Saturday, January 21, 2006

Again, why I didn't go to college

"The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge--that of being a godly woman. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other kind of women--beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career woman, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman--or of a godly man either, for that matter.

I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart.

It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct."

From Peter Marshall's Keeper of the Springs essay (1942)

read the whole thing here

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Okay. Confession. I've got a funky fingernail.

My left ring fingernail was broken off way down into the quick about a year back. I was putting a book on the bottom shelf at the library and hit my nail on the edge of the shelf and it broke off about 1/4". (Ouch, needless to say. That is, the nail broke. Not the shelf...) It never healed correctly and I probably got some kind of germ in there since it was so weak and exposed. For a year or more now I've had a U-shaped white part on that fingernail.

I thought I had just permanently damaged that nail and it would never see normalcy again. But the doctor told me it was most likely a type of fungus, which would be very hard to treat. I could buy this prescription stuff that insurance wouldn't cover, that would cost about $100/month, and I'd have to use it for at least a year ($1,200+) and it might work, and it would probably damage my kidneys. Or I could buy the OTC version which was not as strong (and wouldn't be as likely to damage my kidneys) but probably wouldn't work at all. Nope, sorry, I'm just not going for that. I'm not a medicine kind of girl.

But I discovered on my own that tea tree oil is a very good anti-fungal/-bacterial, and at the recommendation of the local pharmacist, I could use that along with iodine twice a day on the nail. Use the iodine first, let it dry, then put the tea tree oil on, morning and evening. I'll be the first to tell you that iodine makes a mess and takes a long time to dry. Not to mention that the bottle quite plainly says that as iodine dries, it makes a seal over the skin to protect it as it heals. So that seal-thing there, doesn't it therefore keep the tea tree oil from penetrating?? Seemed to. And besides, I don't want those germs sealed in there! I want them out!

Don't get me wrong, I love that pharmacist and she has some great suggestions from a viewpoint I agree with (mostly), but that whole program took too much time and I wasn't seeing results. She had said it would take a long time to recover from a nail problem like mine.

Needless to say, I had kind of skipped that regimen and hadn't been doing much to my nail. It was slowly growing deeper. Occasionally I would think to rub a little tea tree oil on it, but I wasn't faithful about it and there wasn't very much progress. But I was beginning to become a little self-conscious about the whole nail fungus thing and didn't like how I was always trying to hide that finger from sight. (Besides, someday (maybe) I might (perhaps) need to wear a ring on that finger, and I don't want to have an ugly nail with a pretty diamond. It just doesn't match.)

Then about 2 weeks ago I developed a tiny spot of ringworm on my left forearm. Don't know how or where I got it, but it was there. I pulled out The Prescription for Nutritional Healing (I love that book!) and when I looked up ringworm, it was classified along with nail infections as a candida-overgrowth. Hmm... connection here? I think so.

As it turns out, candida, which is a normally good bacteria, can become a parasite if it is fed the wrong things, primarily breads and sugars (even fruits) in my case. Yep, good ol' carbs. Actually bread is my biggest weakness, second only to sugars! (I had been trying not to eat so much sugar. But whole grain bread and fruits- that's healthy!! Right?? (Yes, in moderation.))

I had a few other symptoms of candida overgrowth as well, but I would never have guessed that they were related. Cold hands and feet? Who'd a thunk it?

I started looking at some herbal remedies for yeast overgrowth/parasites and came across which has an article describing in detail a diet and supplement regimen for conquering this. (Not to mention the fact that you can conveniently purchase the products from their site. I didn't do that, though; I'd have to wait for them to arrive before I could even start! I went to some local stores and bought what I wanted in person.)

So for thirty days now while I follow the diet I can't have any fruits but lemons, limes, cranberries and an occasional grapefruit. No breads period, and only millet, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice (and later, rye) if I have to have a grain. No soft drinks (I didn't drink them anyway) or fruit juice. No green peppers, sweet potatoes, no starch, no gluten, no cheese... It's a pretty long list. But I can still have quite a bit of things- vegetables as long as they're not on the bad list, nuts and seeds (except peanuts), plain rice milk (yummy!), and plain yogurt, things like that.

I am supplementing the diet with a lemon juice/water drink first thing in the morning and last thing at night, drinking a tablespoon of ground flaxseed in water in the AM and PM, taking Superfood, garlic, echinacea, acidophilus, oregano oil, and a tincture of black walnut, wormwood, and cloves (a parasite cleanse), at various times during the day. I periodically apply tea tree oil to the nail directly and massage it in and under the nail.

After the 30 days I'll gradually start reintroducing some breads and fruits. I'll try to stay sugar-free (as in, nothing sweet but my fresh fruit), and keep on my garlic pills for another 30 days.

I've been on the diet since Sunday, and the supplement regimen since Tuesday, and I'm already seeing an improvement. The nail is slowly growing back to where it shoud be. I've got a ways to go, and I may need to repeat this process later on, but first we'll see just how much can happen in 30 days.

So basically the allopath (regular) doctor and the naturopathic-minded pharmacist both recommended that I treat the nail itself. Neither suggested that I find a cause for the problem, and get rid of that. (Have I told you that I hate symptom-treating?!?!)

If the problem lies in the fact that I have a candida parasite, which manifested itself in the weakened fingernail, then strengthening the nail alone does not solve the problem. Who's to say I wouldn't (don't) have other problems from yeast/parasites? If I get the root of the problem under control I'll be better off all-around and for a longer time. Treating the nail, keeping the candida, might have led me into a never-ending cycle of fingernail (and ringworm, or worse) problems.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Just so you know...

Which Betrix Potter
character are you?

Take this quiz at
Sparrow's Song

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I knew it had been a long time since I blogged anything, but when I sat down to look at the calendar, I realized that I haven't blogged all year!! (he he he...) : )

But of course, after the turkey in November, and the fudge in December, we all get down to resolutions in January. (Just an aside: I'm beginning to lean towards the Puritan view of Christmas celebrations... "For a brief time during the 17th century, Puritans banned Christmas in England and in some English colonies in North America because they felt it had become a season best known for ... overindulgence in food and drink." MSN Encarta. "The fruit of the spirit is... temperance." You know that's the one we always leave off? Love, joy, peace,-- yeah yeah, we've all got those down. But temperance?? What does that even mean, anyway? According to Mr. Webster, in 1828 temperance meant "Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; as temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth. Temperance in eating and drinking is opposed to gluttony and drunkenness, and in other indulgences, to excess." (emphasis mine) I think I'm going to have to do a study on temperance vs. gluttony. I'll do a post on that here when I come to any worthwhile conclusions.)
But that was a rather long aside. Back to my resolutions.

1. Resolved: To begin each day in God's word and in prayer.
2. Resolved: This year to read 2 biographies, 2 puritan books, 1 book by Elizabeth Prentiss, and In My Father's House and So Much More if I can ever get ahold of those last two.
3. Resolved: To eat many more raw vegetables and fruits, and much fewer sweets. (Here's where the whole temperance thing comes in.)
4. Resolved: Not to take any medications this year, Lord willing. Not even tylenol or ibuprofen. Nope. Not even once a month. I'll have to be bringing out my chamomile tea for that : ) If I've got a real, true, no-other-way-around-it reason to do otherwise, well, then praise God for modern medicine. In the meantime, I'll stick with what God gave to us from the beginning.
5. Resolved: To practice good posture, and to stick with a regular exercise routine. Nothing major, but just something to get my heartbeat up and going everyday.
6. Resolved: To get to bed on time (oops. I'm already breaking that one. Don't tell!)
7. Resolved: To blog about all the other resolutions I mean to make, when I remember them.
And lastly, 8. Resolved: ditto to everything here, especially this one (#63):

"On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time."