Do you Squat?

Do you Squat?

I’m not talking about this kind of squat:
squats

I can assure they are wonderful for you to do. But I’m talking about a different kind of squat. Squat pooping!

Here is a little informational video I found.

I heard about this practice from a friend. I’m not one to immediately think of something as weird if I don’t know much about it so thought I would do a little research. I was quite surprised at what I found. I’ve always known that many other cultures practice this method of elimination. What I didn’t know was that there is research behind it and in America we suffer from so many problems that could be reduced or eliminated if we squatted. Watch the video and see what it has to say.

Now I understand that not everyone physically can get up and squat on their toilets. I’m quite flexible and it was just plain weird and pee sprayed everywhere! So messy and uncomfortable led me to the http://squattypotty.com/ website. Stools specifically designed in more than one height that can be pushed back to be a bit more out of the way.

I ordered one and it came quickly. I was so excited! Not only is it beneficial in elimination but there are pelvic floor muscles that get some relief from squatting while peeing. If used regularly this can help long term with bladder leakage due to muscle weakening.

My kids use it, I use it, and I’ve tried to get my hubby to use it. I’ve had it a good 2 months now and am so happy with the results! Not that I had a lot of problems but I’ve noticed some good changes. I would strongly suggest it to anyone and especially anyone that is struggling with any of their bathroom habits. You don’t have to order the one I have. You could make one relatively easy from just some scrap wood or a stool you already have around the house. Give it a try, nothing to lose!

When Anxiety Gets the Better of me

As the days get shorter and colder this time of year, my anxiety starts to get the better of me. It was never an issue for me until last year. I had a bad year, well, a bad fall/winter. Just after Thanksgiving my husband was traveling a lot for work which left me home alone with the kids and critters. Epic snow amounts and cold temps along with our first full winter in a new home in the country left me feeling very alone at times. As many with anxiety can tell you, that is a feeling that is hard to shake when you have anxiety. It can be a trigger for a panic attack which was my case.
For years I’ve dealt with the anxiety, but it was more along the lines of I’d have a couple days a month where I’d be anxious. I’d only had really less than 10 panic attacks in 6 years. But last winter, I had 2 days in a row when hubby was gone that it happened. When we moved to our homestead, we moved to a new town more than an hour from our old friends and family. As a SAHM it’s hard to meet new friends and that was what made me feel so alone. The snow made me feel trapped, yet another trigger for the wonderful world of anxiety.
It just seemed one thing after another piled up until I cracked. I have had a prescription for Xanax for years to take if I have a panic attack. I hated taking it. I felt I should be able to beat it on my own. I started taking it more and more frequently, feeling guilty and afraid I’d get addicted to it. After seeing my doctor and voicing my concerns he assured me I was ok. He suggested I try a day to day RX to help manage things for a while. I admitted to myself at that time that I needed the help. I felt weak and broken but it started to work.
The spring came and I felt much better, summer too. But as the summer began to wind down I felt it coming. Just the anxiety over what could come. I upped my dosage but am taking Xanax daily in the evening to keep things under control. Thankfully it’s a low dose, I ease my insane worries of addiction with that thought. The time change is coming up this weekend. I’m just trying to reassure myself that I can’t have the same year as last year. Could be worse, could be better, but it will not be the same.
I recently met someone who I’m hoping will be helpful in my transition from the prescriptions back to natural options. She is a Young Living Essential Oils Representative and a certified Health Practitioner. I had my first appointment with her and it was amazing what she was able to determine my body was lacking and needed. She was able to determine specific traumas, both emotional and physical I have had, and recommended some essential oils to help release those which should ease some anxiety. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading. Anyone else out there that struggles with anxiety/panic attacks, please know you’re not alone and, yes, they suck, but you can get it under control! Reach out if you need to.

Goodbye Robin

Goodbye Robin

Probably every single one of you has read at least a dozen if not more blogs or posts on the death of Robin Williams. Here’s another.

I’m one of the kids that grew up watching him in film. Mork and Mindy was before my time but I’ve had a chance to watch a few episodes that lived on in syndication. I loved every single movie he was in that I got the chance to see.
Typically, I’m not one to get emotional much over the death of someone that’s famous and I’ve never had a chance to get to know well enough to be invested. I find it silly when people weep and leave makeshift memorials outside their homes or other places. How can you possibly be upset over the death of someone you didn’t even know except through the TV or movie screens?
Robins death hit me differently. I think it was due to the tragedy of it all. Blogs and articles have argued back and forth about how it was either completely selfish of him to take his own life, or how it was what he felt was his only option. I guess everyone just wants to be heard.
The reason his death hit me so differently was because I’m someone who has to live daily with anxiety. For over 10 years now it’s been almost a constant thorn in my side. For years and years I never quite understood why doctors and psychologists and all the professionals referenced anxiety and depression as one. I had anxiety but I didn’t have depression. Robin’s death for some reason made me re-examine that.
Anxiety is one thing, depression another. But there is a very strong link. Anxiety can become such a burden on a person that it causes depression. I hate that I have to deal with anxiety. I’ve had panic attacks and they scare the shit out of me. I would do almost anything to avoid one. For years I fought taking medication. To me, I thought it was something I should be able to conquer. Mind over matter sort of thing. After dealing with several panic attacks in a row I realized I didn’t have control at all. It took a great deal of internal struggle to accept that I needed help. But, I’m a homesteader! And before that I had long been committed to a natural and organic lifestyle as much possible.
After finally seeing that the natural options I’d been trying weren’t quite cutting it, I agreed to try a prescription to help. I’m thankful that I did, though I do still feel like I’m cheating by doing so and only have a temporary band aid.
I’m rambling now, so back to the point. Robin’s death made me finally see that I also suffer from some minor depression. How can someone with anxiety not? It takes over your life, forces you to avoid things you used to enjoy because you don’t want to trigger an attack. It affects your relationships with everyone in your life. I’m open with my husband and close family about my struggles which helps but it still isolates me. I hate to feel like I’m always complaining to someone about a stressor in my life I can’t control but am trying to. Always being on guard about every situation in case you won’t have control to leave or you might get stuck in a crowd or weird random things is tough. And just knowing you have anxiety is a burden that causes some depression. I feel bad about having it, about how it affects those I know, and has changed my life. My husband and I love concerts, festivals, travel, but, now I am terrified of all those things! That is hard to live with. Knowing I’ve changed his life as well.
It scares the hell out of me to see someone famous, someone I loved as an actor, not be able to get help with something I also deal with. To see him have so many friends and loved ones that weren’t able to help him. To know he couldn’t help himself. That he got to a point in life where he felt his only choice and only option to end the pain was to end his life. That is heavy. You know it started some where with him. It was just suddenly one day he was depressed and the thought crossed his mind to do it and that was it. No, it was years of struggle, years of addiction which was likely due to his struggles with depression, and after all that time, it was his only way out.
My favorite post/blog about him was from the famous Kurt Sutter:

I’ve been moved by all the pictures and quotes about Robin Williams. As a recovering addict who suffers from anxiety and depression, I was equally saddened and terrified. Reminded how cunning, baffling and powerful the disease(s) can be. As self indulgent as this may sound, I couldn’t help thinking of my own demons and the dark places they take me. So as sad and tragic as it is to lose an uber-talent like Robin, I’ll take his death as an act of service to all of us that have felt the same way. And try to find the gratitude and love that keeps me away from the rope and beam. Today, I will look at this picture of one of the people I love most and say #thankyourobin. I encourage you to do the same. Take a picture of someone you love, hold that gratitude and thank Robin for reminding us how precious and fucking fragile life can be.
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So I guess the moral of my post is summed up best by Kurt. His death made me look my own demons in the face and that scared the shit out of me. But I’ve got beautiful family and friends that I love and love me right back. Take some time to think about your own darkness if you have it. Honor it, it’s not going anywhere and then remind yourself what you live for! Those that deal with these things, they actually are blessed. We get to see the good and the bad in ourselves and that can make the good all that more beautiful. Maybe this will help me to see my suffering as a blessing and not such a curse all the time.
My hope is that anyone out there that is scared and living in the dark will reach out. Someone will be there to grab your hand. Or at least give you a hug.

My prayers go out to him and his family. Goodbye Robin, I hope your soul has found peace.

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Mosquitoe Spray

The wet weather here has created a fantastic environment for mosquitoes! Man are they fierce this year! Big ones too, not just a lot of them, but some bigger than normal. The commercial sprays scare me so I had made up my own bug spray for our family and the dogs which seems to hold up pretty well most the time. Deep woods it’s not the best solution but for normal activities in the yard it does it’s job.

I used a plastic spray bottle and the following recipe:

20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops citronella oil
20 drops lavender oil
Distilled Water

Put essential oils in bottle, fill remainder of bottle with distilled water, shake and apply.
You will want to shake before each application to mix and reapply as needed.

It doesn’t work as long as commercial sprays but it does the trick and the lavender oil adds a nice calming layer to the spray. I’ve been using it most the summer and though the dogs don’t like it when I spray them, they do appreciate the lack of biting! I’ve done some research and the tea tree oil is supposed to repel ticks as well, something we have here. Another bonus!

Wet & Soggy

Just a little follow up on my previous post to “The Best of Intentions”

I fully enjoyed my free time with the kids gone. About half way through them being gone, and I have to admit that I did feel slightly guilty about how much I was enjoying it! But I got over that.

Lets see, I got some weeding done. And that’s about it! You know what, I’m okay with it! I have accepted I don’t do well with tons of plans. It overwhelms me and I don’t do any of it. So I just wing it, what I feel like doing, I do. If it doesn’t get done, it will still be there tomorrow.

In Michigan, we’ve had a very wet cool summer so far. There have been some short streaks of warm days, but nothing like it typically is. I think the weather man on the local news said we haven’t had a single day in the 90’s this year yet, and that is extremely uncommon. My garden has suffered from these circumstances greatly! Our homestead is off the road a ways, but low. We have a creek running across the back of our property and have a ton of crayfish that have holes all around the property. I can walk through the paths and hear them scramble back into their holes into water, and that typically is not the case. They usually dry out a lot. It’s been so wet that one end of my garden has remained wet all season. We have dark clay-like soil that holds the water remarkably well and no water has been required.

I’m not sure how people that live in these types of climates typically handle these issues? Like I said, my garden isn’t happy about it. My peas and beans are all short and not producing much, the cherry and grape tomatoes have some on the plants but I’ve only gotten 2 off them so far. The bigger tomato plants have scattered green ones but nothing like the numbers they should. It’s a bit frustrating to see all the hard work that went into prepping, planting, and maintaining to seem to be in vain. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome! My sad garden and I would appreciate it!

The best of intentions

The best of intentions

It’s so quiet here. Birds are chirping and the clickety clack of goat hooves on their castle is all that I hear. Typically there are two girls making some kind of ruckus, or screaming at each other about something. Their grandparents just left here with them for an entire week! Possibly more! The silence is…well it’s silent.
Whenever they are gone, I feel like I should get all this stuff done. I have all these intentions. The goat barn needs to be cleaned out, the garden tended to, my landscaping weeded, grass mowed, house cleaned from top to bottom, closets rearranged and cleaned out, garage cleaned, a million projects I’d like to do, and the list goes on. Not to mention the rental next door that hasn’t been touched in over a month! No tenant = no income. I almost get frantic in my head with the things I want to and should do.
I have the intentions to do it, but I also have a bit of a rebellious spirit in me. When I feel like I should do something, I typically don’t. Then I’ll feel guilty the whole time instead of enjoying my alone time and the time with my husband. Thankfully, he doesn’t care if I do all those things, or none of them. He’s kind of awesome like that. I don’t tell him that enough.
This time, I’m going to try and enjoy the silence. Ignore the lists and the guilt. Enjoy my free time today and my date night tonight. Take a page from my old cat’s book, and enjoy a nice afternoon nap on this gorgeous summer day. Remember that I’m blessed to even have the options to do most of the things I intend to do, let alone ignore them for a nap.

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Lost but reinventing!

My last post indicated that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the feel and content of my page so I’m making some changes.

I am doing my best to create a homestead here for me and my family but it’s a work in progress and is being done in baby steps. I get motivated and then have a complete lack of motivation for a while. I was conflicted, feeling like this page was deceitful in that I was a complete homesteader. I’m not, I’m just learning the ropes and trying to acclimate. I’m a woman and I’m not overly concerned about looks and stuff but as a woman I care some.

My biggest issue was that I’m trying to live this healthy, living off the land, natural as can be chick. That’s what I’d like to be, but I’m not there yet. I’ve decided I’m not being deceitful, I stated I’m trying to find myself and working on that as well as a homestead. It’s a great journey to be on, I’m proud of where I’m going and what it takes to get there. Baby steps are better than no steps. It’s hard to balance modern life with a homesteader life but it’s my job to do it and in my own way.

I’ll be posting many things; homesteading and parenting tips/ideas/stories, DIY projects, Crafts, and lots of other things. It’s my life and my journey, hopefully you’ll like what you see. If not, move right along!

Thanks!