Monday, August 29, 2011


The Jarhead flew off to world's unknown this past week...also known as temporary assigned duty.  Since we were housebound with the pink eye and all, I decided to tackle some spring cleaning.  At the end of summer.  Sometimes I am a bit behind the curve. 

Our upcoming PCS in mind, I ruthlessly went through all our stuff and ended up with a great big "sell it" pile.  Now at last I have room in the closet for the vacuum cleaner. Good news, because it wasn't working so well as a contemporary art piece in the living room. 

Along with making room for the vacuum cleaner, I found my old photo albums and was instantly transported back in time.  Ahhh, memories.

Here is my cow.  My brother and I worked long and hard at a local dairy for her.  Her name was Delilah, but all we could think about with that name was the shameless hussy that chopped Sampson's hair off in the Bible; her and the silky-voiced radio host.  We changed her name to Abby and she was our baby; as much as a cow can be. 
 I am awestruck by this picture and the beauty of the dairy.  I can't believe it was all just "background" when I was a teen and surrounded by that beauty everyday.  I wish taking things for granted wasn't so inevitable.  Of course, I was trudging through cow manure at the time....that might have had something to do with it.
 There's me in the height of style, feeding one of the first calves I was ever put in charge of; I think her name was Poppy.
 Ahh, the chicken that made me hate all poultry ever after....he didn't deserve a clear picture.  But you can still see his evil eye.  I think his name was Demon Chicken...or Zeke...
 This would be CJ, the horse that tried to bite my toes while I rode him...
 And here's the hunky Jarhead I was dreaming about while I was scooping up manure and laying down hay for the cows. *swoon* 
Except in my dreams he was a cowboy.  Or a fireman.  Or a backwoodsman. 

This was Iraq, about 6 months before we got married.  He came home, swept me off my feet and slammed my head into the door frame of our honeymoon suite.  Major fail on carrying me over the threshold.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink Is My Daughter's Favorite Color...Just Not In Her Eyes.

Sickness has struck our family once again.  It seems impossible for us to go more than a few months at a time here without catching some gross strain of something.  I am beginning to understand the profound fashion statement of...the surgical mask...ubiquitously employed  by the locals.  This time it was pink eye. 

 It spread like wildfire among the children of vacation Bible school at our church, and unfortunately for us it must have lingered in the room we held our daughters' birthday party in the day after.  First came the cold.  Then came the pink eye.  By the end of the day my daughter's right eye was swollen shut, and her left was not far behind.  I put warm compresses on her eyes, cuddled her, and scheduled a Dr.s appointment for the next morning.  I put her to bed, then checked my Facebook.  A couple of friends had written that breast milk worked wonders on pink eye.  And here I thought I was the holistic wackjob.  Conveniently I am still nursing my youngest and have a steady supply of "mommy milk."  More conveniently, my daughter woke up crying a couple of minutes after I read the comments.  I brought her downstairs and put on more warm compresses, then expressed some milk for her eyes.  I cautiously proceeded, thinking this might meet with some resistance.  Thankfully, she was half asleep and the first eye was easy peasy.  The shock of the milk in her eye woke her up and it was a bit of a tackle to get it in her other; especially since it was swollen shut.  I persevered though, and within an hour of that first application, she was noticeably improved.  I put more in about an hour later, and then took her up to bed.  In the morning, her eyes looked amazing.  She was still slightly puffy, but with continued applications, she was completely better in no time.  I thought we were all done and good to go.  Then a couple of days later, my younger daughter started with it.  And I thought putting milk in the eyes of my oldest was hard....

My youngest survived all the torture and is looking good.  Again, I thought we were all done and good to go.  Then I woke up this morning to eyelashes nearly fused shut.  Oh joy.  I got myself some hot compresses, and expressed some milk for my eyes.  My precious baby girl was near hysteria, laughing as I put it in my eyes.  Now we are even I guess.  The second application was witnessed by my oldest.

She saw the cup of milk after I expressed it and said, "Mommy, I don't want milk in my eyeballs!"
"No honey, it's not for you, it's for Mommy; my eyes are all yucky now too."
"Awww, it's okay Mommy." She reassured me as she stroked my forehead.  Then when I put the milk in my eyes she got a tissue to wipe away the drips, and I am positive I heard her snickering.  I have some sweet kids, I'll tell you.

Being utterly fascinated and thankful for the wonder of breast milk, I did some searching online for other possible uses.  It's amazing. 
You can use it to relieve the itching from insect bites; for burns, cuts, ear infections, rashes, acne, chicken pox, chapped lips and skin, etc, etc and so forth!

The Jarhead says I am becoming like the guy on My Big Fat Greek Wedding who thought Windex was a cure for everything.  That's ridiculous, I only put it on my daughter's diaper rash.  And my chapped lips.  And my poor, stuffy red nose.  And the Jarhead's zit.  And......okay fine.  I am that guy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Broken Ports and Dr. Burzynski

I find myself in the unfortunate position of not being able to upload photos to either of my computers.  This is bad, bad, bad.  Not only am I doing a photo shoot next weekend with plans for more in the near future, I can't post pictures to my blog.  *sniff* 
Since it is impossible to blog without pictures hardy har har, I will save the delicious recipe and other incredibly useful information I have for another day, leaving you with a trailer for a powerful documentary; one that I would for sure classify as a "must watch".  Understand, the FDA is not interested in the health of the people, but is solely driven by greed.  It is hard to fathom how people can become so calloused as to not regard the lives’ of others, or the future of our people. 
 As the Bible says, "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." ~ 1 Timothy 6:10

You can rent and instantly watch the whole documentary on Amazon for $2.99.  Or you can watch it for free on Youtube.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Good And The Bad: Product Reviews

As promised, our humble opinions regarding some of the organic/all natural products we have purchased and tried. 
I grilled the Jarhead for his opinions too, but sometimes the answer was slightly less than enlightening.  For instance, when he came over to kiss me the other morning with minty fresh breath, I asked him what he thought of the new toothpaste I bought.  He said something like, "It's paste for my teeth."  That's Jarhead speak for, "quit asking me stupid questions."  And the fact that it's a stupid question means that in his mind, it hangs with the rest of toothpaste.  My opinion is pretty much the same; it's toothpaste.  My teeth felt super duper slick and clean, just be prepared for some power flavor from this PowerSmile.  And a somewhat hefty price tag. *gulp*
 Avalon Organics is one of the main all natural companies that the commissary here stocks.  I first became acquainted with them through their shampoo and conditioner, which I loved.  When I ran out of soap from Mountain Creek Gifts, I needed some filler before another order could get here.  I bought this hand soap from Avalon Organics, and it doesn't disappoint.  The Jarhead says, "it smells nice."  I would add that it doesn't dry your  hands out and has a nice consistency.
 I love cereal, and the ease it allows in the morning.  Unfortunately, most cereal you find will have corn ingredients with all their GMO evil, corn syrup and preservatives, along with being packaged in BPA laden plastic bags.  I was determined that if we only bought one thing Organic, it needed to be cereal, since it's an almost daily in our house.  Thankfully the commissary offered some alternatives.  I first bought boxes of Cascadian Farm Oats and Honey Granola, as well as their Honey Nut O's.  The Granola was delicious with the first few bites, but afterward I found it obnoxiously, sickeningly sweet.  I asked the Jarhead what he thought and he concisely said, "it's sweet."  He didn't mean, "Saaaaweeet!" like, "man that cereal is rockin' awesome", but sweet in the obnoxious way.  We won't buy it again.

The Honey Nut O's are much better I find.  They are not good finger food for toddlers and babies like Cheerios, because they are sticky, but in a bowl with milk, they are pretty good.  Nothing to get excited about, but they hit the spot.

 The next time I went to the commissary I found Koala Crisp.  This stuff is pure temptation.  It's deliciously chocolatey.  I am not one for chocolate in general, and definitely not big on super sweet breakfast cereal, but this is not obnoxious.  It's more of a cocoa flavor than pure sweetness, and my girls sure do love it.  "Mom, I want chocolate cereal" is a common early morning request.  I told the Jarhead he needed to try it, and he thought it was good, but nothing to rave about.  I  beg to differ.  *RAVE* The ingredients list does my heart good too.
 This is pretty much...butter.  It's yumm.  The end. 
 Oh dear; now we come to the dishwashing powder I bought.  I don't like to be a stick in the mud, but this stuff was just plain awful.  I should've taken the hint when every box of it in the commissary was a solid brick of caked powder.  To be fair to Seventh Generation, it is quite possible that it got wet some time in shipment.  Don't ask me to tell you about the caked and molded Kraft Mac and Cheese back in the day of eating that kind of stuff.  It's nasty, you really don't want to know.  When I got this soap home, I took a  hammer to it, thinking it would break up without alot of effort.  I was wrong.  I broke the box but didn't really break the powder.  So I put it in bag after bag, and after much effort, ended up with smaller, hard bricks of powder.  I finally said, "FORGET IT!" and thought the water would break it up in the dishwasher.  It did, but my dishes ended up covered in little white, crusted on, dishwasher powder spots, and there was always leftover food pieces floating in water on top of my glasses.  It was really aggravating, and something I never ran into with Cascade.  Since I discovered we have hard water, that could be a contributing factor, but it's back to Cascade for me until I can find another brand that works for me.  I will not be purchasing Seventh Generation again.
Quinoa Pasta is yummilicious.  And expensive.  I usually purchase Barilla Plus, a high protein pasta made of semolina.  The price difference is remarkable, and I don't know enough about "junk" in pasta to decide whether or not it's worth it.  Quinoa is gluten free, so for those with dietary restrictions, it is a great choice.
Despite working at a dairy for a time during my teen years, I am not much of a milk drinker.  However during that time at the dairy, I had the benefit of getting raw milk, and it was delicious.  This is most definitely a step down from that of course, but I am very thankful we have access to it over here.  The Jarhead likes it. 

I know Polaner All Fruit has been around forever, but I've always been a Welch's Grape Jelly girl.  I decided to give the Polaner a try and now I feel like I am officially an adult.  I felt just this way when I was thirteen and no longer qualified for the kids menu.  Goodbye, grilled cheese.  Hello Caesar salad.  I am particularly fond of their Blueberry Jam; it's so...grown up...with actual blueberries in it!  It's delicious. 
I very reluctantly bought some all natural peanut butter since it was sitting next to the Polaner and all...I've not been keen on it since my Mom bought some when I was a kid.  The separation of the oil kind of looks disgusting when you're ten and then, not knowing any better we put it directly into the fridge before stirring it.  When we finally got up the courage to try it, we stirred and stirred and no avail.  That put an end to that experiment, and my brothers and I breathed a sigh of relief when Jiff once again became the staple peanut butter in the pantry.  When I bought Adams peanut butter, I wasn't expecting much.  I stirred and stirred and stirred, but this time prior to refrigeration.  With a bit of effort, it actually creams up pretty well.  And tastes brilliant too. 

That's it from us for now.  Please feel free to share your opinions and experiences if you've tried these products, or make recommendations for others.