Irene, you’re all talk and no action

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This picture sums up the hurricane thus far. It’s a Cat 2 alright, but a sleepy one at that. Lame. Here I am thinking that losing my hurricane v card was going to be a wild ride with sideways rain, airborne trees, and power outages. So far its been me watching Jurassic Park (hadn’t seen it since it was in theatres, circa 5th grade), drinking wine, tea, talking to my General who’s running the battle plan at work. The power hasn’t even flickered. Hurricane? I’ve weathered worse storms in the shower.

The worst part is suppose to hit in about 2 hours and I plan to be awake, hoping to catch some of the action.

The storm door out front came loose and was banging with random wind gusts. Scared the daylight out of me. And Katie.

I think I need another glass of wine. 

Discoveries

  • Honey in tea is AMAZING!!!  I am hooked!  I’m looking forward to buying local at the farmer’s markets this summer.
  • A surfing forecast website from the UK that has all the Cape Fear breaks on it too.  Check it out.
  • The break I surf actually has a name: Pelican Watch
  • I haven’t discovered quite how my body will react, but I am going to run a half marathon – quite possibly in May.  I’m going to try a baseline this week and see what happens.
  • Watched the sun rise for the first time even in Carolina Beach (CB).

 

Around the house

Some stuff has been going around the barracks as of late….

* We painted our living room.  We wanted a light barely there green (we call is a [my dad’s name here] green, because he is so adverse to color) and we found what we thought was perfect.  Well, it was perfect until we put it on the wall; our barely there green looked like a shamrock shake green.  Yikes!  And after we spend nearly $80 in the wrong paint, we did what only trained professionals would do: we mixed a 1:1 dilution with white paint.  Voila!  Perfect shade of green.

* Our next project is the kitchen, which doesn’t have a lot of open surface area like the living room, but does have many contours – lots of brush work ahead.  We spent all of 3 minutes looking at paint – a bright barely there yellow – until we found one we both liked and agreed on.  We got home and it is so not the right color.  It blends in too much with our neutral colored zones and it doesn’t pop or speak to me.  So now we’re going to go back and get a quart of some BRIGHT yellow to mix with what we have and hopefully the color will be what we want and not some weird highlighter green shade.  This could get interesting.

* When nothing else is on late at night, I’ve started watching Teen Mom 2 on MTV.  I know, why watch such trash?  I rationalize it as my job is so cerebral that it’s a nice break from actually thinking about what is happening.  And it features a girl who lives in the next county over — crazy!  I don’t envy those girls, but sometimes I wonder how I would be as a mom.

* I just got over the Carolina Crud, aka the common cold.  Throat Coat Echinacea tea and elderberry caplets kept the worse part of it to 72 hours (I don’t know why they work, but they do!).  Working a 15 hour shift back to back probably didn’t help matters: the glands in my neck swelled up so much I had a hard time swallowing.  I feel back to my normal self again today.

* Because of said cold, I have spent the last few nights sleeping on the couch because my coughing/nose blowing/tossing and turning kept The General from his beauty sleep – but he had back to back 12 hour shifts at the crack of dawn, so I could understand that.  It really sucked because for 4 days I didn’t see him due to our wake/sleep cycles being completely opposite.  Today we got to hang out by picking out the wrong color paint, making a fabulous dinner with red velvet cake for desert, and sitting outside by the firepit enjoying the weather and burning most of our brush!  It was awesome, we laughed most of the day about silly stuff and even had a plank off (to see who could hold the plank position the longest — he won.)

* With all the chaos surrounding the nuclear situation in Japan, I come to learn that the Japanese reactors have 23 sister reactors in the USA.  2 of them are located in Brunswick County in Southport, just across the way; and 2 others are located near my hometown.  I had no idea there were nuclear reactors near my hometown!  Wow.  I read all about it here.  I’m not worried nor am I taking any of this iodine stuff – but still, it brings that disaster a little closer to home.

My prayers are with those people – especially the rescue and medical workers.  There is no rest for them in those situations.

And so, life goes on.  Summer’s coming soon and I am so ready.

The Cure for the Common Cold

Last week I was sick with my 1st head cold in 2 years.  They usually turn into month long sinus infections for me and I was NOT going to go through that again.  I’m not one to down a lot of meds, either — I really have to be hurting to take something.

A friend at work, who has a very holistic view on life, suggested Elderberry syrup (found at a local organic market – Elder berries + honey).  It’s suppose to ward off the H1N1 flu, but it’s a known immune booster to help overcome random virus attacks, like colds.  I don’t buy too much into herbal treatments, but I was desperate and bought some the next day.  She also suggested this tea and gave me a tea bag to try.  I bought some of that too, and I credit this tea with helping me feel better:

I came home that night, curled up next to my favorite general and sipped this amazing caffeine-free tea -I always put a lil bit of sugar in it – so good.  You have to let it brew for at least 15 minutes.  It’s worth the wait!  The next morning I could breathe through my nose!  I was still sick, but I could feel my body returning to it’s normal self.  The worst part of the storm was over. Crazy!  I continued with the tea once a day and a took between 5ml – 15ml of Elderberry syrup (it always works mixed in with real apple juice!)  I was cured.

Now, I’ve taken some serious college courses in cell biology (you know the Lord exists after studying steroid hormone receptors — it’s too perfect of a system to have “evolved”).  I wanted to know on a cellular level what this Echinacea was doing, but I couldn’t find anything.  “Immune boosting” is quite vague to me — there are so many different things that could mean!  I think it has something to do with lymphocytes…..but that’s just my theory.  I could be completely off base.

Despite it being an organic product, the Echinacea tea came with a warning label that worried me quite a bit:

Cautions: Consult a healthcare provider prior to use if you have rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disorder or a progressive systemic disease such tuberculosis, leucosis, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS or HIV infections, or if you are taking immunosuppressants. Contraindications: Do not use if you have known allergies to plants of the Asteraceae (daisy) family such as blessed thistle, calendula, chamomile, echinacea, safflower or yarrow. Do not use if pregnant or breast-feeding unless directed otherwise by your doctor.

Okay, I can understand the allergy bit, but auto-immune diseases?!  Pregnancy?!  Whoa!  While I am not pregnant, breast feeding, or currently enduring the wrath of my white blood cells, it still worried me.  Why such a label?  My friend theorized that this is an “immune boosting” product, so if you have a disease where your immune system is attacking your cells it would increase the damage.  That made sense.  Jury is still out on the HIV route.  I googled it, but only found links to “Green tea cures HIV transmission!”  Good grief.  As for pregnancy, there have been studies done with Echinacea on the unborn, and so far the studies have shown no adverse effect; nonetheless, the studies haven’t been large enough to rule it out 100% (just because something is “negative” doesn’t mean it isn’t there — it just means that it is not detected using that mode!  It’s easier to prove something positive than negative.)  It’s a judgement call, basically.  Echinacea isn’t in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol, but the label is probably part of the legal stuff so some crazy pregnant lady can’t sue the company.

As always, and it’s printed on there too — “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” While I don’t ever intend to bite my thumb at western medicine, this tea worked for me.  Placebo?  Perhaps.  But something made me better.

God made Echinacea, man made Nyquil.  Which would you trust?

***At night I did take an adult dose of Benedryl so I would sleep.  Maybe it was all in the sleep?***

Sidenote:  Echinacea is pronounced “eck-in-ay-sa” and I was pronouncing it as Escherichia (esh-ree-key-ah) as in the “E” in E. coli!  Oops!  Can’t take me anywhere!