Wednesday, December 29, 2010

simple cures

here is a picture of a simple home remedy to a problem that has plagued me for over a month.
My foot has an extra long second toe- with a short first toe- but it is the metatarsals that cause the real problem (the long bones in the foot leading down to the toes). It is called Morton's toe and is nothing unusual- was a favorite look for toes of Greek statues and even the statue of liberty has the second long toe.

My problem comes in when I walk- all the weight that the big toe normally takes gets thrust upon the 2nd toe because it is longer, and the second toe isn't really built for this and can cause direct pain the ball joint of that foot. It can also cause the way you walk and balance to change- thus affecting the knees, hips, back, neck and head.

So because of that direct pain that makes me not want to walk on that toe- I went to see a podiatrist- he took an x-ray and gave me the name of it, and told me to buy some new balance shoes (which is the only brand of tennis shoes I wear, when you can talk me into wearing any shoes at all).

But because it is December, I had already over spent my budget (even included a new pair of boots for me), and because the kids are home all day, I decided not to buy the shoes yet and did some research online. The highest recommended cure for this was to pad the big toe as pictured- making it behave has if the big toe is long enough to take the weight it is supposed to and creating a much more balanced foot.

so I have been walking around all day with some gauze taped to my foot with medical tape- these are both items I had left over from several years ago.... and I love it. Not only can I walk with out pain, but my hips that have been killing me all of pregnancy have stopped hurting. I think I will repeat that again. My hips, which have been killing me for all of this pregnancy, have stopped hurting. I can move again!!!! I can walk again and wiggle and even nap now without my hips causing major pain.

I am so thankful for the internet and all the information it provides.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Adapting abilities of kids

Kids are amazingly adaptable. It is Christmas and because of behavioral challenges this year my kid got almost nothing for Christmas except socks- and they are thrilled. Socks are now the coolest thing to be wearing on your feet and sliding across our living room floor in. Socks make good bombs, and are a perfect place to hide your sister's candy cane. Even our puppy has decided he likes socks, usually though he prefers the worn and unwashed varieties.

What this shows to me is the adaptability and resilience children naturally possess. I am thrilled. This means that when reality hits home and all the cheep stuff from China is no longer lining our store shelves (for any of many numerous reasons) that the kids will still be happy with Christmas or birthdays.

The toys my kids did get were all second hand, but that makes no difference to them other then there is no store packing to slow down their play.

It is a good thing fun times and families do not depend on cheep oil. Kids and puppies are willing to have fun almost anywhere and under almost any condition (assuming they are healthy). They dance, march and make toys out of what ever is available.

How can we be as adaptable as our children?

Maybe we need to give up our preconceived notions of what a holiday or gift should be. Give up the notions that Christmas decorations come from a store, or that potato soup is not an acceptable holiday dinner. It is as acceptable as you make it. And we made it so last night with the addition of cheese and crackers, veggies and dips. Or it would do with the simple addition of fresh Christmas cookies.

There are so many ways in which a switch in our mindset is all that is needed to make things right. Maybe we should focus on doing and being rather then having. After all Christmas doesn't come from a store.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Going Green in baby steps

So, you have decided to "go green" for new year's. What does that mean? How do you do it?

The biggest component of going green is changing your mindset. You start to think about the impact of your actions upon future generations and their ability to live safely upon this earth.

Obvious things are to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we can. Then we take time to get informed on the best actions and purchases to make that have the smallest ecological impact on our earth over the next 7 generations.

But to make things simple for those just starting out here is my list of simple but important changes.

1. Recycle- get yourself a box/tote/bag and lable it recycling. If your community offers curb side recycling use it, if not learn your drop off points. (also it helps to know what they accept for recycling...there are often fliers available with this)

2. use less energy for house heating/cooling. Start by caring enough to turn off excess lights, close windows and doors all the way, insulating, using window coverings, and just plain turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater (winter only), in the summer put in shorts and turn it up, although I'd recommend open windows and lots of well placed fans for the best amount of airflow.

3. drive less by simply planning your errands and routes before time. If you reduce your trips to town by half that cuts your car emissions by 50% (and your gas bill). Also use opportunities to walk and take your bikes out to run errands.

4. buy used whenever possible/logical. Used clothes are often barely worn and at a much lower price, used toys are still new to your kids. Used furniture and small appliances are often good ideas too. some stores even often used house building/remodaling good. Look in your phone book and get your needs known, people are happy to share what they know is available.

5. think about every bit of trash you throw away. Ask yourself is there something I could do differently to avoid this throwing? I find that premade and fast food packaging often clog my garbage can, so I focus on cooking from scratch. I also changed out paper towels for rags, kleenexes for hankies and we now cloth diaper (although that choice was initially made more for allergies then environmental concerns).

6. Use natural cleaning products. I use vinegar and baking soda on most floors, bathrooms and other places that need scrubbed (I add essential oils for nice smells and germ killing). I also use 7th generation dish and laundry soap. For personal use, it is all natural soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste. Almost any product is available in a natural counter-part at a co-op or other natural foods store.

7. forget about perfect green lawns. You have my permission to focus your efforts instead of something that can be grown and then eaten. homegrown tomatoes and radishes are very satisfying to munch. If you need a lawn, let it grow as long as possible between mowing (about 4-5 inches is good) and then let nature fertilize your lawn with the falling leaves, just mow these right up. Or landscape in a way where no one will miss your lawn. Lots of food grow on pretty plants.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekened Wake

After a long hard weekend. I am ready for a funeral dirge to be played. Maybe amazing grace on the bagpipes, as I march in slow procession in the dim morning light to lay to rest all that remains of our weekend. It was a party weekend- that means that all the kids had to be dressed up and fancy food had to be made and brought to a party, where some poor, ignorant fool filled the kids up on all the candy they could eat- and then even sent some more home with them. I am not talking about a few pieces of organic lollipops either. I am talking about copious amounts of obviously dyed and corn syrup-ed, artificially flavored stuff that tastes so bad that parents don't even bother to snitch it.

This is what get swept up from my main floor. I had already removed the most of the clothing and toys. To make all you greenies feel better- the blue basket is a recycling basket for paper, and why my darling husband put the net flix papers in the trash instead I'll never know.This is what my laundry room looks like after a non-relaxing weekend with the kids. The nice thing is that after sorting through what is and isn't clean the machine was loaded and only 1 basket of special washables remained.