Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm all about alternatives. If something doesn't work, there has to be another way. Plan "B" is always waiting in the wings where I'm concerned, as are C, D, E, F, and G. This is what is called, by some, "unrealistic optimism". If at first you don't succeed, try try again. While some people are tempted to quit after the first failure, I usually see it as a lesson in what not to do. Life is one big learning experience, if you let it.

I have moments of defeat. I get tired and weary. Sometimes things feel hopeless. But usually it doesn't last long and then I'm back up and trying my best to conquer the obstacles in my path.

One of my most recent obstacles is pain. Pain in my joints. My family, on my moms side, is riddled with terrible arthritis. Now that I'm bumping 40 and have been working on a farm for over a decade, my body is beginning to feel the sting of it. I've been taking NSAID's for a couple years now and really haven't been amazed at the results. I guess I thought I was going to take a little pill and immediately be pain-free. So, my plan "B" mentality has been kicking in.

Recently on the Martha Stewart Show (I must blog soon about why Martha is a necessary staple in my life), the theme was India. They spoke of Indian cuisine and culture and I was quite intrigued. Martha's niece, Sophie, had recently been to India and brought back a drink recipe that she shared. She explained that her mother had been drinking it for several months and that her arthritic joint pain had been greatly diminished.

So, yesterday, I got the very simple ingredients and have now begun a new ritual to be added to my arthritis management. This is not just for arthritis pain but is supposed to be soothing for many ailments and even help you sleep better.

Here is the recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, ground or freshly grated ginger, or saffron
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • This recipe serves two.

    Place the honey in a cup (a pretty one that is heat resistant)

    I found the turmeric and ginger at a health-food store in Texarkana where I bumped into one of my favorite earth travelers. Hi Sherri!! I almost bought organic cinnamon there as well but knew I had an almost full-bottle at home that I needed to use first.

    Heat the milk (not surprisingly, I used goats milk) over medium heat and add your spices.

    The turmeric is an amazing color.

    Preferably, stir with a whisk to incorporate the spices well into the milk. I just happen to have the perfect little whisk given to me by my dear friend, Rosemary Payne. I think she thought she was being funny because it has a chicken on it but it has proven to be quite the handy kitchen utensil.

    When the milk is warmed, poor it in the cup over the honey and stir.

    Then you have a lovely cup of soothing, magical milk. I like the taste of it quite a bit. It is definitely different but I enjoy different.

    The thing is, it can take months of consumption before you begin to see the benefits of it.
    You can read here for a little more info on the benefits of turmeric.

    This is just one little element in the regimen I have prescribed myself in managing my pain. The other paradox of this dreadful affliction is that you must move. The pain causes your brain to say, "well that really hurts to move so lets sink down into the big leather chair and be still ok?" But then the pain only gets worse. When you exercise the pain is greatly diminished. It is a mind-over-matter thing. So, now I've got to pick my aching body up off this big leather chair and move. And move. And then move some more. And then pray that the promise of relief from this new therapy actually helps.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    The Thing

    So, this is the thing.

    Here's the thing.

    The thing is this.

    then, then...the thing is...

    I've been busy and not blogging.

    Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

    Seriously, life has just been consuming, but who's isn't, right? I really didn't even know whether or not to blog here or on the Freedom Journey page, but I've got other things to write about there. Sometimes I think that nobody even misses my silly little ramblings, then when I see people in town (when I actually step off the farm) they ask, "what happened to your blog? Why haven't you been writing?" and so on. Then I almost feel like I NEED to do it out of my uncontrollable desire to please people and then I forget why the heck I started blogging in the first place.

    Spring time has come to the farm. Oh how it gives me joy in the depths of my soul. Winter, even with all its majesty and glory, hurts me. The cold hurts, the blah hurts, the cabin fever hurts, my knees hurt and, well, you get it. The last really cold day was just a few weeks ago and I thought it was going to kill me. Just the trip to the goat pen and back in the blustery, cold, damp wind was almost enough to make me break down into a tearful fit. But I didn't, not really. Then, in a heartbeat, spring.

    It happens every year and I still can hardly take it all in. A miracle. I've never denied my ability to be easily mesmerized by the tiniest things, but spring, the whole earth is one big distraction of amusement. The big thing is that baby goats have been springing forth like rabbits. Five were born within 48 hours of each other, then two more a week later, and we are waiting on the final doe to kid anytime now. Seven babies in all and only two of them are girls. Oh well, its two more than I had last year. We are hoping that the babies yet to be born will be girls but I really don't have any control over it. Every other goat person I've talked to says that they are having mainly boys as well. Curious.

    I've dealt with my first case of mastitis this year. This is when the mother goat gets lumps in her udder, clumps in the milk and other not-nice things. If left untreated, it can quickly escalate into an infection that can cause the udder to get gangrene and they can even rot right off. I've spoken with vets, friends, other farmers (the best source of information) and am very happy to say that she is quickly getting better. Although, since I had to give her 5 days worth of penicillin injections and vigorous udder massages, she now hauls ass when she sees me coming. I must admit, this hurts my feelings a bit. She and I used to have such a glorious relationship. I explained that it was for her own good. She listened and considered the facts but refuses to forgive me just yet.

    Spring has also brought with it a million projects. All of them are about 1/3 of the way started and nothing even close to being finished. My attention deficit brain is in complete turmoil. Since I'm supposed to attempt to have an organized schedule, a hundred unfinished projects is a battle, a big one. One thing that I've adapted into my life now is timing myself. It works, by Joe, it really works. I downloaded a "timer" app for my iPhone and have been giving myself a time limit to do certain tasks. Clean the kitchen, 15 minutes. Scrub the toilets, 10 minutes...and so on. It becomes a sort-of game and keeps me on task.

    Usually, things go like this. Begin loading the dishwasher, look outside and think, "oh I need to go water those plants". Go outside and start watering plants. Boots get muddy so I rinse them off. Start to roll up the water hose and it gets stuck out in the yard on a rock. Go move the rock. Come in the house, load a couple more dishes. Dryer goes off, go fold clothes. Begin to put clothes away. Go in the bedroom to put clothes up. Emma comes in, jumps on the with Emma. Go to the bathroom, gather up some more dirty clothes. Walk through the kitchen with dirty clothes in hand, see that I've not made a dent in the dishes. Throw the clothes in the utility room floor, begin loading dishes again. It's exhausting just thinking about it. myself a time limit somehow becomes a game. The alarm is going to go off any minute...hurry hurry get the kitchen clean. That way, all the other distractions suddenly become a hinderance to me beating the clock and I stay on-task. It's a bit insane but it seems to work.

    I haven't yet given myself a time limit for blogging or set aside a time to do so. And I sit here with a million things to do and am not accomplishing a darn thing. It does feel good to sit and write. I've missed it and shall henceforth attempt to be somewhat more diligent in doing so.