Friday, September 02, 2016

Home Remedies for Skin Rashes

Having been plagued with allergic skin rashes for over a year now, I can safely say that I have tried just about every home remedy known to man, including the ones listed in the linked article below.

All of them work in varying degrees. Since my skin rashes are due to allergies, I have not found anything that gets rid of it totally, although it does start to heal, and then it comes back.

I have created my own treatments using essential oils which help with the itching. My potions also help repel mosquitoes. You can read about them here. 

The MUSC (Medical Univ. of S.C.) dermatologist wants to do the allergen skin test, but that is an expensive test, as many of you know. Meanwhile, I continue to look for new home remedies.

Obviously, one needs to be careful of soaps, detergents, and household cleaners. Any chemical you come into contact with can create a reaction. Outdoor allergens are also to blame.

Many may find it strange, but the zinc in diaper rash cream helps immensely, especially if you have a raw area. When I was in the hospital, they used a zinc paste dressing on my worst areas. However, diaper rash creams will suffice in most cases. Compare the creams and choose one with the highest amount of zinc.

Diaper rash cream: you might laugh away at this absurd suggestion but if it can treat a rash on a baby's sensitive skin, it can take care of yours. Extremely mild and extremely helpful. Apply 2-3 times a day.
Reference:

Home Remedies To Treat Skin Rashes | Life Hacker India



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

The Zika virus carried by mosquitoes has become a hot topic and is the basis for many unwarranted fears for most people in the United States. While it is a dangerous virus that can be sexually transmitted (one reported in S.C.), here in the US, it only affects about 1000 people per year.

As of August 18, 2016, there are 34 known cases of Zika virus in South Carolina.


* So far president Obama has asked congress for $1.9 billion to help develop a Zika vaccine. WhiteHouse.gov/zika

* The White House also is seeking flexibility to use some of its unspent funding for the Ebola crisis to respond to Zika or other infectious diseases. WashingtonPost.com/ 

You can also learn more about the Zika virus from the Centers for Disease Control at CDC.gov/zika/.

Each state should also provide information. The link for South Carolina is SCDHEC.gov/, which provides useful information on symptoms, transmission and prevention.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Regardless of the present threat, it's definitely a great time to reconsider what type of mosquito repellent you have on hand for your family, especially if you live in an area that us inundated with mosquitoes. *The methods I use involve essential oils, many of which are not recommended for pregnant women, so check with your doctor first.

Homemade mosquito repellents can be made with essential oils and water. Just remember to shake well before each use. Best results are from distilled water or purified water as opposed to regular tap water. Distilled water is quite cheap and is available in most grocery stores.

You can also make it yourself by following the directions at OneHowTo.com


What do you need to make homemade mosquito repellents?

You need one or more essential oils and a dropper which comes with most bottles.
You will need distilled water or another base / carrier oil for your recipe.
You will need a roll-on bottle, spray bottle or small container:

  • You can use roll-on bottles that are typically used for perfumes (see link below).
  • You can use a standard spray bottle.
  • You can use any small container with a lid if you are using aloe vera gel as your base.

How much water do you need?

If you only need light coverage, you can use up to 3 cups of water which can be spritzed onto clothing more easily.

If you need a more potent repellent, try using 1 or 2 cups of water as your base.

If you are using a small roll-on bottle, obviously you will simply finish filling the bottle after inserting the appropriate oils.

Do you have to use water?

You do not have to use water; it's a matter of preference. You can also use witch hazel, aloe vera gel for an ointment, fractionated coconut oil, or any combination of these. You can also use moisturizing carrier oils such as jojoba oil.

Personally, I make up small insect repellent recipes using small roll-on perfume bottles which I order from Amazon. I combine 10 drops of two or three of my chosen oils with fractionated coconut oil or witch hazel (with alcohol). You can also add a little vodka if you are not using witch hazel with alcohol.

The following oils are oils I use and purchase through Amazon. These links are my Amazon Associate links.

The oils I use in my insect repellent recipes include:
  1. Eucalyptus oil - NOW Foods Eucalyptus Oil, 4 ounce
  2. Geranium oilRose Geranium 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil -15ml
  3. Tea tree oil Tea Tree Oil (Australian) 4 oz. Glass Dropper By First Botany Cosmeceuticals.
  4. Lavender oilLavender Oil - Highest Quality Therapeutic - Largest 4 Oz Bottle with Premium Glass Dropper - Guaranteed Results - Essential Labs
  5. Order the 3-Pack (all but Geranium) to get started quickly!
Get three favorite essential oils (by NOW Foods) for one low price at Amazon:

3-Pack Variety of NOW Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender


Recently, I found the following recipe for making a larger amount of mosquito repellent. This recipe is more diluted.

In a quart sized spray bottle, combine 1 to 3 cups of water or carrier of your choice, with one of the following:
  • 30 drops tea tree oil
  • 30 drops lemongrass oil
  • 30 drops rosemary oil
  • 30 drops eucalyptus oil

Resources:

OneHowTo.com also offers some homemade insect repellent recipes using such things as garlic and ammonia. 

TaosHerb.com provides natural methods of repelling insects, including the use of essential oils.


6 New, High Quality, Amber, 10 ml Glass Roll-on Bottles with Stainless Steel Roller Balls - .5 ml Dropper included

 One of the reasons I prefer the small roller bottles is because I can carry it in my purse. Another benefit is that this concentration seems to work on itching as well as repelling. 


Warnings!!


  • The methods I use involve essential oils, many of which are not recommended for pregnant women, so check with your doctor first. 
  • Cats are known to be very sensitive to Tea Tree Oil, and possibly others. 
  • Some people are sensitive to essential oils when applied directly to the skin. This is why a proper carrier oil or water solution is used. If in doubt, spot check before applying to your skin. The essential oils are healing, but they must be used according to directions. 
  • The recipes above should be fine on most people, but spray onto clothing if you have sensitive skin.
  • Some of the essential oils are quite fragrant, and many people do not like the smell. For instance, I love the eucalyptus but my daughter hates it, so I do not use it when she is at home. 




Sunday, July 17, 2016

How the Rich and Famous are Voting

This election year has been one of the most interesting, and most controversial election years of my life. The politicians and their supporters are confused, angry, and sometimes downright ignorant. The lies and accusations are tossed around easier than a salad.

This political circus has served to inspire many questions for me, not all of which serve a great purpose - such as this one.

Then again, it wasn't that long ago that a movie star was elected president.




  • How are the rich and famous voting?
I found endless resources for celebrity supporters of Hillary, but those supporting Trump are apparently not as vocal about their choice.

I'm With Her (Hillary Clinton)

Music Industry

Katy Perry
Elton John
Pharrell
Pit Bull - In no uncertain terms, it is safe to say that Pit Bull mocks the Trump candidacy. Interview at Reuters.


Television Stars and Industry

Oprah
Amy Schumer
Ellen DeGeneres
Eva Longoria
Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Olivia Wilde (formerly of House)
Shonda Rhimes (Creator of some of my favorite shows: How to Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy)

Movie Stars / Directors / Industry

Steven Spielberg
J.J. Abrams (Director of The Force Awakens)
Ben Affleck
Robert De Niro
George Clooney
Julianne Moore
Jamie Foxx
Kate Hudson
Charlize Theron
Drew Barrymore
Leonardo DiCaprio
Morgan Freeman
Reese Witherspoon
Scarlett Johansson
Samuel L. Jackson
Spike Lee
Tom Hanks

Donald Trump supporters

Aaron Carter
Kirstie Allie
Willie Robertson (Duck Dynasty)
Dennis Rodman
Kid Rock
Mike Tyson
Gary Busey
Loretta Lynn
Wayne Newton
Scott Baio - "When he speaks I understand him."

I assume that Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris and Tom Selleck are Trump supporters, since I know they are staunch Republicans, but I am not sure so I did not include them.

References

MarieClaire.com
CBS.com
AMNY.com

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Began My Voting Life as a Republican

Are you a Democrat? An Independent? A Republican?

Have you ever changed your party affiliation?

More often than not, people become affiliated with a political party based on their heritage (in my experience).

It's a family tradition.

Even suggesting that someone vote differently than their parents can start an argument.

(Now I was born and raised in the south, so this might be a southern thing, but I fear that this is a tradition throughout rural America.)

Naturally, some people do change their party affiliation. Sometimes, they do so quietly, without telling a soul, except for the ones they are trying to please or impress. For instance, a change might be made due to outside influences such as an employer, a church, or a new spouse.

Those that grew up in a two-party household feel free to explore all of their options. I was one of those lucky ones.

I began my voting life as a Republican, then became an Independent, and eventually realized that the only way I could remain true to my moral and ethical convictions was by finally jumping in with both feet and registering as a Democrat.

Life would be much easier for me today if I had kept that information to myself, but I have always felt strongly about speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, or for those whose voices are being ignored. Therefore, I deal with the angry friends and family. I do have a few family members who see things as I do, and they are a great comfort to me, even the ones who keep it a secret. I get it. I understand.

Changing your political party affiliation can be difficult, especially when family members see it as betrayal. While I do not understand how they rationalize this betrayal, I do understand the power of the feeling, because that's exactly how I feel about voting for Republicans. It betrays every fiber of my being.

It betrays our citizens, especially females and the LGBT community (and those who love them), our minorities, our disabled, and our poverty stricken brothers and sisters. I cannot live by the Golden Rule if I choose to ignore these people, or worse, vote against them.



Now I don't feel this strongly about every election or every Republican, but I do feel that way about the Republican platform of 2016 and the candidates running on that platform.

My observation of this situation is not intended to insult people who feel differently. I'm simply stating the experiences I have had as to when, why, and how people change their political party affiliation.

My intention is to help those who are struggling with their decisions and who are hesitant to make changes because they are afraid of the fallout.

One thing has become abundantly clear based on government data; predominantly Republican states tend to have the highest number of people living in poverty, and are therefore accessing social aids such as food stamps and Medicaid. Yet, they continue to vote for the party that threatens to take all of that away from them.

Why?

My second theory on this phenomenon was that perhaps people still think that they will be millionaires one day, so they want to preserve the "I'm better than you" rights of the uber wealthy - for when they "arrive."

However, I just read an article by a former military man, who gives an excellent explanation of what was going through his mind when he was poor, yet voting Republican.

Here are two of his reasons...

To make up for my own failures, I voted to give rich people tax cuts, because somewhere deep inside, I knew they were better than me. They earned it. My support for conservative politics was atonement for the original sin of being white trash.
I didn’t care about tax cuts for myself. I was still paying little if any income tax, but I believed in “fairness.” The “death tax” (aka the estate tax) was unfair and rich people paid more taxes so they should get more of a tax break. I ignored my own personal struggles when I made political decisions.
As you can see, his reasons included shame and self deprecation.

How sad.

Read the rest of his story at Salon.com.





Friday, February 19, 2016

Hugs - Campaign 2016

As I watch our presidential candidates eagerly campaigning for primary votes, I listen for their words of love as well as their words of wisdom, leadership and strength. 
I look for signs of love for their fellow country men and women. I keep my eyes open to see which of them actually hugs people with a genuine smile and warmth that cannot be disguised. I realize that hugging is not something some people are comfortable with, but sometimes a hug is all you have to give in order to show someone that you are truly moved and concerned for their well-being. The candidates are hearing some heart wrenching stories while campaigning across this country. If a candidate is not capable of hugging the people who are out supporting him or her, especially after they share their heartfelt concerns and tragedies, then (IMHO) they are not capable of making major decisions that will affect the well-being of those people. 
Fortunately, there are some huggers in the arena. Hillary Clinton and John Kasich are two I’ve seen so far. I have read that Jeb Bush hugged someone in Iowa, but I haven’t seen it myself, although I am guessing that he is a hugger. I’m still watching all of them just out of curiosity, but am satisfied that my candidate of choice has fulfilled the FINAL criteria of my litmus test - the genuine heart-felt hug. 
Notice I said the FINAL criteria, so please do not bother to attempt to insult me on this issue as you will only insult yourself for not reading this post properly. The hug is not the first, nor the only criteria I have used during this primary, it is simply one among many. It is also one I have never used before. However, it is impossible to cover all of my presidential criteria in this one post. Besides, we do not have to agree on politics in order to be friends, or to at least be civil to one another. After all, we all want what is best for our country, some of us simply see different paths to achieving that greatness.
FYI - Honesty is also paramount among my list of credentials. Note that the witch hunt against Hillary for the past twenty years has yet to bring about even one indictment. It’s Republican propaganda, a smear campaign, and many people have fallen for it. Wake up - they take issue with having a female president under any circumstances. Unfortunately for them, she is the best qualified this year. 
Living in South Carolina for the time being, I have noticed the media talking about the fact that parents and their adult children are supporting different candidates and then they wonder how one family member will sway another and who will win. 

That's ridiculous. 

One of my daughters is supporting a different candidate while one of them hasn't clued me in on whom she is voting for - and do you know what that tells me? It tells me I did a good job raising two independent women who can think for themselves. Of course, at least two of us are in the same party, but I support everyone's independence. I just wish more people would actually "think" about it and get the facts first. If you're just voting for whomever your parents are voting for, then you really should give it a bit more thought - unless you agree with everything your parents think, say and do - all the time. *wink*
Now back to the hugs...
I have seen Hillary Clinton hug many people many times, but this is the most recent and one of the most poignant, which is why I used it. This little girl's dilemma brought tears to my eyes. Isn't life hard enough without worrying about deportation? The hug is not shown in this pic, but they did hug. Visit the link to see the video - grab a tissue first. 





It’s obvious in this hug that Kasich is having genuine feelings for this young man. Indeed, he has a sad story. Kasich is a good and sincere man. 
I have not seen any hugs from Cruz, whose own daughter doesn’t seem to want to hug him, or from Rubio, and even if I did see one from Trump, I would question the genuineness of it, but that’s not for me to judge, just as it is not for the Pope to judge the faith of Trump. 
The two moments above, the ones I have shared are truly genuine moments of empathy on the campaign trail. 
I love it when that happens. 
We need more Hugs in campaign 2016. 
Vote! Your vote matters. Please vote. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Kardashians

A few months ago, when I was fed up with the ridiculous slurs and insulting memes regarding the Kardashians, I decided to actually watch the show to see what all of this hate drama is about.

I am still watching reruns and trying to keep up with current shows when I have time. Obviously, many more people love them than hate them (I can find reruns nearly every day), or they would not be on television as much as they are, or in magazines, or in newspapers, or online newspapers, or tabloids, on entertainment TV shows, or - well, you get the point.

Here's why I continue to watch their shows.

There is very little "wrong" with the Kardashian family, unless you call being rich wrong, which apparently most people do not or they wouldn't continually allow filthy rich politicians to run the country.

As you may (or may not) know, I study psychology. I am fascinated by it. The Kardashian family is one of the most loyal, unconditionally loving families I have ever had the pleasure to watch in action.

As Scott (Kourtney's beau and father of her 3 children) continues to struggle with addiction, and even though Kourtney finally gave him the boot, the family has been amazingly supportive for this young man. Meanwhile, Kourtney is a wonderful mother, raising three children while remaining active in their many business ventures.

Then there's Bruce, now Caitlyn Jenner, and the transition that the whole family was forced to make - which they did with grace. He is still embraced with unconditional love from the family.

More recently we have witnessed the drama with Khloe's almost ex-husband Lamar, and the crisis he brought upon himself. And yet, Khloe dropped everything to be by his side in the beginning, which included the most critical hours of his recovery or possible demise. I was amazed and impressed by her devotion to a man who had disrespected her so badly.

As for Kim, you may not approve of her photos in magazines, but she is a savvy business lady and she is classy. Not only that, but almost every famous person who has met her has only positively wonderful things to say about her. She is caring but firm, which is why I feel she is usually the spokesperson for the family, although Khloe has been stepping up in that role recently, which is great. I think we will continue to see great things from both of them.

Then we have the charming Rob, who has been through so much the past couple of years, during which time the family respected his privacy and stood by him. This month, we have seen a new Rob who is allowing photos to be taken and is looking slimmed down and as charming as ever. Good for you Rob!

Having said all of that, I am not a huge fan of Kris Jenner, although I do admire the way she has provided for her girls and inspired them to take advantage of opportunities to be savvy business women. She is a smart business woman. Who can imagine the suffering she has endured over losing Bruce? And it's not just personal suffering, the media has added more than their fair share of torment.

My verdict is still out on Kendall and Kylie as I know the least about them, but so far, I think they are behaving as one would expect of two beautiful, famous young girls who are making their own financial way in the world, even though they could sit back and live off the money of the family. I can't wait to see what they do next.

So what is the problem exactly?

Why do so many people hate the Kardashians?

Is it pure jealousy?

I believe that could be a small part of it. Most families are not that loyal. If you humiliate the family, then you're out-a-here, at least in small town America. Not so with the Kardashians.

Is it because people mistakenly believe that they are filthy rich without working for their own money? That could be true since so many people form opinions without bothering with facts.

Whatever the reason that conservative America (on Facebook) feels compelled to judge and despise them, it is without merit.

I am interested to see how they handle the after effects of the new OJ movie. I fully expect to see them react with the same grace they have shown throughout their past problems with the family and with the public.

Meanwhile, I'll keep watching as time allows, to see if I can find any behaviors or attitudes worthy of the scorn of conservative America. Somehow, I doubt that will happen.

This is a well-adjusted, loving family making the best of every moment of every day, and doing it quite well.

Dare I say it? Yes, I will.

I like the Kardashians!









Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Feelthebern

I watched the debate last night and today heard some good news. More than 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the Democratic Debate last night and it was a substantial debate.

So many of us are refreshed as we #feelthebern and many democrats and independents are desperately hoping that Bernie Sanders can pull out enough voters to win not only the democratic primary, but also the presidency.


Unfortunately, the media is making even his smallest gains into seemingly much larger accomplishments than they actually are.

Even with small strides and plenty of media coverage, most Americans are not ready for a president Sanders.

Many political analysts have said that Sanders is not going to become our next president - for many reasons. A major consideration is that an extremist such as Sanders is not going to motivate enough people to get out and vote.

Meanwhile, we will just have to wait and see what happens, but I, for one, tend to agree with the predictions.

the Republican party has in recent years morphed into something even more sinister: an anti-intellectualist, openly racist, dangerously xenophobic, hyper-violent would-be junta — and the Dems, for all their faults, are right now the only thing standing in the way of Republican rule. They’ve got a lot of warts, but if you argue that the Democrats are the same as the Republicans, you’re a fool. Worse than a fool.
Read the rest of the story at  The Daily Banter.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Free Audio Books

Sometimes you want to read but you are just too tired to hold the dang book. Many people use Audible, which is a premium service that provides a free trial. If you want the most current titles, that is where you need to go.


Fortunately, there are a few sites that offer free audio books for your iphone, ipad and computer.

Most of these books are available in the free domain, meaning there is no copyright keeping you from downloading a free copy of the book, or a free audio version of the book.

Remember, current trending authors are not going to be in this group.

However, if you like classics, historical texts and enjoy discovering new books from the past, then you might just like to take a look at the list of providers.

About.com has compiled a list of nine... you can see them here.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Obama wept

A few days ago our President wept as he spoke of the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

If you are one who speaks of this event in mockery, I feel sorry for you and because of you I feel even sorrier for our nation. For it is people like you who have caused the apathy in America.

NO one is coming for your guns. However, below is the educated interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as interpreted by our Supreme Court.


 Violence Policy Center


If you are one of the people who says that more laws will not keep guns away from criminals, I would like to remind you that
most gun deaths and injuries occur as unjustifiable homicides and suicides.

For the sake of argument, let's say the government is plotting to eventually take all guns away from us.

Get real. If that happens, the military will win.

Many of you think that our service men and women would not comply with these orders, but even if that were the case, the UN would be called upon to enforce the new laws and those who resist will either be imprisoned or killed if they try to stop the process.

Instead of worrying about a scenario that I have no control over, I prefer to do something about the number of gun deaths in this country.

Thank you, President Obama, for enforcing stricter gun laws.

Obama didn't just get weepy, Podair and others say. He introduced something new to American public life on three levels: spiritual, political and presidential.
He showed the 'power of powerlessness'





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