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Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Last Straw? No, there is always more straw.

window light picLift up the carpet. There is bound to be some straw somewhere under there.

Up until yesterday I was fatigued beyond belief due to [life]. And then the flu hit the family, and suddenly the woman in me rose up in me to nurse my family back to health. For the last 24 hours I alternated between cleaning vomit, steam-vacuuming the girls’ room, washing loadsof laundry, making gallons of absolutely perfect chicken broth, pitchers of homemade electrolyte drinks, dessert for a potluck party (which will remain a happy little fantasy),  “craigslisting” and   calling dubious leads for rentals, reading the word to keep up my spirits, and finally putting everyone to bed.

frazzled mom pic

Do I finally hop in the shower? Am I simply done? No. I have to write down my inspiration.

 

 

 

This is not the last straw.

No matter how exhausted I may have been prior to this outbreak of [life], the woman in me rose to the occasion, because God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. If I had indeed cracked, the Lord would have provided a way out. Help would have come to answer our need.

headache picBe encouraged, dear one, if you feel as if you might snap like a stressed rubber band. You will not snap. God has a way out. Feel His breath on you and know that He is near.

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 10:13 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Be blessed, and Happy New Year!

Western Woman

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Say “No.”

free-christmas-powerpoint-background-5[1]Overwhelmed? The holiday business getting the better of you? Struggling to maintain composure through preparations for four or more Christmases? Then say “no.”

 

 

  • No. The laundry can wait.
  • No, we don’t need to get a gift for everyone.
  • No, I don’t need to bake and decorate six different kinds of cookies for the party. A fruit salad will be fine.
  • No, you don’t need that toy.
  • No, I don’t need to stay up late for yet another Christmas event, even though they are so much fun!
  • No, I won’t get up early to get ahead on my busy to-do list. I need my sleep.
  • No, we won’t drive 6 hours to meet you for Christmas. Perhaps Easter.
  • No, I will not wear that hat.
  • No, I am not available to work late.
  • No. Thanks, but no.

Be merry, be refreshed, be blessed.

Cheers,

Western Woman

Milk: Why Whole?

cowsTis the season to pretend we don’t care about weight-gain, but I have good news! The less fattening milk option is the one most of us actually prefer. Shocker? Yes, you can stop buying skim milk and switch to whole.

Most people swear by the “simple” math; fewer calories in = less unwanted body fat. But did you know that skim milk is actually fed to pigs in order to fatten them up? Now there is a twist.

Food for thought…

1.    Low-fat does not equal weight loss.  “Diets high in fat do not appear to be the primary cause of the high prevalence  of excess body fat in our society, and reductions in fat will not be a  solution.” Walter Willet, an epidemiologist and department chair in nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public  Health  wrote in the American Journal of MedicineRead more:  http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/03/29/why-skim-milk-isnt-necessarily-better/#ixzz2EcF8pWuB

Dr. Oz agrees. Skim milk is the 3rd most fattening food in America  (We may not agree with everything Dr. Oz preaches. This, however, is spot-on.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/marlo-thomas-mondays-with-marlo-the-most-fattening-foods-in-america-from-dr-oz_n_1765013.html

2. Vitamins are in the fat. Beware of “healthy” low fat choices, do your research and know that if you want to be healthy, you must have healthy fats, such as dairy. I want to be thin, too, but only moderately so. I like having curves, and I could actually stand to put on a few pounds. But the truth is that consuming extra healthy fat is not causing me to gain weight. Sigh. But if I had to choose between healthy and fashionably thin? Duh.

3.  Children need milkfat. Should be a no-brainer, but let’s face it. Society and even the government recommends low-fat diets for children, even toddlers. Don’t do this. Your undernourished child will (statistically) end up with insufficient bone growth, resulting in life-long crooked teeth, as well as a host of other health challenges. Many more reasons than fit in this post, feel free to add them as a comment. See links below for more diet facts and recommendations.

4.  Adults need milkfat too! I have pretty strong bones, and I want to keep them that way. I have a rather high IQ and I wish to continue feeding my brain. etc… I was not born with an ideally healthy square jaw, which means I as a by-product I have very crooked teeth which only appear to be straight due to many years of orthodontic treatment. I will, in fact, be at the mercy of a retainer for the rest of my life if I wish to preserve my “smile.” But that doesn’t mean I can’t set up my future children for healthy development, thanks to good nourishment while before and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. See links below for more…

5. Just say no!” to the government’s dietary guidelines. A tradition we falsely believe in is not true just because health officials, our parents, and teachers (mostly) all support it. Modern research and ancient wisdom points to the truth. See recommended diet for children

http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/dietary-recommendations-for-children-recipe-for-future-heart-disease

and adults

http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/comments-on-the-usda-dietary-guidelines

Remember baby steps? If you are new to the traditional health diet, and are not ready to join me in my daily practice of raw, grassfed milk and cream, naturally fermented sauerkraut, and cod liver oil, don’t worry! Switching from skim to whole is an easy place to start! If you are used to only skim milk, it may taste odd, even sickening at first, but that is your body being confused and perhaps in overdrive. I am positive your body will catch on and love your new milk choice.

Another benefit: Black coffee? Only if you really like it! Use real cream, and enjoy every drop.

Cheers, with a glass of raw, pastured, whole milk!

Western Woman

all I wanted was a peach

peaches[1]What do you crave? Do you indulge when you really want something? Yesterday I craved peaches. Last night I dreamed about peaches. This morning I was desperate! Neither my town nor the next had peaches for sale. What is a pregnant woman to do?

I guess I ate an astonishing amount of other fruit, hoping it would cure my craving. I had almost a whole papaya, a handful of blackberries, and two persimmons. I have never consumed so much fruit in my life.

The result was not exactly satisfaction, but I was sure full. I also had a lot of sugar to burn off, so I skipped my usual pregnant fatigue and went to two  Zumba classes.

Cravings. When our soul craves intimacy with the Lord, we need to indulge–not fill ourselves to overflowing with other endeavors that will leave us full, maybe exhilarated, but never satisfied.

Celebrate Your Progress

cobblestone roadGetting restless with the journey? Wondering if things are truly changing? As my quarter-centennarianship matures to a healthy 26 years of age, I consider (simplifying my vocabulary!) the beauty of time. I love to have things now. But ultimatums don’t work, not really. I found something in my Bible, a chicken-scratch penned in years ago; “Microwave Christians & a Slow-Cooker God.”

Challenges can make time stand still with nothing to show for it, but in reality I am not the same person I was a year ago.

At this time I pause to give thanks and reflect on what God has done in me and around me in that last year:

1. I love God more. (The me from last year seems painfully childish in this respect. Sneaky.)

2. Our family has blossomed, developed as a unit, and even expanded! Baby # 3 is very cute and little, safe inside me.

3. I am now a Zumba instructor, a quiet dream that I never thought would be a reality. Joy!

4. On the note of fitness, I have developed tiny little (but surely there) biceps. I also have kind-of pink hair, a tattoo, and I get to wear jeans every day since I no longer manage at Kmart.

5. We are looking to buy a home. That means we are now grown-ups.

6. Today, the day before my birthday is my legal wedding anniversary. I have fallen in love again with my husband of 6 years!

7. I have found ugly selfishness in my character and ask the Lord to renew me. In this way I take up my cross daily.

8. God has brought a loving church family into our lives. This bond is strong and powerful, causing us to be stronger and want to love Jesus more every day.

9. In the last year I think I cut our possessions in half. What a relief. Huge.

10. We moved from beautiful Montana to “camp out” with my mother-in-law, who graciously lets us rent/share her home. I never thought I would live with parents or in-laws; but it has been an experience full of adjustments, humility, silliness, and learning to say “no,” to myself. The course the God lays out for us is always preparation for character qualities needed for the future.

What do you celebrate? Do you move forward blindly or stop to ponder how marvelous you are, and what God has done for you?

Cheers,

Western Woman

Beating Winter Colds

Beating Winter ColdsWhy me? Once again, fighting a nasty sick bug.

Here is little Abigail, bundled up and soaking in some sun from her “sickbed” on a warmer day.  Poor baby.

 

 

We do all the right things to stay healthy. Our regular diet includes cod liver oil, broth, fresh produce, naturally fermented sauerkraut, cultured raw milk, and a host of other good things. We also exercise and get outdoors. Why do we keep getting sick? Why me?
And then a friend suggested sleep. Yes, in my zeal to never miss out on anything I would normally retire between midnight and 1 a.m. (Not good for a pregnant mother of two!)
Henceforth I am valuing rest, as it seems to be the missing link. I’m talking 10 p.m. If mama is healthy, chances are the kiddos will be, too.
Here’s to a good night’s rest.

Cheers,
Western Woman

It Won’t Wash Out–Please Help!

What is that? Actually it looks better in the picture than real life. That is me after trying to wash the splotchy faded pink-purple-orange-blonde mess. At this point I had done: 3 hours of mayonnaise mask, 8 hours of vitamin C + shampoo, 3 hours of warm olive oil, 2 hours of lemon juice, and 15 washes of equal parts alcohol + shampoo. (The last one was recommended by Splat customer service. They told me once or twice should do it.)

I am now up to 25 washes of alcohol + shampoo, and another 6 hours of vitamin C mask; but the my hair looks almost exactly the same, so don’t worry about more pictures. Unless you have the cure. Then I will proudly post a picture of my splotch-free hair and dedicate my next blog post to you. Until then, I give up. My hair will just have to grow out. I will pull out my hats.

My last color started out beautifully vibrant purple.  It looked great for a couple weeks! Splat Lusty Lavender Semi Permanent Hair Dye

 

 

 

 

Underneath the purple was shocking pink, which was also fun. (Stop smirking, girl… you have no idea.) Splat Pink Fetish Semi Permanent Hair Dye

 

 

 

Archangela, age 4, also got in on the pink hair.

 

 

 

I think this is my natural color. (A picture from 2009!) I am really curious to see that color again.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t buy Splat if you plan to return to a normal-looking color at some point.

This has been a product review from a frustrated DIYer.

Cheers,

Western Woman