the campers shared things that they were struggling with. They were willing to be open and raw with us. God absolutely spoke to me through them. I felt so much for them, it could only come out in tears several times throughout the week. I do NOT like to cry in public, but I cried every day that week. And every time (but one I’ll address later) was feeling true compassion for someone else. God used them to push through that wall and help me to see that feeling compassion will not result in me losing it and ending up in the psych ward. I’m not saying that I’m totally over it, but these wonderful, sweet, transparent campers have shown me so much. I cannot thank them enough.

 

Another privilege I experienced was talking to Lilia andLeo. Lilia and I were actually campers together years ago, though I’m not sure that we ever really hung out together. I always liked her, but God has done some amazing things in her since those days. You can see it in her face, like she glows with His light or something. She and her husband Leo (who’s from Columbia where they both live) were there to lead worship, and WOW. They are very much walking with the Lord in the Holy Spirit and are very open about what they’ve learned, their struggles, etc. The freedom they have in Him is palpable and incredibly inspiring. I lost count of how many campers want to go to Columbia to work with them. Their joy in the Lord is infectious and makes you long for more in your own life.

 

Finally, the only time I cried over something about myself. The last day, after the campers are gone, the counselors get together before we all take off in our separate directions and eat at Wendy’s. We were about to drive off when someone stopped me because one of my tires was flat. I don’t make a lot of money and I was over 3 hours from home. I was also ridiculously tired. If you’ve never counseled camp (especially Sr. High X), you may not know that at the end, you are completely drained spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Anything that happens is too much, so I started to cry, and was really at a loss. I just shut down. I started to get my luggage out so we could get to the spare, which also ended up being flat. Without the slightest prompt or delay, several folks jumped right in and started caring for me. Laura lent kind words and a shoulder for me to cry on. Logan, Jim, Leo (I may have missed someone since I was busy blubbering) right away assessed the situation and got  enough air in my tire to get me to the tire place that Randy suggested. If the tire couldn't have helf air, I have no doubt they would have found a way to get my car to the tire place. Then Lilia offered to ride with me (I couldn’t stop crying). At first, my tears were about feeling defeated, lost, hopeless. (As things happened to several counselor cars, we began to feel it was Satan trying to ruin our week since he couldn’t touch us during.) As all those beautiful people reached out to me in love, the tears became, and still are, those of … I’m not sure how to describe it… a most deeply felt sense of love, caring, feeling cherished, and many other words that are insufficient. Every time I think about this or talk about it,the tears come again, so I know it wasn’t just being tired. [You need to know that I have to repeatedly stop typing as I wipe my tears even now] It was God showing His love for me through these incredible people and how much they loved me in that moment. It was God’s desire for me to feel something this overwhelming that lead to my tire and spare both being flat while I was still there. I am a VERY verbal person (anyone can tell you), but trying to put this into words that are full enough truly eludes me and may always. Nevertheless, I am left with example after example of God’s love for me. I will never be able to thank Him enough for giving me that nor my friends for listening to His promt.

 

Moving on up?

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (1)

I’m not very consistent with my blog, but that’s not news.

 

I have been accepted to Kent State University for gradschool in speech language pathology! WHOO HOO! I was less than thrilled atfirst. I could only think about what I’d have to leave: my church, friends,family, etc. It took me a few days to get to the happy part. I’m still sadabout what I’m leaving, but my pastor reminded me (more than once) that this isabout additions to my life, not subtractions. I went to KSU undergrad, so I knowthe area, still have good friends there, and a church and pastor that I love. Notto mention the fact that the program at Kent some serious advantages. My primaryinterest is in accent reduction (especially with those learning English as asecond language), and Kent has an English Proficiency Clinic! In addition, theyprovide teletherapy, which fits right in with an idea I have for the field (no,I’m not sharing). How is it even possible that OSU has neither of thoseservices? Oh yeah, they only care about research.

 

I’ve also been trying to figure out what to do abouthousing. I believe this is where God is calling me, and as Matthias keepsreminding me, where God leads, He provides. I’m not worried, but I can’t justsit here and wait for a house to fall in my lap, so I’m looking at the options andwaiting for God’s leading. A friend is sending me classifieds from Kent, I’vethought about applying to be an RA (yuck on so many levels, but I’d do it), andthe other day, I “happened” to think about renting a house with a roommate (thankyou, Lord). I have one now, so why it wasn’t my first thought has to be fromthe stress of all that has to get done. Anyway, I started looking on craigslistas a place to start. There are some VERY promising leads there. In fact, onelooks so good, I had to email her right away. It’s a house, so I’d have a yard,and no neighbors banging around above or below me. I’d be renting a room andsharing the other space with her. She’s a little older than me, which is great.[I’m pretty sure I’d be locked up for homicide within a month if I have to livewith someone just starting a college career (yes, I said career, so what?).] Theroom would be available sometime in august; how fortuitous. There are a fewother places I’m going to call. Some even have pets, which I would LOVE. The affectionand stress relief without the cost and extra work (except to help).

 

What about income, you say? Not sure yet. I’m hoping againstall hope (praying) that I can get enough grants, scholarships, whatever to notneed to work. In the event that doesn’t happen, the company I tutor for hasbranches all over the US, so I put in an email on the site that I’d be movingto that area. We’ll see. The money’s good, but with driving, it would reallymake it hard to have time for my classes; not impossible, just REALLY hard. Godwill provide.

 

Of course, the best part is that Matthias is talking aboutmoving to Kent, so we’d finally be in the same city after 2 ½ years! That wouldbe super. Of course, I’ll be studying a lot, but we’ll be together.

Catching Up

Posted on April 8, 2011 at 3:12 PM Comments comments (2)

I haven't disappeared; just haven't been disciplined enough to write!

 

Deodorant update: I've moved from the liquid salt crystal spray for deodorant to the baking soda/cornstarch mix. The liquid just wasn’t enough for me, but I still use it for feet, etc. I did modify the previous powder recipe I’d posted. It called for 1 part baking soda to 6 parts cornstarch, but I had to increase the baking soda. You have to find what’s right for you, but since baking soda can irritate some people, I’d be cautious. I know it’s not more than 50/50.

 

I bought something called soap nuts (aka soap berries) that are AMAZING! I’ll write more about it later, but if you’ve been on my Facebook page at all, you may have already followed the link I posted. They wash your clothes WITHOUT chemicals and for WAY cheaper than detergent. I paid about $25 for 2lbs on Ebay and that is supposed to clean 320 LOADS! Seriously, get them. In some climates/seasons, static is still a problem, so I’m getting the dryer balls.

Additional Results

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I’ve noticed a few other results I’d like to share. Well, really, I don’t know that I WANT to share, but I think I should. ;)

 

Wheat:

I have been remarkably good about avoiding wheat and starting to rid myself of other grains. My respiratory issues are all but gone! I'm not having to use either inhaler, and am doing very well. I did have a few wheat items here and there, and thought nothing of it. Then my uncle asked if I’d been more flatulent (to use a nice word) since eating the wheat products. I HAD! So, eating the little amount of wheat I had, did have an effect on me right away. Hmmm…

 

HFCS:

I had a craving for Coke. While I try to avoid giving in to cravings, I recognize that sometimes you just need to. Before I was even halfway through the Coke, I started having stomach cramps! (Shades of McDonald’s?)

 

Now the question is: Have I learned my lesson? Only time will tell. I’ve definitely learned my lesson when it comes to McDonald’s, but it didn’t happen the first time I had trouble after eating there, so I may have to suffer more in the other areas before I accept things. I’m ok with that. I just have to know that if I choose to drink a Coke or eat something with wheat, I will suffer. Sometimes the food is worth the suffering, sometimes not. So far, I’m good at deciding what’s worth it and what’s not. The other thing to consider is the fact that I don’t want to put others out of joint trying to adjust to my new ways. If I go somewhere and they’re serving a wheat product with nothing else, I’m gonna eat it. If there are other things to eat or ways to adapt, I will do that. For instance, a few weeks ago I went to a camp meeting and we had pizza. I had brought my sourdough bread, so I just took the topping of a few slices and put it on the sourdough. Voila! I could also have just eaten the topping alone. And there were other things to eat, so I ate more of those things than I would have in the past, which means I didn’t eat as much pizza anyway.

No Wheat, No Cravings

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (5)

So, if you don’t know, I’ve been sick with a respiratory thing since the 1st week in January. No, I’m not kidding. Needless to say, I’m sick of being sick. I’ve been reading a LOT about the over-use of wheat in the Standard American Diet (SAD, if you can believe it), and had already decided to try to cut that out. I read further and found out that too much wheat can contribute to Candida issues (which I have in abundance), IBS, and respiratory issues. Whadya know? Also, the starch in wheat turns to sugar in the body, which turns to fat, if not properly used & processed (which my body doesn't do, thanks you PCOS). Like I need more of that. Lastly, because of my insulin resistance, I’m supposed to be eating very few carbohydrates anyway. By cutting out wheat (eventually all grains), I’m limiting my carb intake drastically. I know, most of you are saying what I said: How can I live without bread, pasta, etc.?! Turns out, that eating all that wheat MAKES you want more! I have been focused on ridding my diet of wheat for the last week. I have not noticed one single craving for cookies, bread, cereal (which I could’ve eaten 3 times a day), or pasta. NOT ONE. This can’t be an accident.

 

Of course, I’m also trying to be more diligent about avoiding hfcs; I can’t remember the last Coke I had. I drink lots of water, so it’s lucky I like water. However, I know some people feel like they have to choke it down, and even I want something different sometimes. To address that, I’ve been using the drink mix packets, but there is a caveat: they contain aspartame. I’d like to avoid that, too, but for now, I’m choosing the lesser of two evils. I’m sure there’s some way to have the flavor addition to water without the sweetener, or at least with something different to sweeten; I just haven’t found it yet. I WILL! A tip: the single serve packets are a waste of money. You get about 20 “servings” (I never use their recommendation, too strong) in a box that costs about $2.50. You can buy the tubs for $2.40, which has 40 servings! I use an old pill bottle to carry the contents of one or two little tubs from the canister. Voila! Much cheaper, cleaner, and I get the amount of flavor I want.

 

With both of these changes, it’s noteworthy that I feel sated with less food, have fewer cravings, eat smaller snacks, and don’t even WANT junk food. I guess treating my body as a temple is a good idea. Huh.

Homemade Deodorant

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

That’s right, I’m looking into making my own. The Tom’s of Maine gave me a rash, so that’s been dumped. Some sites I’m reading express concern over the ingredient propylene glycol, which that deodorant uses. I already had the sea salt/water spray, so I’m using that with lavender oil as I research. It works really well. ’ve found a few alternatives, so I’ll list the different kinds and a simple recipe with the title being the link to the original.

 

Powder

This is the easiest. All you need is baking soda and cornstarch. The site I’m citing recommends 1 part bs to 6 parts cs, because straight baking soda can irritate some people. I made a foot powder from these ingredients years ago, and it was SUPER. I may have to make some more.

1. In a reusable and resealable container, mix 1 part baking soda with 6 parts cornstarch.

2. Close the container and shake vigorously for about a minute, to thoroughly mix the two powders.

3. Then dab a small amount to the skin of your armpits with a soft cotton cloth, cotton ball, or cosmetic applicator. Apply as if you were lightly applying baby powder or cosmetic powder.

Cream

3 Tablespoons shea butter

3 Tablespoons baking soda

2 Tablespoons corn starch

2 Tablespoons cocoa butter

2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)

Essential Oil (I used ylang yang and orange)

[She] melted all the ingredients (except the oils) and gave it a good stir. This only took about 30 seconds in the microwave. Then added the oils, stirred again, and poured it in a jar, then placed it in the fridge to set. This recipe filled the jar in my hand, which is a 1/4 pint.

 

Liquid

2 tsp. zinc-oxide powder

2/3 cup witch-hazel extract

2 tbsp. aloe-vera juice

30-40 drops essential oil(s)

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir the zinc-oxide powder into the witch-hazel extract, and add the aloe-vera juice and essential oil(s). Fill an 8-oz. dark-glass spray bottle with the fluid.

 

Solid

I have a couple suggestions to add to this recipe. You might want to add a little beeswax if you want it a little more solid, especially since coconut oil melts at 76. You would need to melt the beeswax first, then add the powers and stir in; take off heat and add any essential oil if you want fragrance, and stir; leave to set or you can even put it in the fridge. Also, if you’re concerned about talc, use arrow root powder instead of cornstarch.

 

Also try:

1 1/2 tbspn beeswax (yellow is best)

1/2 tbspn cocoa butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

15 drops white thyme essential oil

15 drops rosemary essential oil

25 drops lavender essential oil

3 drops castor oil

Directions:

Melt beeswax in a glass jar standing in hot water, add the cocoa butter, and when it has melted, add the oils. Stir to mix thoroughly, then pour into a clean, discarded deodorant stick case and leave to cool and set.

 

All of these are super options; it’s just a matter of choosing which type is best for you. I’ve always been a solid person, but I’m liking the spray. I may stick with this for a while then try a solid. Let me know what you think if you try any!

Fasting

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I don’t know that much about Biblical fasting. I’ve only done it once, but I do remember it being an experience I want to repeat. I’m in a Bible study with some women at church going through a workbook based on the book, The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian. The 6th week is about prayer and knowing God’s will. As I’m going through just the first day, I realize part of why I have such a hard time knowing His will. I DON’T BRING THINGS BEFORE HIM IN PRAYER! Seems pretty simple, huh? I don’t mean to say that I don’t pray, but how can I expect to hear Him if I’m not VERY familiar with His voice? Knowing His will is about being in strong communion with Him (prayer) and knowing what He’s already revealed to us (in His Word). I don’t mean perfunctory prayer before meals or in small group for those present. Paul told us to pray without ceasing, right? (1 Thessalonians 5:7) That is more than a short chat here and there. Isn’t communication the foundation of any human relationship? How much more does God deserve from us? So, how can I improve communication with my God? Obviously, I’m seeing that I need to put more time into being with Him. However, I also want to improve the quality of that time. I think fasting is one way to do this. Don’t forget, fasting is always connected with prayer and being in the Word.

 

Why fast? Since it was a common practice in both the Old and New Testament (including Jesus), it seems pretty obvious. Other reasons (full list with additional scripture here):

  • To minister to others Isaiah 58:6-7
  • Intercession Exodus 24:18
  • Humbling oneself Psalms 35:13
  • Seeking God’s will Ezra 8:21-23
  • Repentance and confession of sin Nehemiah 1:4-7
  • Mourning another's death 2 Samuel 1:12; 3:35
  • Out of concern for another's safety Daniel 6:18
  • When faced with threats on one's own life Esther 4:3; 9:1-3

How’s it done? HUMBLY! Prepare your heart through confession, etc. The length of time is something you can ask God about since it may be different each time. It’s clear that fasting isn’t something you shout about from the mountaintops.“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:17-18 


There are two types of fasts:

  • Partial: fasting from one particular item (sugar, meat, etc.)
  • Absolute: fasting from all food (sometimes also from all liquids, which you MUST be sure that God is calling you to before attempting)

A word to the wise: don’t do it if you have an eating disorder, a major medical condition or are pregnant or nursing. Fasting in any of those situations is directly opposed to the commandments that Jesus sited as most important:

Jesus replied:“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

                                                                        Matthew22: 37-40

There’s pretty thorough guide on the Campus Crusade site.

 

What I’ve heard from others who have ever fasted or fast on regular basis is that you are totally focused on God during that time. Would anyone like to share their experience with fasting?

 

 

Maybe Raw Food?

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 4:34 PM Comments comments (0)

My friend Angie sent me a link to a woman, name Natasha St. Michael, who CURED her PCOS through diet (video). I don’t know what to think, but I’m definitely curious. I’ve watched a few of her other videos, and PCOS is not the only thing she’s reversed. I know anecdotal evidence is not conclusive, but NO ONE has EVER reversed PCOS, let alone the other medical issues she had and no longer has. She has absolutely no symptoms anymore; no irregular period, no cysts on her ovaries, no hormone imbalance, no insulin resistance, no acne, etc. It’s hard to fight those results. Her doctors are astounded. I already want to do the whole foods thing. Once I’m established with that, maybe I’ll look into raw food, but that’s a bit far for me at this point. In one of her other videos, she talks about choosing one thing at a time to change. I think I’ll concentrate on really ridding my diet of hfcs, not just reducing it.

 

On a separate note, I made my own moisturizer last night. I got the idea from a comment by an esthetician on the paleo site (man, I wish I could get hold of her for more questions). She makes hers with “organic extra-virgin olive oil, aloe vera gel, and a little tea-tree oil.” I had everything but the aloe vera gel, so I got some (clear, not green), and made the moisturizer last night. I also added lavender and rosemary oil. I can’t seem to do anything without lavender and rosemary is another good oil for acne. My skin was really soft, but we’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Not Quite Paleo

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m still not sure how to proceed, but I’m learning more. I remain skeptical about some aspects of the paleo, but apparently, I’m not alone. For instance, they say no potatoes, legumes, or grains, but there is quite a bit of evidence that both paleo and modern hunter/gatherer (HG) groups all these things. In fact, a mortar and pestle was discovered at a site that claims to be 30K years old, so they obviously used grains. Many HG groups ate (and eat) various tubers, including potatoes. There is little evidence that they consumed dairy products, so I may be ridding myself of that at some point, but I see no reason to completely avoid grains and legumes. In fact, there are several proponents who are totally fine with all of the above. It really depends on the type of food and what’s been done to it. I do believe we have WAY too much wheat (and other grains) in Standard American Diet (SAD), so I want to start limiting that. The other thing to know is that the wheat we eat now is very different from the wheat of even 100 years ago (wheat then had 7 chromosomes, now it has more than 100!); not to mention that we process it differently. Also, the kind of wheat that was used in Biblical times is called einkorn (emmer wheat is what is used in SAD), which is what is used to make sourdough bread. How interesting that those with celiac disease can eat sourdough with no problem.

 

I do think the paleo proponents have the right idea, but their focus should be more far-reaching. Modern HG groups also do not suffer from “diseases of affluence,” but they do harvest some grains, eat some dairy, etc. It makes more sense to me (based on what I’m reading) to say that a healthy, Temple Way diet should be mostly plant-based, supplemented by grain, dairy (maybe), and meat. The challenge will be actually carrying through with it!

Ecumenical Patriarch Update

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I have some friends who wrote to me to let me know they've been Orthodox for 13 years. I had no idea, since i haven't seen them since the first time I went to college. They gave me some good information to correct my previous post, so I wanted to make sure to include it:

...the Ecumenical Patriarch is a Pope of sorts, but he is not at the top of the pyramid as in Roman circles. He is the first among equals with regard to several other patriarchs of the same rank. They have jurisdiction over varying geographic areas. For example there is a Patriarch in Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Moscow to name a few. Rome was once numbered among these but due to sin and death in the world the church divided and has yet to be healed though we pray for it daily.

Thank you, Chris, for the information. I remain fascinated by this man.

Ever Diligent

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM Comments comments (1)

I have now finally learned the error of not being diligent about reading food labels. I knew this , but I had a rude awakening. I bought Sara Lee whole wheat bread, thinking it would be super healthy, etc. Everyone knows that whole wheat is the best kind of bread. Imagine my chagrin when I read the label and the THIRD ingredient was hfcs?! How depressing.

More Journals

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM Comments comments (1)

I have done two journals using the coptic method, which I really like. See below.


This first one is my fave so far, mostly because I love the paper design so much. I'm also please that I was able to get pages lined.


I'm also please that I was able to get pages lined, and had a nice paper for the inside cover that compliments the outside.


I also had to include a little design on the pages themselves.


This is my third journal and second coptic; it will be a gift for my friend Angie. It's blank on the inside, so she can use it as a sketchbook if she wants. This time, I used a different pattern on the front and back because I didn't have enough of one or the other.









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