Friday, February 28, 2014

What's Better Than a Love Story?

How funny is it that I've gotten some of my girls hooked on a Korean soap opera?

It's a somewhat silly teenage series based on a Japanese manga, but it sucks you in and won't let you go. Love triangles make for great drama, and because they cast some of South Korea's finest looking specimens of humanity, it's fun to look at while you root for Team Goo Jun-pyo or Team Yoon Ji-hoo. You'll have to excuse the boys' hairstyles and just assume that is what passed for highly fashionable in 2009 South Korea.

Check it out on Netflix InstantWatch: Boys Over Flowers. It's fun. Just pace yourself or you'll never get anything done.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Does It Still Seem a Little Obscene to Say You've Googled Yourself?

One of my best friends showed up unexpectedly at my door yesterday afternoon. She came in waving a piece of paper.

"Look at this!" she exclaimed incredulously. "I went to get a copy of my medical records from [a doctor], and a copy of this guy's driver's license was in the middle of my records, not once but twice!"

I looked at the paper she was holding. Sure enough, it was a copy of the front and back of some guy's driver's license. What's more, his last name wasn't even close to hers in the alphabet, so a misfiling by proximity seemed unlikely.

"My phone died, but I wanted to call him and tell him I have this copy," she went on. "Do you have a phone book?"

I looked around a bit helplessly. I remember seeing a phone book at some point, but I could not remember where I would have put it. Who uses phone books anymore?

"I'll just grab my laptop," I said, and scurried up the stairs to fetch it.

We sat down at the table and I typed the mans' name into a Google search. Several entries popped up immediately, and I clicked on one. It happened to be his voting information, which is something I've never seen before in an internet search. As we scrolled down the page, we found his full name, spouse's name, address, phone number, political affiliation, and the number of times he's voted. I was a little shocked with the amount of information I had in my hands.

My friend borrowed my phone and called him up to inform him that the doctor's office had inadvertently given her two copies of his driver's license. (When you understand that she is extremely angry with this particular doctor, you'll understand why she was so quick to make the call. I happen to know she is very justified in her anger, as I am a witness to how she was treated.)

The man was both confused and upset by her revelation, but what probably made him the most upset was the manner in which she found his phone number. She gave him her name in case he had any further questions, and when she hung up the phone, we kind of looked at each other.

"I can't believe I have his driver's license number and all this information about him on the internet. I should have gotten his Social Security number," she joked.

I asked her if she'd ever Googled herself. Incredibly, she never had, so I typed in her name to see what would come up. We started sifting through all the search listings as she got more and more horrified at how much information was out there about her. When we looked up images, she couldn't handle it anymore. She left, laughing that she would have to take care of this.

Well, I don't know. Remember that movie with Sandra Bullock, The Net, that seemed so futuristic in 1995? I remember being fascinated with the idea that you could order a pizza from your computer and never actually have any human contact (not that that idea was entirely attractive). Now public records and all kinds of bits and pieces of information are out there about you, never to disappear. Interesting world. And I have ordered a pizza from my computer, but I went and picked it up in person, just so people could say they had met me personally. You know, in case someone tried to scrub my identity or something...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Arizona Should Pass That Legislation

Oh my! Such a can of worms has been opened in Arizona that even the Republican senators who originally backed the bill are trying to tell the cool kids that, hey! they're cool, too, and they didn't really mean to be uncool at all. I'm talking, of course, about the bill in Arizona's legislature that will allow private businesses to discriminate against any customer based on religious belief.

The horror! Oh, the humanity!

Twitter has overheated! Facebook rage runs rampant! Obviously, by passing such a law, Arizona is trying to stomp all over the LGBT community and promote hatred and hate-speech and hate-crimes and just a general overflowing of hatred all over the place. It must be the work of those nefarious and overreaching religious nut-jobs who hate blacks and gays and anyone who is different! People who proudly proclaim that they never go to church or practice any organized religion are declaring that they must know the Bible better than most schmucks who go to church, who are (to reiterate) the very clods who have brought such an awful bill to pass.

It's all very dramatic and very stupid.

So let's look beyond the merely superficial, hair-raising headlines, shall we? Let's get a bit of perspective into what is and is not freedom. Then let's talk about how so many tolerant and compassionate people are completely missing the mark.

First of all, a bill allowing private businesses to discriminate against any customer based on religious belief is not the end the of the world. Remember those "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" signs in the convenience store by the beach (or anywhere else)? Yeah, that's discrimination. Remember those "We reserve the right to refuse service to any customer for any reason" signs in restaurants and bars (not that I frequent bars, but I've been in enough to know they're there)? Yeah, that's also discrimination.

The problem is that people think "discrimination" is a bad word. If you're discriminating, you're obviously an intolerant, incompassionate, and wholly unfeeling lout. If you discriminate, it must mean you're some sort of bigot or homophobe (which is a world I detest, as it's so completely misused) and you should probably be shot at dawn in the main square after being forced to stand in the stocks overnight and be pelted with rotten vegetables and cow dung. And yet the same people who believe discrimination is evil also make choices about what brands to buy, which people to be friends with, what clothes to wear, what car to drive, and where they work. In short, everyone discriminates. To discriminate means to make a value judgement based on your beliefs, experience, perception, tastes, and understanding.

Of course, in this case, people are up in arms about the possibility that private business owners will be able to choose which customers to serve and which not to, and because the stories have made national headlines about gay couples suing private florists or bakers for not providing their services for a wedding to which the owners objected on religious grounds, discrimination for business owners must mean that business owners will now throw out the gays en masse.

Being of a libertarian mindset, I support the right of absolutely any private business to discriminate about whom they will and will not serve. Why? Not because I'm a heartless, bigoted homophobe. No, it's because I think we are all benefited by as much liberty in business as possible. I think it is absolutely immoral of the State to legislate that any private business owner must serve absolutely everyone who walks through their doors.

GASP! I can hear someone claiming that I would have supported segregation in the Old South! Maybe even slavery!

Let's be logical here. If a private business is free to discriminate, the market is much more free. Free, unfettered markets produce products and services that are based on what the public is willing to pay for. Jobs are created, creativity and ingenuity are rewarded, and people find new products they didn't know they needed before. Wealth is created this way, and anyone can get a share of that wealth by coming up with a popular product or service. Any attempt at forcing private businesses to serve one set of people or not serve another set of people gets in the way of this process. That, to me, creates more evil in the long run than allowing discrimination. Yes, evil. I said evil.

Once the State can tell you whom you must serve, they can also tell you whom you must not serve. Remember Hitler's Germany, where private businesses were penalized for serving Jews? What if much-maligned Christians in the U.S. became the new boogeyman, not to be treated as full citizens--or even as full humans? What if it were people with dark skin? Oh, wait, that's already happened. So don't tell me it can't happen here. And if you allow the modern State to tell private businesses whom they must serve, it's happened again.

But what about the gay people who want cakes or flowers for their weddings? How fair is it that they can't get them from people who are religiously opposed to gay marriage?

I tell my children that I'm going to make them t-shirts with the words "It's not fair!" printed on the front. I hear that phrase so much, and it's something you expect from immature children, not from adults.

Okay, so what about dirty, stinking homeless people who regularly get thrown out of stores for being dirty, stinky, drunk, foul-mouthed, or annoying? What about people who don't get served because they aren't wearing shoes or a shirt? What about someone who walks into a store and begins to antagonize everyone in it with threats? Should you be forced to serve all of those people? Even if they hurt your business or threaten your other customers or you whole-heartedly disagree with their lifestyle?

Yes, it is the same thing.

So if this bill passes, what happens? It means that any private business owner remains in control of his or her business. It means he or she can discriminate about which customers to serve or not serve. And if a gay couple walks in and is rejected on religious grounds, the gay couple has the opportunity to find an establishment that would be more than happy to take their money for services they are willing to render.

The point is this: it doesn't matter if it's on religious grounds or political grounds or whatever grounds. Private business is PRIVATE and has the right to discriminate. This is the way the free market works. If you don't like a store for their discrimination policies, choose another store. Spend your money in establishments that want your money. Vote with your wallet. Tell your friends. This is how all of us participate in the free market. Those private businesses who make choices that are unpopular will feel the consequences in their bottom line. Maybe they change their policies, maybe they go bankrupt. But it's their choice because they are PRIVATE.

Emotions and hurt feelings do not enter into this conversation, which is often the currency of leftist policies. Free markets work best for everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. When the State dictates to private business owners that they no longer have the right to discriminate for any reason that blows in on the political wind, there is no free market. Then we all suffer for someone's hurt feelings and downtrodden emotions. We all lose more liberty and freedom. We all take another step toward evil.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Quick Headshot

Here is my one of my beautiful and artistic daughters. I am putting her head shot here so she can link to it in an application.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Be Still

One of my friends has asked the desperate question: how do you tap-out? Between work, home, bill paying, the inability to sleep well, and all the responsibilities that come of taking care of a family and doing the right things, how do you relax? How do you give up the stress without piling on the guilt?

Did I mention that this friend is male? He's also Catholic. Between Mormons and Catholics, I think there is so much guilt being produced that it could probably compensate for all those who blithely and recklessly ruin their and other peoples' lives through careless or deliberate actions.

Is life really more complicated than it was when people spent most of their time on survival? Are we truly more busy and stressed? The answer is an unequivocal and resounding YES! Our lives do not reflect the same sort of stresses that once plagued our agricultural ancestors. While we have thousands of machines to do the heavy labor of life, we have also invented a million new ways to trigger the fight-or-flight syndrome. We are on 24-hour alert every single day of the year. It isn't a female thing. It isn't a male thing. It's a human thing.

To add insult to injury, if you abide by a religious or spiritual creed or belief, you are also attempting to live a good life and make good choices. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, as living a moral life of treating others as you would wish yourself to be treated is only going to make the world a better place. But when we start feeling horrible and crippling guilt for what we perceive are our failures and never give ourselves credit for the things we do right, something is very askew.

Another problem is that what is right is now a big question mark for much of society, and that question brings with it a whole new set of stresses and worries. Are you a failure if you don't recycle everything possible? Are you a horribly insensitive person if you don't agree with all the social progression that is constantly being flung at us? Are you teaching your children correctly if you aren't politically correct?

So where does it end? When does the enjoyment of life begin? When is it okay to tap-out? And how do you do it?

I have my days when worries and stresses and guilt almost overwhelm me. I allow that inner critical voice to say nasty things and call me names. I cry with the grief of being so incompetent and stupid and lazy that I can't do everything and be everything I know I should be. And then there are the days when I regain my eternal perspective and realize that most of what is considered important in this world is so much fluff. What is truly important is feeling the joy in the journey, in loving your family and sharing smiles and laughs and the freedom to share your feelings in a safe place. What's important is turning to God when the burden seems unbearable and laying that burden at his feet. What's important is realizing that you will never, ever do everything you could possibly do because you are human, flawed by your very nature. What's important is giving other people the benefit of the doubt and loving them, too, because they are on the same sort of journey you are on.

The scripture I repeat most often to myself is "be still and know that I am God." There are two important commandments in that scripture, both of which are hard to follow when you are swimming breathlessly in the panic of trying to keep your head above water. The first is to be still. The second is to know and recognize God's hand in all things. Be still. Be calm. Quiet your monkey-mind. Silence your doubts. Let the fear go. Take time for contemplation of the most beautiful things in the world. Kneel at the feet of the Savior and lay down your burden, handing it over to the shoulders that can and have borne all things. And then know that God's hand surrounds you, that you are precious to Him, and that He wants to hear every thought and feeling you have. Know that He is, that His name is I AM, Eternal, Endless, Love. There is nothing greater than God, not even the bills.

Then you learn to live with less: less stress, less worry, less fear. You learn to shrug your shoulders more and take joy in the happy moments. You learn that the kids are not going to be harmed by not having all the music or sports lessons that you can't afford. You learn that if you are consciously trying to make good decisions, you'll be led toward them and away from the most horrible ones. You learn that there are constant miracles whenever you look for them and have faith, even with money being too tight and time being so short, and days that are full of responsibility. And you learn that even when you make mistakes or suffer pain and anguish, that the lessons learned and the progress you make is a triumph over tragedy. I know--far more easily said than done! Why do you think I'm reminding myself of it yet again?

To my friend, Dave, who is stretched so tightly, you're in my prayers. You are a good, good man, and it shows in how you live your life and how you treat your family and friends. If we know people by the fruits they produce, I am honored to be friends with someone of your caliber. You are always trying to be consistent with what you know to be right and good. I hope you find your tap-out, but I think you're doing just fine. Maybe you can let go of some guilt and stress and enjoy the journey a bit more, which is darn good advice for all of us.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


What do you do when you seethe with emotions?

Some people go for a run or walk. Some people talk them out. Some people write them out. Some people don't do any of those things and just wait for the tidal wave to subside.

In this case, I think I will pound them out through music. Bach fugues on the organ first, and then some crazy Latin tangos on the piano. I'll finish with Kuhlau's finger-tricky piano exercises to force me to focus on the music alone and nothing else.

After, I might just stream a Bollywood flick while I walk on the treadmill. Or Doctor Who.

It's not that the seething emotions are all negative or all positive; it's a real mix today. The monkey-mind in my head is wildly active, which is due in part to my habit of thinking way too much and in part to the virtue of my being a woman. Or is that redundant?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Good Day Today

I had a really good day today. It was one of those days that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and even a little bit productive. First, I got to see an old mission buddy at the airport because he had a layover in The Big City during a business trip to California. Husband couldn't go this time because he had to work, so I went by myself, and Marco and I hung out in the baggage claim area for an hour, catching up, before he had to board his next flight.

Then, as I was already in The Big City, I visited my favorite grocery outlet store and was very pleased to find some excellent deals. My fridge and pantry are now stocked with a lot of good fruits and veggies, including two big bags of new Yukon gold and red potatoes. I love new potatoes boiled or steamed and tossed with butter, salt, pepper, and parsley, but new potatoes are usually cost-prohibitive. I walked out of there with an overflowing basket, having decreased my bank account by far, far less than all that stuff would have cost me at a regular store.

After I arrived home, my visiting teaching companion and I went and visited one of our neighbors. Both of those ladies are wonderful, and I had an excellent time talking with them.

Husband came home from work soon after. My favorite part of the day is seeing his face again and giving him a welcoming hug and lingering kiss.

Then, later in the evening, my brother, Aaron, called. We spent an hour trading news and talking about all the stuff we've learned lately. Eventually, we'll get our website actually going. We've talked about it forever and have the plan all worked out (Aaron even has the domain name and a skeleton site set up), but both of us have been so busy that it stays on the back burner. I love that this brother, who is 10 years younger than I, is one of my best friends. Well, I love all of my brothers, of course. And sisters. I'm a lucky girl to have such wonderful siblings.

It was a good day today.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Colloidal Silver Picture Pages

Here is where I post pictures with some explanations to go along with my last post about colloidal silver. I made up a new batch of colloidal silver today, so I thought I would document the process.

Below, you see my power source, a clean pickle jar I have rinsed with reverse-osmosis (RO) filtered water, and two .999+ fine silver bars. The cookies have nothing to do with making colloidal silver, but don't they look yummy? Sian wins the gold medal in chocolate chip cookie creation. Her secret is making her own brown sugar with molasses.

The power source we have is taken right out of a computer. A former neighbor basically added a plug, a switch, and a couple of Christmas light bulbs (those are inside the box) before drawing a high voltage warning on the top. He also attached two alligator clips.

I filled the jar with filtered water. It's a big jar, but I have a lot of voltage--around 120--so I can make larger amounts of colloidal silver more quickly than if I was using three or four 9-volt batteries hooked together. If I was using batteries, I would only put in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of distilled or RO filtered water. I clipped the silver bars about one inch apart and made sure that they were an inch into the water. I also made sure the alligator clips did not touch the water.

Sorry about the blurriness here. What I was attempting to show was that the bar clipped to the negative alligator clip on the right is turning black as the electric current runs through it. Totally normal. If you look really hard at the water, you can see the swirls of silver ions coming off the silver bar on the left.

While the colloidal silver is brewing, I thought I'd show you one of the neti pots I own and use all the time. You can get these at Walmart (which is where I got mine) or probably Walgreens or another drugstore. They aren't expensive, and they come with 50 premixed packets of the salt/baking soda mixture that keeps the water from burning your sinuses. That's very, very important. If you don't use those packets, it feels like you went to the pool and accidentally snorted a bunch of water up your nose and will spend the rest of the day feeling annoyed and slightly ill.

This is a different version of the neti pot that uses a squeeze bottle. While I much prefer the pot above, Husband and most of the kids like the squeeze bottle better.

You can see that the water has changed color significantly. This is after 30 minutes.

And here is is after a couple hours from starting time.

Here's the thing: my colloidal silver maker is not perfect. As I've discovered, a constant current without a stirring mechanism of some sort means that some of the silver particles will get pretty large as a particle attracts other particles. Stirring will disperse the tiny particles throughout the water and prevent this snowball effect. But if you let colloidal silver like this sit for a while, the larger particles will settle to the bottom where you can see them. You then have the choice of pouring the batch through a coffee filter to eliminate the larger particles or just being gentle when you pour your colloidal silver so you do not disturb the particles at the bottom.

I also notice when I use the colloidal silver in the neti pot that I get silver particles on the tissue when I blow my nose. Nothing to worry about, and I've seen immediate good results from using my colloidal silver as a sinus rinse. 

I'm done talking about his now. It's out of my system. Tomorrow, who knows what I'll feel the urge to write about? I'm all in a tizzy with the wonderment.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Almost Everything You Wanted to Know about Colloidal Silver and Why I Snort It up My Nose

"What is colloidal silver," you ask, "and why have you been snorting it up your nose??"

If I had a nickle for every time someone came to me with that question...

But I and my nickle are going to satisfy the burning curiosity of an inquisitive public today, right here and now. Then, after I finish this post, I will finally get myself ready for the day. Sometimes, the urge to write something overwhelms my urge to perform all the necessary daily tasks of physical hygiene, dress, and cosmetics application, and the only way to get on with it is to scratch the itch. I might as well combine the need to write something--anything--with my skills in cranking out informative articles for a heart-stopping showcase of what it is I do in front of my computer all day. Read on!

What is Colloidal Silver?

A simple definition of a colloid is a mixture that is made of particles of one substance evenly distributed and suspended in another substance. When I make colloidal silver, I am causing particles of silver to be suspended in distilled or reverse-osmosis water. The particles of silver are very, very small and cannot be removed from the water once the colloid is formed. Depending on how you make your colloidal silver, it will range anywhere from 1 to over 1000 ppm (parts per million). The higher the ppm, the stronger the colloidal silver. Different strengths can be used for different sorts of things and in different ways.

How do You Use Colloidal Silver?

Legal disclaimer: Now I run into potential problems with the FDA, but since I'm not offering to sell any colloidal silver products, I think I'm fairly safe. Remember, however, that I am not a doctor and am making no medical claims.

Silver has excellent antimicrobial properties and has been used for millenia in healing. The only real reason it lost favor was at the advent of antibiotic treatments in the early 20th century, but newly emerging superbugs have forced doctors and medical researchers to once again take a look at how silver can help. According to this article on the Bullion Street blog, silver seems to harm bacteria by sticking to the sulfur in each bacterium, which then interrupts the bacterium's ability to use iron effectively. Additionally, silver forces bacteria to produce extremely toxic substances that disrupt each cell's DNA enough to render it harmless to you. The idea, then, is to get silver to the site of a bacterial infection within the body, but it only works if the silver is in a colloidal mixture. Otherwise, the silver particles are too large to do good and could possibly harm you instead.

Colloidal silver can be taken internally or externally. People use it as a spray or gargle for a sore throat or sometimes drink it to resolve digestive problems. I'm not sure if colloidal silver is effective once it's passed through the stomach, so trying to resolve disorders lower in the intestines might be tricky. Externally, you can mix colloidal silver with a cream or gel and apply it to a wound, but you must bandage the wound because the silver will react with light and may cause your skin to turn a bit blue. There are many possible uses for colloidal silver which I am not going to list here. A little research will unearth plenty of ways that people use colloidal silver.

Is Colloidal Silver Safe to Use?

That's a great question, because if you do an internet search on colloidal silver, you'll probably turn up some pretty scary stuff. Many sites will warn you about potential risks such as kidney issues, possible seizures, and even death. Also mentioned a lot is argyria or argyrosis, along with references to a man whose skin turned blue after using colloidal silver. First of all, take a close look at what websites trumpet the most profound warnings and consider their funding sources. Websites that support allopathic medicine tend to poo-poo silver's efficacy while making you very nervous to try it at all. Why? Probably because easy, inexpensive natural remedies are always suspect from an allopathic point of view, which tends to rely almost solely on pharmaceuticals for healing (and for the very cynical among us, follow the money: where would Big Pharma be if they didn't have people slavering to buy their expensive pills and potions?).

I have absolutely nothing against doctors, having been very pleased with the help I and my family have received from intelligent, competent doctors, but I also believe that when used with solid knowledge and education, natural remedies like colloidal silver pose little risk. That blue guy, Paul Karason, used silver as a skin remedy on his face and hands as well as taking a LOT of silver internally for over a decade. When silver on the skin reacts with light, it turns your skin blue. A few doses of colloidal silver for a sore throat or sinus infection are not going to turn you blue and is highly, highly unlikely to do any damage whatsoever. In fact, you'll find many, many people who are so excited about how colloidal silver has helped them heal more quickly or overcome seemingly impossible infections that antibiotics couldn't touch that they can't help but crow loudly.

On the other hand, people who sell colloidal silver definitely want you to buy their product, so they'll be very enthusiastic about the benefits of colloidal silver. I don't know that it's a cure-all for absolutely every ailment known to man. I also wouldn't recommend taking it as daily maintenance unless you find that daily doses really do relieve your symptoms. Personally, I use it for specific things and for limited amounts of time.

How do You Make Your Own Colloidal Silver?

It's surprisingly easy to make your own colloidal silver and save yourself lots of money. Plus, by making it yourself, you can control the concentration of the parts per million. Weak colloidal silver looks like water, and the strong stuff gets darker and darker yellow, amber, and gray. You could, conceivably, make it so strong that it is pretty much a black goo.

What you'll need:

* a power source (easiest power source is four or five 9-volt batteries)
* two alligator clips, one red and one black
* a very clean glass jar
* two lengths of .999 pure silver wire or pure silver discs, ingots, or bars
* distilled water or water that has been through a reverse-osmosis filter
* dark brown glass bottle for storage, or find a dark cupboard where the colloidal silver will not be exposed to light

First, you'll need to make the power source. We had a neighbor make us a power source for this purpose years ago, so all we need to do is plug it into the wall socket and flip the switch. It has a pretty high voltage and makes a lot of colloidal silver very quickly, but 9-volt batteries will do just fine. Hook together four or five of the batteries by clicking the nubbins on top together, negative to positive.

Next, attach the wires of the red alligator clip to a positive nubbin on a battery and the black alligator clip to a negative nubbin, just like you would if your car battery died and you needed a jump.

Rinse your clean jar with distilled or reverse-osmosis water. You do not want any minerals from the tap water to interfere with the process.

Put 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the distilled or reverse-osmosis water in the jar. Clip the silver wires, discs, ingots, or bars to the side of the jar so that each piece of silver is about one inch away from the other but not touching. Both pieces of silver need to be immersed in the water at least 1/2 to 2 inches. Make sure that the alligator clips do not touch the water at all. People have rigged up all kinds of contraptions to do this, but using large alligator clips instead of tiny ones is probably the easiest fix for this step. I have silver bars, and the large alligator clips on my power source make clipping the bars to the side of the jar very simple and easy.

Once the process has begun, you'll notice bubbles coming off the anode bar or wire. Over time, the anode will also become very dark and look tarnished. Don't worry, that's normal. Once you are done making the colloidal silver, just scrub the bar or wire with a non-metallic scrubby to remove the black stuff. You don't have to return it to pristine color condition to make it safe to use again.

I like my colloidal silver dark because I use it only rarely. Remember, the darker it is, the stronger it is. If you want to take maintenance doses or use it for long periods of time, stop the process when the water looks very slightly yellow. It's entirely up to you if you want to let it go longer and allow the water to get more amber-colored. The kind I make is nearly black, but I don't have my kids drink it--not that they will, anyway. It does taste a little metallic.

Finally, store your colloidal silver in a brown or amber glass bottle if at all possible. Otherwise, keep it stored away in a very dark place so it will not react to light.

Why Did You Snort Colloidal Silver up Your Nose?

What a great question! Where's my nickle?

But seriously, I had to admit to myself that I probably have a sinus infection. I hardly ever get sick, so that was difficult to admit, but symptoms suggested it strongly. Plus, my children have almost all suffered from sinus infections recently. So, willing to experiment on myself, I decided to combine the neti pot with the colloidal silver.

I heated up two doses of colloidal silver in a pan on the stove until it was just body temperature (I knew the dosage amount because I filled the neti pot twice with colloidal silver to the "fill" line and then poured the colloidal silver into the pan to heat). Once the colloidal silver was the right temperature, I poured the first dose back into the neti pot and stirred in the little sachet of baking soda and salt that keeps the water from stinging your sinuses. Then, standing over the sink, I poured colloidal silver up my nose. It went up one nostril and came out the other.

And you thought Disneyland was fun!

I did that twice, once into each nostril, blowing my nose gently after each application. I'm happy to say that my symptoms almost immediately abated. I haven't had the headache or overall yucky sick feeling since I used the colloidal silver. I'll probably use the neti pot and colloidal silver once today and once tomorrow and then stop using the colloidal silver and switch to just filtered water to keep my sinuses cleaned out.

If you want a link to a good video about making your own colloidal silver, click here. There are plenty of YouTube videos and articles on the subject, so you can start getting your education quickly.

Now I'm finally going to put myself together and get back to my real work, which, today, is editing a manuscript. I'm glad you stopped by. I'll update this post later with a photo of my colloidal silver maker in action.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Human Interaction in the Thrift Store, and Thoughts of Obscure but Lucrative Talents

"Hey!" I yelled up to Husband on my way out of the door to take Sophia to a friend's birthday party. "I need an obscure but potentially lucrative talent. Maybe fantastic things from working a wood lathe? Can you think of anything for me?"

"I thought we were going to refurbish thrift store furniture," he yelled back.

Oh, yeah. That's right. We did talk about that a couple days ago, and I like the idea, though it's hardly obscure. We're always scouting thrift stores anyway, so we might as well have some fun turning sad and lonely dinged up furniture with good bones into lovely, salable finished products. It certainly isn't sitting in front of a computer writing or editing, and that's the really great part. Writing and editing doesn't usually involve a lot of human interaction, and sometimes I wonder if I'm turning into a hermit. It's a lucky thing that I just look like a helpful sort of person, and when I go to the library or someplace like that, people frequently ask me for help (thinking I work there) or strike up a conversation (because I just look friendly, I guess).

In fact, a couple days ago, I was at the thrift store with Husband and MIL. Husband and MIL were looking at stuff, but I grabbed a home decorating book with nice pictures and wandered over to the furniture section to sit down and read it while I waited. I chose to sit in the one piece of furniture I thought was worth buying and fixing up: a wingback chair clad in an unfortunate choice of faded blue and green plaid fabric. It was comfortable, and the arms were ample enough to provide good elbow support. With a thoughtful upholstering job, it could be a great chair.

I had been sitting there for a good twenty minutes when a man walked up.

"Have you finished the book yet?" he asked. "You were reading it when I came in, so I figure you must be just about done with it now." He laughed.

I showed him the page I was on.

"It's mostly pictures," I said, smiling. "So, yeah, I'm managing to get through it."

He told me that he was looking for a loveseat and pointed to an awful example with a sagging seat and dirty, horribly patterned material. "That looks like just what I need," he said. I pointed to one further down the row that was the same size but in really good shape. "Or that one," I countered.

That started a conversation about the insane price the store was charging for downtrodden old dressers, and we shared our displeasure over it. I mentioned that the chair I was sitting in was something I would buy, so I stood up and we looked at it a bit, commenting on its qualities. One of the store workers wandered up and joined our conversation. She flipped over the price tag on the wingback, which said $25.

"Oh, I could probably get that marked down for you," she said, noticing that the code on the tag meant the chair had been sitting there for several days. She started looking around for the manager. "It depends on who's managing. Sometimes I can get things marked down for customers."

I thanked her but told her I wasn't ready to buy today. She told me to look for her whenever I wanted to see if she could get me a markdown. I assured her I would. She wandered off, as did the man I had been talking to.

I was done with the book, and it wasn't one I wanted to take home with me, so I went to put it back on the shelf. On my way, I ran across Husband and MIL, who were heading for the cash registers. I told them I'd catch up after I put the book back on the shelf. But just as I reached the shelves, another man stopped me.

"Are you putting that book back?" he asked. I nodded. "Can I have it?" he asked. I handed it to him and began to turn and walk away, but he stopped me again.

"Is this a good book?" he asked, thumbing through the pages. "I'm really into home decorating books. Well, by that, I mean that I own four books about home decorating, but I'm always on the lookout for more."

He handed a McDonald's french fry to his daughter, who looked like she was about two years old and was standing up and hanging onto the side of his shopping cart. She grinned and shoved the fry into her mouth with her chubby little fingers. "Fe fie," she said explanatorily. I smiled at her.

"It isn't a book I'd buy," I said to her dad. "It has some lovely pictures, but it doesn't have any good tips in the text. I like pictures along with good ideas in the text. Unfortunately, they've moved all their books around and they've got nothing good in right now." I pointed to the shelf for home improvement, which had a few tattered and outdated books on it but was otherwise empty.

"What's a good book, then? What do you recommend?" He was still flipping through the pictures in the book I gave him, stopping to inspect one or two more closely. His daughter finished the fry and reached out her hand for another one, her short blond hair floating around her little head. Her dad handed her another fry.

"She's never so good in the cart. These fries are working really well. I'll have to use them more often," he laughed.

"You're very, very cute," I said to the little girl. She smiled at me around her mouthful.

Meanwhile, I couldn't think of any particular titles, despite the fact that my personal library is bursting with decorating books I have deemed worthy enough to be bought and brought home. This was the reason I made such a terrible salesperson in the book store, as well. As soon as a customer would try to describe a book or ask me for an idea, my mind would immediately go completely and utterly blank. Very inconvenient for both me and the customer. But suddenly, I remembered that I get magazines in the mail, and I also managed to remember the titles of them.

"I guess it depends on what you like in a decorating book," I said, trying to sound somewhat knowledgeable and intelligent and not completely empty-headed. "You have to look at a lot of them to decide what your favorite styles of decorating are. I like magazines, too. I get Better Homes & Gardens and Metropolitan Home, and I like those because you could actually, conceivably copy some of the ideas in them. I get Architectural Digest, as well, and I love it, but mostly I have to ask myself who could afford that kind of stuff? I picked up a cheap subscription to Country Home last year, but that magazine is just disappointing."

The man nodded as I spoke, listening intently. He laid the book I had given him on top of other books on the shelves, leaving it behind as he started gently pushing his cart forward. His daughter jumped up and down with excitement, but she was so short that she wasn't in danger of falling out of the cart. I followed him to the end of the aisle so I could go to the front of the store and meet Husband and MIL at the cash registers.

"Thanks for your help," he said. "No problem," I answered. I waved goodbye to his little girl and then headed up to the front of the store.

"I thought you were just putting a book back on the shelf," said Husband, when I slid up to him in line.

"That thing that happens to me in libraries happened here," I told him. "Someone asked me for help. You know I can't walk away from someone asking me for advice on books."

Husband chuckled.

"You know that wingback chair I showed you?" I asked him. "We gotta come back and get that. It could be our first project. I think I have about four books on reupholstering in our library."

After I master refurbishing old furniture, though, I'm going to get a wood lathe and develop an obscure talent in that direction. It just sounds fun. Maybe even lucrative.