Tag Archive | life

Spring Allergies – UGH

I really dislike it! I want to get busy outside and get things cleaned inside, but I am stuck holding a tissue box in one hand and holding a tissue to my nose with the other! Not to mention clogged and itchy ears, voraciously itchy throat and intensely bothersome itchy, watery eyes! However there is a relief, and it is not found packaged in a big pharma bottle! Or prescribed by a doctor. Before we get to the allergy helps, lets learn what is going on to cause allergies in the first place.

We hear a lot about histamines and rightly so! These chemical substances are the key star player in what we know as allergies and allergic reactions. So just what exactly are histamines anyway? And how do they cause all this trouble?

First note that the immune system is involved in recognizing “invaders”, seeking them out to destroy them, keeping our internal environment healthy and functioning at its best. Histamines are a tiny fraction of the immune response inside the body. They are involved in 23 known different physiological functions! We have all had to deal with the affects of histamines at one time or another. The stuffy nose that accompanies the common cold, or the swelling of a banged knee, also the red soreness form a cut on the hand. These all begin with histamines. They are pretty powerful chemicals!

Histamine actions:
Histamines seek out certain receptor cites on cells in different areas of the body! They are produced in response to a “foreign” substance, such as pathogens (germs, bacteria). Sometimes pollen or insect venom is mistaken by the immune system as an invading pathogen.The histamine receptor types have been categorized: H1, H2, H3, and H4.
H1 Receptor:
Are specific to smooth muscles on vascular endothelial cells, in the heart, and in CNS (Central Nervous System). Anti-histamines act on these receptor cites. ( anti-allergy drugs)

H2 receptor:
Found in smooth muscle of stomach – the gastric parietal cells involved in acidity of the stomach.

h3 Receptor:
Found in the central nervous system and somewhat in the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System). They regulate the amount of histamine and other chemical neurotransmitters. They are thought to play a role in satiety.

H4 Receptor:
Located in bone Marrow and white blood cells – regulates neutrophils (most abundant of the white blood cells – a “first responder” of inflammatory cells that move to an area of injury. You best know it as the yellowish/whitish color of pus.) released from the bone marrow.

Functions of histamines:
1. Is a chemical neurotransmitter ( a neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that helps signals pass between 2 neurons in the nervous system. This happens countless times in succession between countless neurons. But the end result of all this transmitting activity is the specific reactions specific to a certain type of neurotransmitter that is passed.)
2. Seek out certain receptor cites in different areas of the body
3. Cause inflammation by making smooth muscles ( as found inside sinuses) to constrict and relax letting the blood vessels enlarge. This is vasodilation.
4. Induces the secretion of fluid at the site of infection on injury-swelling! Hello runny nose!
5. Aids in the stimulation of certain macrophages and the helper T-cell responses. (helping the immune system with production of antibodies, ironic, huh?)
6. Helps induce the production of stomach acid.
7. Has a role in sleep/wake-up cycle, helping our bodies to be awake and alert. This is why the amount of histamine is closely regulated inside the body and the amounts meticulously kept
in balance.

Histamines cause small blood vessels to enlarge and the smooth muscles to constrict- such as in our airways and digestive tract. Can also cause hives known as a allergic response.
How an allergic response happens:
1. An allergen (dust, pollen, venom of bees, etc.) is introduced to the internal environment and is attracted to the lymphocyte, or B-cell.
2. Antibodies called immunoglobulin E (or IgE) are made and are attached to mast cells- mast cells have histamines.
3. When the foreign protein allergen is again introduced internally to the waiting mast cells with their  antibodies (IeG), the antibodies attract the protein part of the “invader” and a reaction happens
that destroys the mast cells.
4. Histamine is one element released from the destroyed mast cells. In a situation where a harmful bacteria or virus is the offender, great, all is going according to design and, health is regained. But when the whole reaction happens because “pollen” is mistaken as harmful, bad symptoms we all hate are cascaded on an person who is allergic, such as myself!  These can include:
-itching: body, eyes, ears, nose
-running sinuses
-hives
-sneezing
-fever
-nausea/vomiting
-diarrhea
-swelling
-asthma
-inflammation
-anaphylactic shock: cell fluids being deposited into the tissue of the throat so fast, swelling to the degree of suffocation!

 Four types of allergens:
1. Injectants- injected through the skin by stings
2. Contactants- irritants to the skin by detergents, plants (poison ivy), cosmetics and so on
3. Inhalants- enter when we breathe, things such as pollen, dust, pet dander
4. Ingestants- food allergies, main ones being peanuts, milk, eggs.
All thanks to an overzealous immune response and histamines!

Don’t you feel like an expert on histamines now? So you are now asking, what can I do to relieve this whole mishap in the Spring, Summer, and Fall? One word, LOVE! No, just kidding, love cures a lot of things and may help, but lets get real here…

Local Bee Pollen:
Begin taking in January or February, before any plants are Springing back and growing again. It must be local so it contains the pollen that you will be subjected to when the plants get in gear and the wind blows in you the face. Ask around and locate a local bee keeper. Orchards sometimes carry local bee products.

Stinging Nettle for Allergies?
Internally has been used for hundreds of years for painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. The tea is a perfect, easy way to take stinging nettle. It’s an herb noted for its anti-histamine effect. An infusion is easy to make. Dr. James Duke recommends nettles for allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, baldness, bladder infection, bronchitis, bursitis, cough, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, MS, PMS, enlarged prostate (roots), and tendonitis. The miracle of nettles is provided by readily assimilable  calcium, silica, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, silicon, sulfur, chlorophyll,l tannin, Vitamin C, beta carotene,  B complex vitamins, and amino acids (protein).  Quite a complete list for nutrition I would say!!

Dr. Christopher has a capsule called ImmuCalm.  It contains marshmallow root and astragalus. These two herbs calm the immune system while supporting and strengthening it at the same time, I know it sounds weird, but that’s the way of herbs.  I have used them with great success.  You can order them at http://www.mynaturalmarket.com.

Love life and breathe deep,
Angela

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Me and my Husband on vacation

image

Here is me and my husband, Wendell, enjoying a much needed vacation! We went down to Branson for a week and stayed at the Big Cedar Lodge. This was our first vacation alone EVER. We did not even have honeymoon, we got married on a Friday night, went home, and Monday morning Wendell was back to work. In the 26 years we have been married, this was the very first without our kids, or other family! Better late than never I guess, so may it be the first of many that are yet to come!

Love life and breath deep
Angela

And My New Years Resolution Is . . .

This new year is the time many people reflect back over the last 12 months and decide what it is that may need changing.  Change is the only constant they say. Many feel the newness of a fresh start, a do-over, a clean slate.  A promise of better things to come, of bettering oneself and one’s circumstances is the attitude of many this time of year. It is good to have moments like this, to stop “life” and bring into clear precise perspective what you are, what you want to be, and how to bounce over to be … well, whatever it is you inspire to be.

Habits are formed early on in life.  Most are just circumstantial.  We get up in the morning and get something to eat or drink to break the fast of a hopefully a good night’s rest. If you are school age, school attendance is the common day’s activity, for adults it is the “job” we have chosen. You may not realize this but you have actually chosen where you are right now, either a tradesman of some kind,  teacher, carpenter, banker, office manager, delivery driver, baker, writer, salesman, farmer, rancher, or stay-at-home mom.  Your choices culminated to produce your life as it is.

I will interject here that the housewife/stay-at-home-mother is the most honored and important of any profession.  Not because I was/am one, but because of the herculean task that it is.  The task is nurturing copiously curious minds and bodies into reasoning, caring, God-fearing, intelligent young people who move on to become adults in our society.  The mom who stays home is the “keeper” of her home; is responsible for the atmosphere, the condition, the peacefulness, the safety, and healthfulness of her home.  She seeks no accolades, no prideful prestige, no recognition from statesmen or dignitaries, no honor of any kind.  Her job is done mostly behind the scenes in quiet loving sacrifice.  Anyone choosing this is truly the one who should be “making the big bucks”.  However it is a job that is not paid in coinage, but in the knowing she did the best she could with what she knew, in seeing the outcome or fruits of her labors.  This is also true of the mom who works outside the home.  She does however have less time, energy, and focus to devote to the family.  So hats off to moms!!  She deserves twice the salary of Tom Cruise!!

Wow that was a side trail.  Habits. That is the train track I was on, so I’ll get back to it :).  Yes, habits are formed early in life.  How we take care, or not take care of our belongings, how we speak, how we, well do anything is formed early.  And to our detriment some of our habits are bad ones.  We tend to think of smoking as an example of a bad habit, and so it is, but what about a frown on our face all the day long.  I have met people who I think must not smile for days on end, and that is sad.    Our attitudes are also habits formed.  Habits can change, that is the great news!!!!  We can change.  We can change anything we choose to change.  However we need some basic “tools” to proceed and perpetrate a change.

The number one New Years Resolution is to lose weight. That is a good goal and one that is in the right direction.  However, the goal of just losing weight is bound to fail.  There are certain factors to be implemented for a plan to succeed.  And you must have the right plan in the beginning.  Weight loss is not the right goal.  Moving the whole body into a healthy state should be the goal. 

Let’s say you wanted to build a new house.  There are of course many aspects to consider, many other people to employ, and countless decisions to make in implementing your ideas of what is wanted into reality.  If you focused just on what the outside walls will be and the color of them, what will be the result?  If you ignore the foundation, plumbing, roofing, rough-in carpenters, light fixtures, flooring, wiring, insulation, cabinets, and so on and so on, a probable failed attempt at a new house is emanate.

Weight loss is just one aspect of moving toward being healthy, having vigor, pep, and stamina.  So before you begin a “diet” that will probably fail either in the middle or end, think about this:  LIFESTYLE CHANGE IS THE KEY TO BEING HEALTHY!  Going on a diet is not sustainable.  Because when you go “off” the diet the weight will pile on easier, believe me.  Do yourself a favor and NEVER use the word “diet” again!!!!!!

How does one set about changing one’s lifestyle, you ask?  Well the first thing to do is take stock of where you are now!!!  This is your starting point, the beginning.  You can’t go back, you can only go forward!  Lay out what it is that is most important to you and work on changing that this month.  Maybe it will be something like not drinking soda at all this month, only on Sunday Dinner with the family will you allow one soda to be enjoyed and savored.  Replacing 1 hour of TV watching with walking, yoga, cleaning up a mess that has been darkening some remote corner of the house, (don’t ask me how I came up with this one 🙂 ), or just deep breathing and stretching is very wise.  Choosing to eat for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack a couple of cups of veges or fruit is quite smart.

Healthy living involves the whole life circumvented and evaluated, removing those things that are hindrances to gaining health.  Here are some ideas:

  • Change the way you think about food, Eat to live do not live to eat.  Think “Will this bring nutrients to my body?”  This is the number one key in my opinion.
  • Allow some cheat days, Sunday is mine.  Sunday Dinner is the one meal I eat whatever I want, and dessert too!!  Notice I did not say HOW much I want.
  • Limit your portions to a reasonable size
  • Lower your meat consumption to three to four servings a week that are about the size of a deck of cards
  • Clean the house and take measures to maintain it (whoever lives with you be it children, siblings, or others should be required to pitch in)
  • Remove anything that you have not used in 2 years or more
  • Take time to breathe deep and move the body with some form of exercise at least 3 times a week, for the ladies I love Ellen Barrett (this cleanses the tissue and helps organs function better)
  • Search recipes that are healthier, the internet such as it is gives no one an excuse
  • Switch the regular snack food with healthier choices – nuts, fruit, veges, granola, oatmeal all organic if you can
  • Plan what to do with your time the same as you would a monthly budget
  • Budget your money – Dave Ramsey is a superb resource to use.  Money is a resource that should be controlled by you, not you controlled by it!
  • Set reasonable goals that are attainable
  • Don’t try to change too much at one time, little changes that stick are better that changes that don’t
  • Say “I Love You” more often
  • Purge the people who won’t support what you are trying to do from your daily life  – not altogether just limit time spent with those who are a hindrance
  • Serve others – true joy comes from serving others
  • Grow some outdoor veges this year, in pots is you have to!
  • Buy some fresh herbs and use them in cooking
  • Use herbs for healing instead of over-the-counter pharmacy drugs
  • Pray, give thanks, and serve daily
  • Get sunshine when you can, put sunblock on after you have been in the sun for 15-20 minutes
  • Enjoy where you are right now!!!!
  • Laugh more

You can see what I mean by all this, a lifestyle change is what is needed to be healthy and weight loss is just one aspect of that.  Actually you could say it is a result of it!

So my resolution is to be healthier for myself and my family!

Hope this is helpful and gives hope, Happy New Year!

Love Life and Breathe Deep,

Angela

Time, Love, Life

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : D...

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : Des crocus violets, avec leurs fleurs fermées. Italiano: Infiorescenze chiuse di piante del genere Crocus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Spring to all! It has been such a long time since I shared that I feel like the long-lost relative no-one sees or talks to. But a lot of things have been happening! After the holidays, we have worked on the basement. We have not touched the stacks of boxes since we moved, soooo there was a lot of going through stuff and more stuff and yet more stuff. Time is an odd thing to me, we use it up and wonder where it goes. We spend time planning how and where we use our time. We even plan who we pass the time with. Sometimes we just don’t think about time as it is going by, or time seems to drag on and on, and other instances time does not move fast enough for us. Time is a resource that all of us, no matter where we live, what work we do, how much money we possess, have the same amount of in each day. We can’t buy more of it, or get rid of it. We can however share what time we have with whom and where we list. And rarely do we keep time to ourselves, unless you live alone with no-one else in your life. I think of the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. He was totally alone for years (I forget how many, 4 or 6 maybe?). However, even then he was still connected to the rest of the world because he was aware and knew of their existence. We are all connected that way. It is a spiritual connection. We feel elated when we learn of someone’s triumph over a trial, and we feel grief when we learn of someone’s strife and devastation.  I believe this is what is meant by the statement “the love of our fellow-man”.

Love is a very peculiar thing too.  It is only seen with our eyes by the writings of people who feel it, or by the actions of someone exhibiting it.  Naturally we would admit that it can be spoken, and it can.  “I love you” is the quintessential catch phrase for Valentine’s Day.  Love can have an actual physical effect on our bodies namely our heart, the symbol of love.  I am reminded of the phrase “It breaks my heart”.  Love is powerful.  The scriptures explain love in the term “charity”, saying “… charity is the pure love of Christ…”  and in I Corinthians 13:4-8 we  read “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemlly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.  Charity never faileth…” .  Love of our fellow man is the true motivation behind every good deed, and it emanates from the heart. We feel good when we act out of love for one another.

We have a love for our families that is special too.  And that is where much of my time has been spent lately.  My father began to have chest pain in the latter part of February.  For 2 weeks he could not walk very far or do the work he had been used to doing on the house my parents are building.  He went to his doctor and was then sent to a cardiologist.  Well without going into tidbit info, he had an angiogram, which showed  his main left coronary artery was 99% blocked!!!  We were all shocked and dismayed.  He was taken by ambulance about 4 hours after this to another hospital where he was informed he needed bypass surgery – now – right now – this instant!  My dad was scared, very scared.  We all were of course.  But there was a glitch we learned we had to deal with.  Since he had just had the angiogram a few hours earlier, which included my dad taking some blood thinners in case a stint could be employed to “fix” his possible blockage, the surgeon said my dad would bleed, a lot!  And he would need a lot of blood platelet transfusions, like around 20!!!  Well as you can imagine this news put us all over the cliff with fear.  Life is so dear, and yet until you’re faced with the immediate loss of it, I am afraid we think little about it.  Life is fragile and strong.  Everything wans to live.  Plants, animals, and people fight to stay alive.  And yet sometimes life is taken in an instant without notice.  My dad is a religious man and a deacon in the church.  He was surrounded by several family members (his er room was actually full), and as my uncle, who is an elder, was about to do an administration my dad asked his nurses if they would like to stay and join in the prayer.  I will never forget this moment, it is indelible in my memory, here was this tall, large, older man, in a hospital bed in an ER room with gadgets hooked up to him, he is visually scared, and somewhat out of breath, and as he begins to speak, all is quiet and still.  He tells the nurses exactly what is about to happen, how this elder was going to anoint his head with consecrated oil and lay his hands on his head and pray for him and the doctors as we are instructed in James chapter 5:14 – “Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick…”. When he finished he was calmer and everyone else was too.  The prayer was said while those all around stood linked hand in hand, tears came and peace came too.  After the prayer, the surgeon came in and the nurses began their prep work, we gave our kisses and hugs, and began to transfer ourselves to the waiting room.  Someone asked my dad how long the surgery would be and his reply was “It depends  on how sharp the doctor’s knife is”, he was doing better, still nervous, but better.

We waited five hours.  Around 2:30 in the morning, the surgeon comes out with amazing news.  NO bleeding!!!!!  Only 1 unit of blood needed to be used.  The operation went wonderful, the veins used to do the bypass were in super shape and he only needed 2 bypasses not the 3 or 4 suspected.  He came home a few days later, and I was there every day helping any way I could.  Time seemed to not exist those days and weeks I spent going to city to the hospital and then over to Mom and Dad’s.  But life and love were both there, reminding me of what’s truly important, what really matters.

My dad is doing great and getting around more and more.  He is still healing, physically and mentally, but each day he is pressing forward.  I told him he has to stay around and get better so he can teach his great-grandsons how to fish:).

Life, love, and time: what strange things we all have and how often do we really contemplate them?  I mention two of the three in every post I publish, at the end. I urge whoever took the time to spend reading what I share to:

Love Life & Breathe Deep,

Angela

Time

Starting this blog has taken up a massive amount of my time.  Maybe cause I am so slow at computer stuff and I have had to learn how to  maneuver through  it.  All I have ever done on computers is type letters, essays, and reports for school, play games, and get online.  I have also made business flyers and business cards. Don’t laugh at me, I know this is funny to someone who is a computer whiz :). But really for me computers are basically something else I have to dust.  In high school in the mid 80’s computers were just, and I mean just, coming on the scene, and well I was not interested.  And then there’s that whole getting married at age 16 thing, and all the sudden I had more important things to do.  My life for the last 25 years has been totally for the other people around me, and I have given them all that I

Late 19th century advertisement for laundry st...

Late 19th century advertisement for laundry starch manufactured by Gilbert S. Graves in Buffalo, New York, showing two women hanging laundry on a clothesline. 1 print : lithograph, color. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

had: my time, energy, efforts, talents, even my soul prayed and wanted the best for them and the best I could give.  How many hours have I sat in the school room with the kids, how many hours were spent driving to piano lessons, the library, to home school meetings?  How many meals have I cooked, how much time was in planning those meals?  How many loads of laundry have I

gathered, washed, dried, many put on a clothes line, folded and put away?  Shopping: grocery, school, clothes, Christmas, birthdays? There is time in Sunday school teaching, Vacation Church School teaching, women’s department director, and the girls youth classes.  How many gallons of food have I processed for the winter months?  How much time did I spend thinking and worring about them and how I was doing as a parent? Please don’t think I am boasting, I just realized what the last 25 years have consisted of!! I made a lot of mistakes too, but more importantly I learned from them.   And in the last 10 years I have taken some time for myself and attended 2 colleges in the study of natural health and herbal healing.

Class is Out

Class is Out (Photo credit: Photomatt28)

When my youngest son graduated from highschool this spring, I realized  the massive weight I was carrying for all those years.  I realized it because all of the sudden it was not there.  I could breathe a little deeper, walk a little lighter, my peace was a little sweeter, and I could actually think about what I would like to do with my time.  I don’t mean to say that the sacrifice I made was not worth it, it was, and I would do it all again.  I was trying to think of a word to use such as toilsome, flustering, taxing, wearisome, or tiresome, all those  are what I would use to describe being a stay-at-home mom who homeschools.  However there is also elation, joy, excitement, wonder, amusement, and down right fun.  All in all it is work.  Hard work.  But as with any job a person does, when it is over you see the results of the work offered over all those years.  My 4 children are a joy to me, and I am happy with who they have become.

And so here I am, with no lessons to prepare, no tests to grade, no book reports to read, no subjects to teach, no piano practice to see to, no library books to hunt and find.  And it feels good.  Great!!  I have time to spend learning what I want, read what I want, and share with others what I have learned.

Having children is truly a labor of love.  Having 5 children in six years is laborious.  Parenting is laborious, but the payoff is bittersweet.  Life is what you make it, and now I have more time to make it what I want.  I still have domestic chores and responsibilities that I like doing, but I sure have more free time at my disposal.  I choose to use it to the fullest!

Now where was that novel I wanted to read about a year ago?

Talk to ya later, a cozy corner is calling my name,

Love life & breathe deep,

Angela