Wrapping It Up:  October

I've only been able to get a few extra stolen moments downstairs in my "office" and while away on vacation to try to get out a few posts this month.  I  again would love to say this is my new habit but I have no idea what each day or week to come will hold for me so I'm just taking it one day at a time....and hoping for the best- whatever that may be.

My Writing World

Once again it has been sparse, but I've still managed to work on blogging a bit.  Have you seen this month's posts?

Peaceful Reflections - October

Cold & Flu Season

Reflections on Homeschooling

Vacation In Florida

I did manage to catch up on critiques for my writing group while on vacation, but I still have not touched a manuscript of my own - not even on vacation- but an idea for one certainly sparked in my mind just today as I sat reading to my five-year old. And since I haven't even thought about a single idea for at least a month or two,  that's really something!

I had ignored the reminders on Facebook that PiBoIdMo 2015 is coming up. I just don't see myself being able to commit to the time at all. But once that idea sparked in my mind this morning for a  picture book, I thought about it.  Maybe I can take part? Just not to the full extent I have tried in past years. I guess there's no harm trying...except for the possibility of getting my hopes up and then frustrated.  So I really need to reconsider my goals. ...continue reading "October Wrap Up"


Well if we were really doing 30 days of the whole 30 we'd be within a week of completion.... but alas we are not. It is for the duration of Lent... that's probably a good thing as with day 22 passed us by yesterday, I'm still craving chocolate, sugar, and wow.... haven't had one in over 8 years but I really wanted a Pepsi the other day! LOL.... haven't given in to that one in over 8 years so I think I'm pretty safe but I can understand better when people say they still crave a cigarette sometimes even after years of quitting.

We are still making our way through this thing.  My husband's clothes are loser, my youngest son doesn't even ask for processed snacks or yogurt anymore, my older son doesn't have as many moments of irritability (he wouldn't admit that I'm sure) and me.... well... I feel I'm handling stress better and my clothes might fit a little differently though weight was not and will not be a goal for me.  Despite a week FULL of stress I did not cave in to yelling or eating the bucketful of chocolate I so desperately wanted - which should tell us that it's NOT an actual NECESSARY coping method....  desired, yes....but not necessary.

I still haven't done well with exercise goals.  I pick up the 3 lb. weights once in awhile...have done a few modified pushups...but that's about it.  We will be going away at the end of the week and I am telling myself I will start back up on the bike and treadmill after that.  My husband has started working out again though and I am thrilled with that!  🙂

Week 4 Menu:


Breakfast:   Scrambled Eggs with ham, mixed vegetables and chicken broth (to drink), guacamole

Lunch: As Always, Each day is Leftovers or Fried Eggs

Supper:  Shepard's Pie (wonderful recipe from Well Fed!), Paleo Creamed Spinach, Salad with dressing, chicken broth


Breakfast: Sausage Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust, guacamole, Chicken Broth (to Drink)

Supper: Leftovers (I need to make sure the fridge is clean when we leave for the weekend!)


Breakfast:  Sausage Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust(I'm making a double batch on Tuesday), guacamole, Chicken Broth (to Drink)

Supper: Cauliflower Soup w/ shrimp and broccoli


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, ham, veggies and chicken broth

The Rest of The Week:    We will be at the 2014 St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference....   This will be a little tricky since the rest of the crowd will be following the traditional Orthodox Lenten fast and we can not cook in our rooms... soooo

We have spoken to the chef.  He is very willing to provide us with at least baked sweet potatoes and/or steamed vegetables for most meals and there is usually always a salad and fruit.  The chef is also willing to heat up some soups that I'm going to take with us (Seafood Chowder, Sweet Sausage Soup and Paleo Chili which I made double batches of the last time they were on the menu and stuck them in the freezer to take with us for the conference).  We will also have LOTS of snack type foods in a cooler or a fridge if we can get access:  guacamole, olives, applesauce (unsweetened), hard-boiled eggs, fruit, RX Bars, Primal Pacs, etc.   We will eat our veggies, etc. in the dining hall with other families and the chef will put our soups in thermoses for us to eat later in our rooms.  It wouldn't be cool to eat our meat soups in front of other families who are fasting from meat.

I bet you've noticed I've included a lot of chicken broth above.  I've made my own chicken broth for years, but I'm making it more often now and we've been drinking it. (It's delicious by the way).  I've been reading a lot about how good and nutritious chicken broth made from the bones really is - even for healthy teeth - that I've started having it on the stove or in the crock pot almost daily now.

So....  I thought I'd include a recipe here for chicken broth.  Note the variations...every batch is a little different!

Homemade Chicken Broth

  • Servings: 2-4 quarts
  • Time: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 1 Chicken Carcass   OR  at least 24 or more chicken leg bones along with any extra fat, organ meat, etc. that is available (you can use it immediately after roasting a chicken or put the carcass in the freezer to save until a day you have time to make broth!)
  • 1-2 yellow onions OR 1-2 cups leeks
  • 3-4 stalks celery with leaves
  • 1-3 carrots
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar (this helps leach the minerals out of the bones but does NOT affect the flavor)
  • basil (to taste)
  • parsley (to taste)
  • Chicken seasoning (to taste) - this is just seasoning I use on chicken when baking , etc and is completely optional
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Directions:   Put bones in large stockpot OR crock pot  .  Fill pot with water and add other ingredients.  I always put in onions or leeks and celery.  Other veggies are optional.  Play around with what you have on hand.  Play around with the amounts to see what you like.  Bring the pot to a boil.  Turn heat down to simmer.  Let simmer for a minimum of 12 hours (sometimes I get some to drink after 6-8 hours, but if I'm going to freeze it for later I wait until at least 12 hours.  Other sources recommend simmering for 24+ hours).  I usually let it simmer all day, turn it off at night and bring it to a boil and let it simmer several hours the next day.  If it's in the crock pot, one can do a perpetual broth.  Simply take out up to a quart a day, add another quart of water and proceed the same way for up to a week.  It's so incredibly easy!   ENJOY!



In addition to learning a great deal about horrible ingredients in our food years ago, my family learned a great deal about conventional medicine vs. natural medicine.  We are no longer supporters of vaccines and other conventional means of preventing or treating illness.  Now that doesn't mean we don't support conventional medicine at all.  It has its place, especially in emergent situations.  But my  point in this post is that there are natural methods to prevent and treat illness that do not contain the harmful chemicals laden in conventional methods -  chemicals that actually harm our immune systems and cause disease.  Therefor, this post is about more natural remedies for treatment of flu that will not harm.*

The first thing,of course, is to remember that food plays an integral role in your health.  If you are eating junk, your body will act like you are eating junk.  If you are eating good quality whole foods, your body will thank you and your chances of getting sick are greatly lessened!  If you do get sick, chances are the illness will be much shorter in duration and less severe.  I, myself, can boast that though I was constantly ill with strep throat and ear infections through most of my childhood and early adulthood, I have not dealt with these illnesses for the past 7 years!  Strep was something I would often contract at least 3-4 times per winter and several times during the rest of the year.  This dramatic change in my immune system is not short of amazing.

But what can you do if you do get the flu?? (And this is possible whether you get the flu vaccine or not...I advise against the vaccine...but that's for another post someday)

  • First and foremost:  REST as much as possible.  I know all too well that sometimes life just doesn't give us this option...but it is the most important thing to do if you can.  Taking one day off work may prevent you from missing an entire week later.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Continue taking extra rest and doing extra things to boost your immune system for at least three days after symptoms fade.
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.  Sugar wreaks havoc on the immune system! This includes fruit juice too!
  • Eliminate Dairy while you are sick.  Dairy promotes mucous formation.  This is beneficial to avoid, especially, for those children who get a lot of ear infections due to blocked eustachian tubes from congestion.
  • Eliminate caffeine while you are sick.  Stimulants suppress your immune system.
  • Avoid omega 6 vegetable oils which also suppress the immune system. (canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and soybean oils)
  • Vitamin C!  Make sure the vitamin C you select contains a large supply of bioflavanoids.  This indicates the vitamin is coming from natural sources.  Large doses are a must for treatment.  The vitamin C protocol given to me by a naturopath was to take 1-2 grams (1000-2000 mgs).  Follow this with 1000 more after an hour.  Continue this until your bowels have reached intolerance level(meaning loose stools) because only then will you know that you have enough vitamin C in your body to fight the illness.  The following day you are to take two less than what it took you to reach intolerance level.  Continue for as many days as you have symptoms.  For example, if it takes you 5 grams to reach intolerance, then for the next few days you would take 3 grams.  Each person is different and each occasion of illness will be different for the amount needed.
  • Vitamin D3 -  Vitamin D3 is essential for your immune system.  Our family takes this all through the fall and winter months into early spring.  We take extra when experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  • Keep your sinuses clean!  You can do this with a neti pot or you can put some sea salt and baking soda(no more than an 1/8 tsp each) in your hand mixed with a bit of water and sniff through your nostrils.  The neti pot is easier. A Xylitol nasal wash is anti-bacterial and can fight bacteria in the sinus cavities and prevent secondary infections.
  • Take a hot bath for 20-30 minutes with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt.  This pulls out inflammation and will decrease muscle soreness and joint pain.
  • Drink PLENTY of water!!
  • Tea - Traditional Medicinals makes great teas for boosting your immune system and easing symptoms when ill as does the Yogi Tea brand.  I make my own tea by filling canning jar with lemon slices, ginger pieces and filling the remaining space with raw local honey.  When feeling a cold coming on, I simply take a spoonful or two and put it in a mug of hot water.  YUM!!!  Very soothing and delicious enough to have as a relaxing hot drink on a cold night regardless of absent symptoms! Tea, however, does not take the place of the water!
  • Drink HOMEMADE chicken broth, beef broth, turkey broth, onion soup or miso soup.
  • Eat lightly.  Heavy meals slow your digestion and interferes with the body's ability to fight off illness.
  • Add onion and garlic to your foods!  These are wonderful for the immune system!!
  • Put on clean pajamas every day.
  • Brush your teeth....OFTEN!! It is recommended to do so 5-10 times a day.  Your mouth is where the bacteria like to hang out and this is a good way to get them out of there!  Change your toothbrush as soon as you are better!
  • Change the sheets on your bed when you are better.
  • Keep a window open slightly to allow fresh air in or at least run a ceiling fan to circulate the stale air.
  • Use a Humidifier.
  • Gargle with raw apple cider vinegar.  You can just use vinegar or you can add it to warm salt water.
  • Remember there is a purpose for a fever.  As long as your fever is under 103 degrees, there is no need for alarm or to treat it.  A fever is the body's way of fighting the illness. Even for my child, I do not instantly treat a fever unless it seems to be causing distress (and is under 103).  Sometimes I will give something for fever at night only to ease sleep.  Rest is important too.

Homeopathic Remedies:  (I LOVE homeopathy!!)

  • Oscillococcinum -  We keep Oscillo around the house all the time.  My DH even takes it in his bag to work with him because it works best if you take it at the absolute moment you start experiencing symptoms.  Just follow the instructions on the label.  Try not to have anything in your mouth for 5-10 minutes before or after as that could interfere with the remedy's ability to perform well.  If you miss the first symptoms or don't get a chance to take the Oscillo within a few hours of onset, it most likely will not work as well.
  • Ferrum Phos 6x - This is for feverish flu symptoms that make you feel run down and cranky.  Most likely  you have sniffles and a snore throat.  Follow the instructions on the label.

Other Products for Immunity

  • Echinacea
  • Wellness Formula by Source Natural
  • Holy Basil Capsules
  • Elderberry Syrup
  • Planetary Herbals Three Spice Complex - great for sinus treatment!!
  • Ginsing

Have a few of these products on hand so that you have something when needed and can figure out what works for you.  Remember everyone is different and your body may not respond as well to something that works really well for someone else.

Hopefully this flu season finds you healthy and smiling!!  God Bless!

* I am not claiming to be a health practitioner.  I am not a medical doctor, conventional or naturopathic.  I am simply sharing with you what I have learned from homeopaths, naturopaths and other sources.


It's been awhile since I've posted...and when that happens I seem to put it off more and more because, well for one - lack of time and... I just can't decide what to post about.

Things are getting better. I've been fighting the depression after the miscarriage and I believe I am winning...but it is a slow process and now I am faced with overwhelming anxiety trying to catch up with everything I fell behind in.

But here's some of what's going on:

My toddler is reaching the milestone of being potty trained. He still has accidents, but most of the time he runs off to the bathroom on his own to use it all himself...calling me all excited like when he has accomplished the task! He gets 3 little pieces of candy... Sundrops -- very similar to M&Ms but without the artificial dyes and such.

My beloved daughter has been accepted to the college of her choice ... IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). It is a great school for her chosen Major (Criminology) and, I think, a good fit for her personality and personal needs. It helps, greatly, that the kitchen staff is very willing to work with her dietary needs in avoiding all the artificial ingredients necessary to stay healthy. It is also where her father and I met and fell in love. Visiting the college campus when we did was very beneficial to us... giving us time and a place to reconnect. I look forward to visting her there and meeting up with dear friends as we did the weekend she toured the campus.

My husband and son went hunting for junior season but did not get anything. This means the freezer still has room in it and that they will go out to face the cold in December in hopes of finding venison to nourish our bodies through the winter (after the advent fast of course).

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the advent fast. My heart and soul is not in it this year. We never, as a family, fast as much or with as much vigor for the advent fast as we do for the Great Lenten fast...but I do usually try to at least stay away from meats a good deal. I think this year we may have a bit more meat but will try to incorporate a few more vegan meals each week in addition to our usual fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays.

I have learned how to make perpetual broth....it is fabulous! I'm still not sure how to put in a link here, but I'll type the info:

It's from Nourishedkitchen.com If you put nourished kitchen and perpetual soup into your browser, you're sure to find it. http://nourishedkitchen.com/per[etual-soup-the-easiest-bone-broth-youll-make/

It's basically using chicken bones from roasting a whole chicken (which my family loves....just wish a chicken had 3 or 4 legs - haha! ) and using those bones in your crockpot, adding some s & p, some simple veggies and water and keeping it on ALL WEEK! Each day you take about half out, drink it or use it in a recipe or freeze it and add that much water back in. This is a continual process. I have lots of chicken broth in my freezer now and had great uses for it throughout the week.

Well, that's all I have time for today. Hopefully someone can benefit from the perpetual soup idea! Enjoy!