Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bee Pollen for Allergies

Growing up, I was never allergic to anything. We had cats, dogs, birds, etc. and I never had any issues with any of them. My biological mother and ex-stepfather both smoke - excessively - in the house. The house was filled with smoke when they were home, thanks to their habitual chain-smoking.

Therefore, imagine my surprise when I moved to North Carolina and discovered that I was allergic to the pollen falling from the trees. It was everywhere. The cars, ground, and the balconies were all covered in yellow pollen. I was miserable. Since that time, I experience sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose, itchy eyes, etc. during season. It's awful. I've tried every over-the-counter medicine possible. Benadryl works, but it knocks me out cold. I can't function if I am passed out!

I started to research different methods of coping with allergies. You can get a prescription, but I don't really like going to the doctor. You can get the allergy shot, but I abhor needles. There are many claims that bee pollen alleviates allergy symptoms by building up your body's defense system. With daily doses, starting with a few granules and building up to one to two teaspoons a day, your body becomes desensitized avoiding future reactions.

At this point, I'm up for anything. So, I started taking a few granules a day almost a week ago. I've worked up to three-quarters of a teaspoon. Tomorrow I will start taking a teaspoon. I will increase my dosage to two teaspoons in a week or so, depending upon how my body reacts to this serving size. I follow it with orange juice. It tastes really gross. The granules are orange, golden, brownish, green, etc. I picked it up from a local farmer's market. It comes from a local farm, which is what you want to take. Keep it in a dark, cool place - like your refrigerator.

*****Please note*****
I am absolutely NOT allergic to bees at all. I have been stung by many throughout my life and have NEVER had a reaction. I mean, besides it hurting and swelling up like any sting does. I have been stung by many wasps also. My reaction to all of the stings were the same every time. If you are allergic to bees, there is a chance you will have a severe reaction to taking pollen. Consult a doctor before you even attempt something like this.

Here are a few articles I checked out while doing research:

Green Eyes On: Bee Pollen Cures Allergies

What's the buzz on bee pollen?

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Bee Pollen

I am going to reiterate the importance of doing your research and consulting your doctor before taking this.

Look for ongoing updates in the coming weeks. Hopefully this works.

Questions/Comments? Leave them below.

Thanks for reading!

~ Crystal ~

Earth Week Project

It's no secret that I am a staunch supporter of recycling and try to live as green as possible. I believe everyone should do their part to implement life changes to help turn the Earth around for the better. We've done so much damage to the Earth already. Once it's gone, we can't replace it.

We need to teach everyone about sustainable gardening/farming (which I will talk about in another post), green living, renewable energy, and how they can take action where they live. This is what will determine the future for our children and grandchildren. Believe me, it will take everyone, not just a small portion of the population.

Some people don't care, some don't know how to help. Some don't believe in global warming or about how we're damaging the Earth at an alarming rate. Well, I care about the future of my children and grandchildren. I trust the facts. I have also noticed the changes in the temperatures and weather patterns over the years. It's extremely significant.

I've been teaching my children about green living for a long time now. It's imperative for them to understand and be enthusiastic about saving our planet.

Since everyone around the world is celebrating Earth Day this week, I decided that we are going to do a project I did in 5th grade. I created a paper mache Earth. We will do the first part today and paint tomorrow.

If this seems interesting to you, then check out the instructions below and try this with your family or students. Adult assistance and supervision is needed for this project. This is a messy project. Try to do it outside. Once we have finished, I will come back to edit this to include pictures to go along with the instructions (and will also delete this message).

Also, there are many paper mache paste recipes to choose from. I am using glue and water because it is quick and easy.

Items needed:

Large balloons
Newspapers
Scissors
White glue (for paper mache paste)
Water
Bucket or bowl (to hold the balloon)
Large bowl
Paint
Paintbrushes

Steps:

1. Inflate the balloon. Secure it in the bowl for stability.

2. Either tear or cut the newspaper into 1-inch strips. You will need enough for three layers.

3. Some people use a 1:1 (glue:water) ratio, others use 1:2, 1:4, etc. I am going to use a 1:2 ratio and add a little more or less depending on the consistency. You want the glue to have a thinner consistency to make it slick and easy for spreading. Stir it until it's smooth.

4. Dip the newspaper strips into the paper mache paste and lay them across the balloons. Smooth and continue working around the balloon until it is completely covered.

5. Repeat until three layers have been placed onto the balloon. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. It may even take two or three days.

6. Once dry, cut a small hole in the bottom, puncture the balloon with something sharp, like the scissors and gently pull the balloon out of the mold.

7. Using a paintbrush and paint, decorate as you wish. We will be using blue paint for first layer of paint, then we will paint continents with green, brown and white.

They don't have to be exact. Remember to have fun!

Questions/Comments? Leave them below!

Thanks for reading!

~ Crystal ~

Saturday, April 19, 2014

When Pets Attack

So, I'm browsing my Facebook, trying to see if I can find anything interesting. I follow a lot of news outlets, so when something pops, it usually shows in my news feed. 

The following caught my eye: Pet cat attacks Roseville family, 3 taken to hospital  

It reminded me of this incident:


Here's a refresher if you haven't seen either of these. The first incident involves cat, named Khat, who attacks the owner's family. The second one is a 911 call involving an overweight Himalayan cat that attacks and traps a family in their bedroom. Yes, they really are as ridiculous as they seem.

I grew up with all kinds of animals. My family owned cats, dogs, ferrets, snakes, turtles, birds, etc.. It was practically a farm! You know, I can't ever remember a time when I was afraid of any of our cats growing up. If we had a cat that was EVER violent, it would have been immediately put down. That sort of thing would not have been tolerated.


I'm sure there were times when we probably deserved being bitten or scratched. Actually, I can think of specific bathing incidents. If our cats could have gotten free from our grip, they might have given us a few good swats. Honestly, they really needed bathing. They were inside/outside cats. Fleas, ticks and dirt were the enemy. So, we occasionally gave them a flea bath. The dogs hated it also, but at least they stood still. Thankfully for us, upon finishing and rubbing them down with a towel, they promptly darted away from our reach and outside!!

Back to the subject at hand. I don't understand why people don't use common sense. If your animal has violent tendencies, then put it to sleep. Don't bring it around other individuals, especially small children. Everyone knows that small children tend to poke and pull at animals, even if they really mean no harm. Do everyone, including your family, a favor and be done with it. A friend, from years ago, owned a temperamental cat. Her cat was very possessive of her and jealous if anyone came near my friend. Well, my friend and her husband decided to have a baby. Once the baby came, the cat was hostile towards the baby. She gave the cat a chance, but in the end, she got rid of it. She loved that cat very much, but she loved her baby more.

I also recall a cheerleading coach of mine who owned a hostile cat that would attack anyone and everyone, except her. I couldn't fathom keeping a cat like that around. She kept it in her room when she would entertain company. What if it managed to get loose while guests were over and mauled someone? In a lawsuit happy country, that's a rather poor decision.


If those cats had been dogs, then the dogs would have been euthanized. Cats do not deserve to be treated any differently than dogs. For that matter, any type of animal should not be treated any differently. Neither should humans, but that's a different story for another day. 


Thanks for reading!

~ Crystal ~


Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

So, I'm Writing a Book

I started this book around December 2012. I worked on it for a couple of months. Then, I set it down for about a year before I actually picked it up and started working on it again. I revised what I have written so far and realized that my book is for the bilingual person. I mean, I knew that was objective when I started writing it, but it just kind of hit me that not everyone will be able to comprehend it. The language barrier will be lost on many. So, I put it down again two weeks ago to ponder over this "dilemma."

I considered writing two versions. One of them would be in English and the other in Spanish. Of course, that's a lot of extra work for this book. The setting of the story is in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area. The backstory would have to be completely different. By the time I finish making the changes, I should just write two different books.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I don't really care if everyone understands it. I believe there are more than enough bilingual individuals who will grasp it. I also think those who are not bilingual may be interested to the point, they will look up the translation for the words. I mean, even as a young child, I had an interest in other languages.

My point is simply this: Write YOUR book for YOU. Yes, you should keep your target audience in mind. SN: I didn't actually do that with my first book. It's specifically tailored for a friend of mine. There's a chance that nobody will actually enjoy my book. There's always that chance with anything you write. Have fun with it and put it down if you feel you need a break. You should enjoy what you're doing. Right? Thanks for reading!

Until next time!

~ Crystal ~

Learning to Live in the Present

What I've learned in life is that when we feel that we have nothing to live for--living doesn't really matter.  For someone like ...