Suffering From Allergies Like Me? A Neti Pot Can Help!

I have been using a neti pot for about a year and a half now.  Practically every day without fail, I prepare the simple solution of non-iodized salt and warm water in my neti pot.  Then I perform the cleansing rinse of the nasal passages by pouring the solution in one nostril and out the other.  It’s weird, to be sure, but I soon got used to it and now I actually look forward to it.  I like having allergens and gunk actually being washed away.

Being a long time sufferer of sinus troubles and allergies, I had been aware of the neti pot for years.  Being pre-internet, and before Oprah and Dr. Oz got on the neti pot bandwagon, I for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to use a neti pot from a book!  So I suffered from chronic sinus infenetipotctions and terrible allergies come spring and fall.  Dousing myself with allergy medications and trips to the doctor for antibiotics when a sinus infection set in.  Well, thank goodness, there was a resurgence of the neti pot about two years ago.  Dr. Oz demonstrated how to actually use it on the Oprah show.  YouTube videos on it’s use also abounded.  So I purchased one, started using it, and never quit!

The neti pot is actually a Yoga practice that has been around for 5,000 years.  I figure that anything that’s been around that long without negative effects is worth a try.  Not only does it help my allergies immensely, it seems to have a calming effect and I definitely feel cleansed.  I still have my allergies, but I’d say my allergy medication use is down about 75%.  My sinus problems have almost entirely cleared up, with only an occasional sinus headache.

There is a humorous side effect of neti pot use.  Sometimes, hours after using it, when I bend over a flood of water will come rushing out of my nose.  Where has this water been all this time?  In some recess of my brain?  I do have to remember to now, after using it, to bend over and blow all excess solution out of my nose to avoid this.  It happened once when I was at the library bending over to get a book on the shelf…I was madly grabbing for tissue, anything, to stop the flood!

It’s definitely worth spending a few minutes a day performing this age-old practice.  Practically free too.  Incredibly effective…can’t beat that!


Adventures in DTV

tv tower

Since I am not a huge TV watcher, with the recent conversion to DTV I decided to give up my cable subscription and ‘go free’.  That is, getting a converter box and antenna.   I never watched much, if any, of the cable shows anyway.  I usually ended up watching PBS or the local channels.

So I dutifully got my coupon towards a converter box and purchased one…along with an indoor antenna.  My techie son installed everything , and voila…we started getting the digital signal…absolutely free!  I held onto my cable for about a month, thinking that somehow that DTV might not work – but we never used the cable channels.  So I canceled my cable service – but not without a spiel from the service rep about how I could purchase a huge cable package for an ‘incredibly good price’ (right…).  When a cable co. service rep called me a couple weeks later for another attempt to get me back on cable, I was saying how happy I was with plain old DTV.  He then was interested in how it was set up…to help ‘a friend’ who wanted to do it (right…)  Hey, I help any way I can!

DTV is interesting, to say the least.  I think the picture comes in much clearer and sharper than with cable.  I get the basic channels, with a lot of “interesting” extras.  The Retro channel is very cool…reruns of ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Wagon Train’ are fun.  The two PBS channels I get are now divided into six PBS channels.  Lots of Spanish-speaking channels (I can do yoga in Spanish now…) a movie channel, and a lot of religious programming fill out the rest.  Amazingly, there are none of the shopping/infomercial channels.  I had thought they were everywhere…apparently not!

So the switch has been fine for me – actually, an improvement. With not much on, I don’t feel compelled to watch anything.  It’s a very freeing feeling…and no cable bills!


A Clothesline Is Needed At The White House! (And In Your Backyard!)

I am quite passionate about my clothesline and air-drying in the sense that it’s best for my clothes and the environment.  I love the aesthetics, simple beauty and act of hanging my laundry.  I guess I’ve been blissfully unaware, until recently, that this simple process is quite controversial in several states and in many HOA’s, where it is outlawed.clothesline pic

I’ve recently gotten involved with blogging (I’m a Clothes Pegger!) for a  fantastic non-profit, Project Laundry List,  Project Laundry List is working to make air-drying acceptable in more places.  They are also promoting it as a way to save energy and money.  The Executive Director of Laundry List, Alexander Lee, has told me that there have been several states that recently passed ‘Right to Dry’ legislation.    Vermont’s is in effect, Maine and Hawaii have passed legislation and are awaiting gubernatorial signatures.

There is also a push to get a clothesline installed in the White House.  I mean, they have a garden now – a clothesline would be the perfect compliment!  What better way to spread the word about energy-saving clothesline use than by having President or Mrs. Obama (or even Sasha or Malia) hanging laundry!  Ben Davis at Right 2 Dry, is conducting a campaign to petition the White House to hang a clothesline.  I urge you to sign the petition…and put up a clothesline in your own back yard while you’re at it!

Governor Davis (Republican) of Vermont uses a clothesline.  Governor Schwarzenegger (Republican) of California has spoken out for the use of clotheslines in his Earth Day speech.  Maybe there could be some good-natured, all-in-fun competition to the Democrats in Washington to do the same!

Alexander Lee’s wish is to have a clothesline in the White House by September 9th, when he will be in Washington.  Ever-practical me thinks it should be up NOW…think of all the lovely summer drying-weather that they will miss otherwise!

Meanwhile, I will continue to hang my laundry and enjoy the fabulous drying-days of summer.  Why don’t you?


Summer Linen and Crystal Stick

I’m trying a couple of new things with the advent of (the long awaited!) summer weather.  The transition from cold to hot weather is always a bit of a quandary for me.  One day I’m wearing wool socks, boots, jeans and a cashmere turtleneck; the next I’m madly scrambling for my summer wear!  It just seems to happen so fast around here and I’m rarely prepared.

One thing I’m trying is the Crystal Stick deodorant.  It’s a big hunk of natural mineral salts completely free of perfumes and chemicals.  I really liked the fact that it was so natural; but was a bit skeptical to see if really worked.  I mean, it has absolutely none of the bells and whistles that deodorant marketers like to pound in our skulls.  It’s just an utterly plain and simple piece of crystal salt!

You have to wet it and apply.  No scent, no gunk – clear, clean pure simplicity.  But would it work?  After now trying it for several weeks I can say, “yes it does”.  It has worked through some 90 degree days, mowing my lawn, doing yard and housework, exercising and just day to day living.  I’m sold…and the fact that it lasts at least a year appeals to the frugality in me!

I’m also rediscovering wearing linen.  I can see why linen is such a time-honored summer cloth.  It is cool and keeps your body well ventilated.  It gets wrinkled, yes, but a bit of rumpling is endearing I think.  It also washes beautifully and just loves a good drying on the clothesline!

Here’s to summer!


Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe!

Today is Marilyn Monroe’s birthday; she would have been 83 years old.  What is weird and wonderful to me is that it is my birthday too 🙂

I have always been fascinated by the fact that not only do we share a name, we share a birthday.  I always tease my mom that she named me after Marilyn Monroe.  The fact is that being the 5th child in my family, my parents did not have a name for me until several days after my birth!  My dad brought a list of name suggestions from his co-workers to my mom in the hospital.  I guess there were some pretty unsavory selections on that list!  So they went with ‘Marilyn’.

It’s kind of funny to grow up with an iconic bombshell as your namesake.  I never really minded it…kind of liked it.  I have grown to admire Marilyn Monroe over the years and have learned to look at the woman behind all the glossy hype.  I think I really would have liked her as a person.  I think she was a very smart, well read businesswoman (which I strive to be).  She also had a couple of unsuccessful marriages (as have I) but still believed in the hopefulness of finding love.  And…wow…who is more gorgeous that Marilyn Monroe?  I can only hope that I at least have one tiny shred of that beauty!

So, Happy Birthday dear Norma Jean…we share more than you know!


The Push Reel Mower and I

Girl mowing lawn

I must confess that lawn mowing is one of my least favorite activities.  If I had my way I’d let the grass grow wild and waist high, but I do live in a neighborhood where keeping the lawn looking presentable is an honorable activity – so I mow.   I do like to keep a modicum of respectability!

For about four years now, I have been using an old-fashioned push reel mower.  I had just about reached the end of my rope with the gas-guzzling power mower I was using.  It was extremely loud, heavy, hard to handle and hard to start.  Clippings would get caught in the shoot and twigs got caught in the line.  I was forever running over to my neighbors asking for help with the mower.  This got very tiring.  I thought that there just had to be a better way.  There was.

Despite the protests of friends and family, warning me that there was NO way I was going to be able to push-mow my lawn I purchased a push mower.  From the start, the pure simplicity of the machine was a beautiful breath of fresh air.  I guided it over the grass and lo and behold, it was cutting it!  No noise, no fumes, no energy used (except my own)…amazing!  At first I used a clipping catcher because I was so used to putting my grass clippings in the yard waste recycling.  Now I just leave the clippings on the grass for mulch.

My neighbors are now accustomed to me and my push-mower.  At first, I had neighbor kids quizzing me about what this strange contraption was.  Adults would just smile at me with odd puzzlement.  Believe me, with my clothesline and push-reel mower I definitely stand out in the neighborhood-ha ha.

So even though I really don’t like lawn mowing, I have come to an acceptance of it.  I find that while I’m mowing I often space out, think and even meditate.  Something about being in the fresh air and performing a mundane repetitive task seems to activate this.  My arms get stronger too.

~Happy Mowing!