A Health Journey

I’ve been fortunate that most of my life I’ve been in good health. Other than having to have a rescue inhaler for my asthma, I don’t have to take any medication at all. Last year I started having problems with my asthma and over the fall/winter it was the worst it’s ever been. At the same time something new appeared…joint pain.

Now, I am going to admit that I have a big birthday coming up. 50. The big five-oh. The half buck. Half century. Yeah, that one. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not dreading it either. When I turned 30…worst birthday ever. The birthday itself was wonderful…hubby, family and friends…a lovely day at the park. It was the idea of turning 30 that was devastating and I cried. Honestly, I’m not sure why it bothered me so. But turning 50. Wow. Significant. And blessed. Boy am I blessed. 50 years of blessings. Not everything was good, but God has been good. I’m blessed.

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The pain in my hands has been pretty bad.

Turning 50 I’m now dealing with bad join pain. Part of me is really surprised that this joint pain not just appeared but hit hard. The other part of me knows that people in my family have battled arthritis so it really isn’t a surprise. Now, I haven’t been officially diagnosed with arthritis. We don’t really have the money to go and get it checked out (insert stupid healthcare system crummy insurance vote all the bums out rant here). It could be something else entirely. But I do know two things: I don’t want to end up on long term medications that could cause more health problems, and I don’t want to suffer with painful joints. This week the pain has been pretty bad, especially in my hands.

One other thing I do know: food and supplements can have a big impact on your health.

I already know that I am intolerant of dairy products. Not lactose intolerant, but casein (the protein in dairy) intolerant. Cutting out dairy and cutting back on sugar and sweets actually helped calm my asthma. Also with a lot of research adding specific supplements have helped too.

So I have been researching pain and inflammation and starting to make more dietary changes.  To start I know that I need to totally eliminate refined sugars and flours (I may go gluten or grain free for a while).  I know that changing my diet won’t cure, but it should help a lot.  I’m not good at going full on with diet changes…I tend to “fall of the wagon” a lot. It’s hard also when hubby and son still like to eat the things I want or need to avoid. I figured that if I journaled about it here on my blog I would be more accountable and maybe more likely to stick with it. I also figured that there may be others in similar situations who might be willing to share what worked for them.

Here I go on this journey to try and improve my health.  I’d love to hear about your journey to wellness.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Catching Up

Since my blog posting has been sporadic over the past year I thought I would do a brief update and catch everyone up on what has been going on here @ home.  I did post more regularly on my Instagram and my Facebook page, I hope you’ll check them out.

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My husband’s cousin and her children.

Last year was really busy with all sorts of things: family, health, home, schooling etc. We had several family members going through various trials, one of the biggest was the loss of hubby’s cousin to ovarian cancer. Such a beautiful woman lost too early to a cancer that there isn’t much awareness for. She had been going to doctors for a year trying to find out what was going on before she was diagnosed. We are heartbroken, continuing to pray for her children and family as they learn to live without her. My own health has been an issue over the past year, mainly my asthma. I have had asthma since I was a young child and this past fall was probably the worst it’s ever been, and making some drastic dietary and supplement changes have helped dramatically. The main change for me was getting serious about eliminating dairy. We have also worked on filtering the air better to help keep the dust down.

Our home has so many projects going on, but when money is tight you have to be selective on what gets done and what gets put off. We still don’t have a working dryer but we took advantage of the mild winter we had used the clothes line when we could. Those times where we couldn’t we could haul laundry to the local laundromat. I don’t mind hanging the clothes up, but the challenge was trying not to trigger an asthma attack while doing it. This summer we are hoping to get some painting done, replace several windows and our doorwall, get our rain barrels going again, and more. We’ll see how the budget shakes out as to how far we get.

Our internet was cut. This was a HUGE adjustment. I didn’t realize how dependent I was on it and that made me uncomfortable. While I do want to be connected, I don’t want to be dependent. I’m not able to keep up with blogs and channels as much as I used to, but I am now spending more time reading real books. Cutting the internet and land line was a big help to our budget. Having the cell phones with limited data has been great overall and I’m not really sure if we’ll go back to having internet.

Noah

Homeschool Senior

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Class of 2017

Homeschooling has been bitter sweet. This is our last year of homeschooling. Our son will graduate shortly. This past year has been full of wrapping up one journey and preparing for another. It’s hard for me to believe that I did it…I homeschooled him from kindergarten right through to graduation. He’s looking forward to pursuing a career in Information Security and I’m excited to see him spread his wings. Bitter sweet. Mama loves her baby.

weedsWe had so much going on last year we never got around to getting the garden started, so we left it fallow. This year it is overgrown and needs a good taming. While we are a little behind in getting that part done, all the raised beds are planted and growing. Not everything is heirloom this year, but I am looking forward to growing, harvesting and preserving what we do grow.

Our Daisy dog is now a year old. What a challenge and a joy she has been. She is such a sweet dog, but she is just full of energy it is hard to keep up. daisyTennis balls are her absolute favorite toy and she loves to have you throw them for her. She still chases the chickens once in a while, but she is learning. Pepper dog is quite protective of them and Daisy is slowly learning from her. Unlike Pepper, we haven’t done a good job of socializing Daisy with people and we do have to work on that. I’m happy to accept any tips for that.

The pantry. Pretty empty. We did stock with some store bought food, but we miss our home canned food. My first canning of the year was some pork we got on sale. I’m hoping to get things like beans done now before things get busy and the weather gets warm.

beadsMy Etsy shop has been opened about a year now and it is nice to have an opportunity to share my hobby with others. I really enjoy doing craft shows and art fairs, but they are a lot of work and take a lot of time. While I miss meeting the people at the shows, it has been fun to send my work off to people far away…even as far as Australia.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight. I’m off to get laundry going. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Feel free to comment and let me know, or share a link to a blog post.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Farmer’s Markets

I have always had a love for farmer’s markets since I moved into my first apartment. It was a small studio apartment that was directly across the street from the city’s farmer’s market. Not only could I see and hear the weekend busyness of this big city market from my main street windows, but all I had to do was walk yards across the street to experience it. This city girl was hooked.

Now I’m living out in farm country and I’m thinking about selling at a farmer’s market. We have small farmer’s market here locally which has a nice mix of local farmers, Amish and a few artisans. I have always thought it was interesting that in a rural area such as ours farmer’s markets are so small. The average I’ve seen at the handful of markets around us is about 15-ish local sellers and their produce selections are usually small. I think part of the reason for this may be the local flea market (which is huge but only open during the week), but even the produce sellers there are very few compared to the artisans and antiques. I think another may be local tourist markets that sell produce that is sold farm stand style but with commercial produce.

Despite that, the small local farmer’s markets do get a good bit of local traffic. I have been considering whether to join for the past year and I think I am going to do it. I plan on selling mostly greens such as lettuces and spinach, and doing some bread baking. These are two areas that I enjoy and that I don’t see a lot of people there selling. The Amish that do offer baked goods sell mostly cookies and pies. I also may take some of my crochet items like dish cloths and market bags.

I have researched our state laws and the cottage laws and I am comfortable with my plans. The farmer’s market I’m planning to join has a very reasonable yearly fee and runs two days each week. While I hope this venture will be financially profitable, I hope even more to connect with people and promote buying local.

Do you shop farmers markets? What brings you back? Are you a seller at farmers markets? What do you sell and what do you enjoy about it? I’d love to hear from you! You can answer in the comments below or post a link to a post you’ve written about it.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Here it is, my political post.

votingI feel awkward putting this out, but I also feel it is necessary. Our nation is in chaos over the upcoming election and it seems that people are violently going off the deep end for their particular candidate. It’s crazy.

Before I really get into this I want to give you a little history. I lived with my grandparents growing up and they were non-political. It wasn’t discussed much and when it came time to vote, they pulled the party lever and called it done. When I got into high school, I started finding politics interesting. When I was able to vote in my first election, I was working on the mayoral campaign for a candidate in our city. He won. I was jazzed.  I became a political junkie.

As I moved out into the real world after high school, I began to realize my life and my views didn’t line up with the politics I was supporting. I started really looking at the issues instead of the party, and I so I switched and officially registered in the other party. They didn’t fully line up with my beliefs, but it was close enough to throw my support that way. This will probably date me more than I want, but even though I was registered with one party, I voted independent for Ross Perot because when I looked at the issues, he is the one that fit my views of them. Yeah, he didn’t win. But I don’t regret the vote.

Real life continued to change my views and I eventually became fed up with the party I was registered with and became a registered independent, and continue to be today. I didn’t want and still don’t want to be associated with any party. Even being an independent has the assumption of being a certain type of voter that doesn’t fit me. Frankly, the political games and power struggles just disgust me. As my faith has grown deeper and I study God’s Word, I see politics as a divisive worldly idol that I don’t want anything to do with. I can honestly justify biblically and politically my staying home on election day.

This election season has been the worst I have ever seen. Never has the political game been so corrupt, disgraceful and unstable. The mess makes it hard to be objective and factual when there is so much muck and distortion to sort through.

It is because of all of this I have to step back and just look at the issues that matter to me, and look at where the imperfect candidates stand on those issues. I won’t go with a party, they are both corrupt, and I won’t go with a certain personality, I am solely looking at the issues that matter to me and making my voting decision on that. If I were to go based on a party or a personality…I simply vote no on election day by staying home.

Folks, in four years we’ll be having another presidential election. Maybe the choices will be better, maybe they won’t. This election though, things are different and some important issues hang in the balance. The issues themselves don’t have term limits and the direction these important issues go, such as supreme court nominations, they will have an enormous impact long past the term of any president. Who you vote for is your business, but I hope you are voting informed on the issues and not by emotions fueled by the media. God will remain on the throne regardless of who wins the election.