Checking in…

Hi guys. I’m not even sure how long it has been since I last posted. You know how it is. Sometimes, life just kind of happens. I make no promises of posting more often.

I’m doing a bit of spiritual cleansing. Its been a rough year. It’s been a rough few years. I feel as though I’m carrying a lot of really heavy baggage. I’m working on unpacking it, dealing with it, and either letting it go or filing it away in its appropriate place in my memories. It’s time for new beginnings.

Recently, I’ve been having a lot of pain from my thumb to my inner elbow. I worry it’s carpal tunnel syndrome. I’ve noticed it flairs up the worst when I wash dishes and pull the wash from the washing machine.

I was researching natural remedies for carpal tunnel and I came across an article that said an occupational therapist will teach you how to do your chores in a way that won’t aggravate the injury. I thought, why can’t I teach myself?

So, I ran another search, and I came across this great article titled Dishwasher’s Wrist and Mopper’s Back — Simple Cleaning Chores Can Cause Painful Injuries to Backs, Wrists and Tendons on BusinessWire.com.

“Cleaning isn’t all that different from playing sports or going jogging, because in all those activities we put a high level of stress on our bodies,” said Dr. Marialice Kern, an associate professor of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University and an expert in exercise physiology.

It included some suggestions on using ergonomics to correctly do some common household chores.

Among Dr. Kern’s do’s and don’ts are:

Mopping and Vacuuming

Do

— Keep head up

— Keep wrists flat and straight by placing your palm

along the side of the mop or vacuum handle

Don’t

— Thrust your arm out and bend backwards (which can put

your back at risk)

— Twist at the waist (back problems)

— Bend wrist up while holding the mop handle (carpal

tunnel or tendonitis problems)

Dishwashing

Do

— Place one foot on an elevated surface, such as a step

stool

— Slightly bend the other knee

— Keep wrists flat and straight

Don’t

— Keep knees locked (back problems)

— Bend at the waist (back problems)

— Bend your wrist upward (carpal tunnel or tendonitis

problems)

Loading and unloading the washing machine

Do

— Place basket at the same level of the machine

— When unloading, lift opposite leg (e.g. left leg) as

the arm that’s reaching into the machine (e.g. right

arm)

— Use the other hand for support

Don’t

— Bend at waist and lift wet objects out by

straightening your back (back problems)

— Have basket on the floor and bend or twist at the

waist to pick up each item (carpal tunnel or

tendonitis)

It’s a great article. Sadly, the original article which promised to have illustrations is a broken link. I’m sure a search could locate a copy.

I’m off to switch out laundry. I’m going to give some of Dr. Kern’s suggestions a try.

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Chicken… again?!?

Last week, I found a large package of chicken breasts on sale for under $10. There’s two meals down. Then, I found a couple whole young chickens for $3.50 each. How could I pass up these great deals?

As a result, we are eating quite a bit of chicken this week. I’m trying to mix it up as best as I can. Monday, we had chicken pot pie. It was satisfying and delicious and completely gone by Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we had chicken again. I roasted the birds, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, and potato rolls. It was a feast. We had a friend over that night.

Tonight, the chicken has rolled around again. This time, I’m using my slow cooker. I’m trying out a few tips to reduce the amount of retained liquid. Here’s what I did:

I sprayed the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. I sliced a couple small onions and dredged the slices in flour. I placed them as the base for my dish. Then, I took my breasts and halved them. I dredged those in flour and placed them on top of the onions. I sprinkled those with a half cup of Parmesan/Romano/Asiago grated cheese. Then, I poured an entire bottle of Olive Garden Italian Dressing on that. I lay a towel across the top of my slow cooker and then placed the lid. I set it to low. I will remove the towel and lid about an hour before serving to encourage more reduction in the liquid.

Fingers crossed that it works. I dread watered down slow cooker sauces.

#chickenagain

Keeping the cats out of the plants

So, the cats are bound and determined to eat all the plants. They killed two more seedlings who'd barely had a chance at life before it was cruelly ripped away from them. I have another seedling growing, now. To keep it safe, I crocheted a quick hanging planter bag for it.

It is currently hanging in my kitchen window beneath a fluorescent light and will hopefully be safe there from those mean kitty cats. I plan to crochet a hanging planter bag for my aloe plants and hang them here in my living room.

As for the rest of the plants, my husband built me a cage for them out of chicken wire. Hopefully it will do the job.

The aloe is hiding behind my cacti. The two pots on the left are currently empty because the cats ate those seedlings. Once I've gotten the aloe plant out of there, I'm going to be adding a mini herb garden my husband bought for me this weekend.

It contains sweet basil, parsley, cilantro/coriander, common chives, & oregano. Basil, parsley, & oregano are probably my most commonly used herbs.

We didn't forget about the kitties, either. I picked up a tray and some cat grass seed for them. I've been doing some research, and supposedly if you trim it regularly then it doesn't die after just a few short weeks. Wish me luck. I'll be starting those seeds tomorrow.

Kittens… oh kittens

We love them. Some days we want to kill them. Like this morning when we woke up to find that they had dug up all of our potted plants except my cacti. 😳

My husband made an emergency run to the store and picked up new potting soil, and I did my best to save our green babies. They are now replanted in fresh nutrient rich soil (except the missing new guy that had barely begun to grow). Only time will tell if it is enough to save them.

After much research, I have treated the area with my orange peel infused vinegar. This is supposed to deter them from the area.

To make the day even more fun, my husband found 2 guilty parties hiding beneath the dishwasher. He had to pull out both the stove and the dishwasher to get them out. The appliances in the house are all now kitty proofed to the best of my husband's abilities.

I had forgotten what it was like to have babies in the house. No matter the species, it's exhausting.