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Moldy Belongings

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The first part of our mold story, Moldy Brains, is here!

On September 1st, after realizing the mold in our home was killing us, I looked online for websites to guide me in what we could safely take with us into a new/different home.

In the months since finding we had mold behind the baseboard (I swear it’s called something else, since it was so high up the wall, but it’s not coming to me), a few friends had mentioned a book to me, knowing I avoid synthetic things and toxic chemicals as much as possible. One of those friends happens to own a copy of this book, Nature’s Mold Rx, and lent it to me. I planned to mix up my own recipe of “robber’s” blend (plus thyme, read this cool little study) and see how it would work, after I ran out of the bottle that friend gave me.

I definitely noticed a slight improvement when diffusing, before we escaped. But eventually, I opened the windows, not thinking about moving the mold around, and it was just too much at the time for our bodies to handle.

I won’t share the first site I began following, as I later learned several pieces of information were inaccurate. But, I will tell you that it was very much a “save almost nothing if you HAVE to save anything at all” kind of approach, which I later learned is not useful for most people.

In those first two weeks, Daryl and I spent all our free time together at our home, masked up and with gloves, throwing things away and sanitizing what we thought we could salvage.

Mold Killer Spray

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sal Suds
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 25 drops robber’s blend (link to recipe, above)

Mix all in glass quart spray bottle, filling the rest of the way with water.

We began sloppily removing things and pretty quickly got MUCH wiser about disposal protocol.

Unfortunately, not only was the panic of health issues motivating me, I was also still cloudy-minded from Moldy Brain, time was rapidly running out before the remediation, and the initial website I’d trusted was not very… Accurate. Most of that two weeks was a gentle frenzy. I had no idea how gentle it was compared to what would come!

Here’s an example. With my vocational work, I have very slowly (over 5 years) collected tools to use indoors for more dynamic movement that are natural, for my own family and my clients. Cotton, rubber, cork. One of the things this website accurately stated is that if something is fabric and cannot be washed, it needs to be safely disposed of; if it can be washed, it is likely to be salvageable. So I kept and washed my cotton yoga straps with homemade laundry detergent (not soap) and “robber’s blend” essential oils. Rubber was iffy – so I threw away all 5 sets of my fascia balls. Cork was on this woman’s list for ‘absolutely don’t keep,’ so this is where my huge loss came in.

I’d purchased a large cork roller, cork domes, cork balls, and cork blocks. It was one of two items I resisted throwing away, not because of sentimentalism, but because of practicality. It took me 5 years to collect these items, when we were much better off financially than we were after Daryl lost his job.

About a week into this process, I was trying to find a natural flooring option for our kitchen that was affordable, easy to install, and didn’t encourage mold growth. My jaw DROPPED. This was mingled in the search results – Cork Flooring – The Mold Resistant Choice For My Family.

I stuttered it out to Daryl and then frantically looked up cork flooring and mold… And other websites were confirming this. Mold has a VERY difficult time permeating cork. I ran to our trash can, and dug out any bags I could that I knew were from the remediation (SO many bags) and began carefully searching for any of my cork tools to begin sanitizing them. That morning had been trash morning, so most of my stuff was gone for good… That never had to be gone… But I did find my big cork body roller, two cork fascia balls, and my tatami mat. Suddenly, I clicked into a different state and decided I was going to sanitize pretty much everything I had time for that could be sanitized.

So many things aside from my Restorative Exercise tools had already been thrown away in led-up construction trash bags.
Honestly many of the things we had already thrown would have been so time consuming to sanitize. With time running out, as we quickly approached the 14th to remove the actual mold in the walls, floor and insulation and having no financial resources to purchase sealable plastic tubs to store things in for later sanitizing… What had been frenzy in throwing things out, became very focused and deliberate in keep versus sanitize.

Scrapbooks and photos and many other things were disposed of. I took pictures of some things and sanitized even fewer, in terms of pictures. I saved sewing materials that could be washed, but had to throw out all the notions like thread and elastic for the cloth diapers I make for others. I couldn’t keep yarn… Because I couldn’t wash it in skeins. Any solid wood items were kept and sanitized with “robber’s blend,” but I felt sketchy about pressed wood composites. I may have been able to salvage them, too, but time was of the essence and I still wasn’t thinking 100%. I was closer to 70% at that point.

With baskets, (it’s how I store pretty much everything outside of the kitchen) if it was solid/wooden, we sprayed it down outside in the sunshine and then sanitized them. If they had anything more fabricy-like, I disposed of them.

I used our HEPA vacuum on all our books and sprayed them with our sanitizing blend. Then I let them air dry outdoors. This was the other “item” I waited on and hem-hawed over for the longest. We are a family that learns at home (and everywhere other than a “school” building). I have cultivated a decent collection of antique books from our Ambleside Online lists, that were at the time a phenomenal deal… so books were financially driving my hesitancy.

I had read from the first website that mattresses and books carry the most mold/mycotoxins in them. But I found a good site eventually that took a still very cautious, but also different approach about items. I was excited, because it was the first article I’d seen mention of a home learning family and their hesitancy to dispose of all their books, too.

In the end, I disposed of all of our cotton mattresses and pillows. I could not comprehend being able to sanitize in far enough through the layers to really kill mold and mycotoxins. So, we are currently looking for healthy mattresses for a family of 7! Ha. It’s good that I am a Restorative Exercise Specialist and we were already adept at sleeping on floor, cushion, or mattress.

The days of sanitizing were tedious, but it helped us to prioritize and even purge a lot of things we didn’t really need, too.

At the end of sanitization period, we were calm and focused.

The friend Daryl had made that used to work in mold remediation had said it could take three of us about a day to put plastic up in our home and cut all the moldy wall and floor out. The 13th was filled with a bit of weird excitement that this was about a weekend away from being done!

How wrong we were! 😂 I’ll take you on that journey in the next DIY mold remediation post!

Moldy Brains

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We had flooding in our area last year that did not enter our home from below, but the torrential rains that came with it, poured down our walls. While we knew we had a small mold issue in our hallway, we had NO idea how massive this problem really was and we also had no idea how deeply it was effecting several of us in the Baggins family.

Around 3 months later, Melody began struggling with suicidal depression. I was taking 5 hours to get our supplements and make breakfast – that was all I could do in 5 hours, nothing else.
I assumed Melody’s depression was unresolved trauma from her childhood assaults and we began a specialized therapy for her with an amazing therapist. I assumed my lethargy was still clinging from when I lost my longest-held miscarriage baby, despite that I’d had some decent months after his loss and then suddenly crashed again.

Over the late spring, I tore carpet out of our livingroom to begin paper bagging the floor. This is when we found mold behind the baseboard (the baseboard went a third of the way up the walls).

I tried to put furniture in front of it so that my littlest children couldn’t touch it.

In mid-July, Daryll was fired from his job of almost 6 years. He started helping a family friend with yard work and some light construction stuff. He started his own handyman business. Emotionally and spiritually, amazing. Financially, struggling.

None of us knew why, but for several months before September, all of the “bigger people” in the house would burp and fart the intense smell of rotten sulfuric eggs. Our poop also smelled like this.
We made plans to do a DIY mold remediation in mid-September, when the weather would be cooler, hopefully enough to work in a mobile home without the air conditioner on. Another man who was also helping our family friend, used to work in mold remediation and, along with my foggy/intense researching abilities, was helping us understand what we would need to do a professional job.

This August, though, everything shifted into high gear. It started getting worse slowly over a year, but at the end of August we had a gloriously cool Friday towards the end and decided to open up the house and get fresh air in. It felt so good! It was maybe the best and worst decision ever.

By the following Monday, both Melody and I had extremity numbness. I could barely think through a sentence, let alone get it out. Melody was more depressed than ever and I couldn’t get up and function at all. I required a lot of assistance, as I couldn’t feel things anymore. It wasn’t safe for me to cut things. I couldn’t properly hang laundry.

All of us were more agitated and upset with each other, including the littles. Our moods were all over the place over this whole summer, actually, which I chalked up to the stress of finances.
Daryll took a super blurry picture of me when I burst into tears over… I don’t even remember what, now, because with my mood being so all over the place (forget that everyone else’s was too!), we kind of all assumed I was pregnant again (I wasn’t)!

Look where I’m sitting – floor couch, right at mold without knowing it

Because I’ve dealt with B12 deficiency multiple times now, I thought that maybe when our arms went numb, that we weren’t getting enough adenosyl/hydroxy B12.

It didn’t make sense to me because we’d been muscle testing and taking everything we needed to. I also thought it was weird that we both developed B12 deficiency on the exact same day. That the next day, Tuesday, we both felt better, and then Wednesday we were both numb again. All the puzzle pieces hadn’t fallen together for me yet – can I claim Mold Brain for that time period? Ha.

On August 28 or 29, I started putting together a health protocol for mold detox, that we could do after our September DIY mold remediation. As I was reading through blogs for herbs, natural supplements, and holistic actions I could take, I started to re-read all the symptoms of mold toxicity. I realized we had most of them. Disbelief rapidly turned to horror, and then back to disbelief. (A week or so later, a friend who knows how diligent I’ve been to avoid sulfur because of gene mutations, would send me info about the link between mold toxicity and dental caries, too, something I struggle with!)

I really, desperately wanted it to be B12 deficiency. How simple – take more pills! – whereas I knew that mold toxicity required much more of an uphill battle.

By this point, Melody and I had both been muscle testing much higher for our supplements than we normally did and had run out of B12 for a day. A friend bought us a new bottle and also told us that we could move in to their rental home the entire month of September, as their new tenants weren’t moving in until October. While generous, it flew right over my head why they were offering, and I kept planning to stay there the weekend of the 14th only.

That last Thursday or Friday of August, Daryll drove him and I on some errands (I refuse to drive like that) and I was coming ‘in and out’ of myself. It was similar to when I come out of B12 fog, but different. Usually, it’s a straight upward feel to “being myself.” This time, it was like being on a roller coaster, up and down. I felt drawn to breathe in the air from the air system. When we got home, back to drudgery.

On Saturday, Melody and I took an insane amount of B12, and still wasn’t as much as I was muscle testing for. We just didn’t have enough. It did nothing. I began letting “mold toxicity” start to sink in, but I wasn’t entirely sure because how could I know for sure?

September 1, Daryll and I ran errands again. I started doing the roller coaster thing again, in and out of body. It was like something finally clicked in me and I knew it was mold. I burst into tears and said, “we have to get out of our home today, NOW.”

For now, this is the beginning of our DIY mold remediation journey – in our home and in our bodies. I continue this story in another post, Moldy Belongings.

Lemons and Lemonade… Or Something Like That

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This was a timely message that came to me today.

Recently, Daryl was wrongfully terminated from a job he has held for over half a decade.

Less than a week later, we received his final paycheck. No savings. No recourse to contest the termination (and honestly, with how shady the company was proving to be, no desire to work for a company like that anymore anyway). Just rapid, looming poverty.

And internal home issues that we planned to remediate within a month, purchasing proper protective gear and clean replacement building materials. Starting with this coming week’s paycheck. Ha!

But the reality is, outside of financial concern, God planned for this and knew it would be for His glory and our best interest in serving Him. This has spurred Daryl and I to move forward with vocations we’d be dreaming of and talking about for a year (or many years, in my case!). Things we knew He’d called us to, but we’d been complacent in or hesitant to step forward in faith to do.

Now, we can only humbly repent (turn away from the wrong thing) and prayerfully ask God to guide our steps and make us fruitful as we venture on new, challenging paths to bless our community.

Hopefully we can tell this story in the future, and tell of the beautiful things that came, despite our balking ways, and encourage others to not wait to heed God’s call!

Gallbladder: How to Keep It, What Can Be Done When You Didn’t Keep It

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gallbladder-removal-open_thumbThe following is a smattering of information I gathered, when looking up information for someone I love, who had their gall bladder removed after a few attacks, and at the last hospital visit, found out they had the start of Type 2 diabetes. Encouraging them to go keto or Paleo for their diabetes, I knew I had to find information about that, without a gallbladder.

Some of the following shocked me, because of the links between different health issues. But it shouldn’t shock me.
This is for my future referral and you, the reader to take and use as you will. I am not an allopathic doctor and make no claim or hold any belief that I am your health authority – you are responsible for your own health and choices.

So, this was an interesting and unexpected find. At least… something to be mindful of:
http://paleoforwomen.com/i-cut-out-my-gallbladder-then-wanted-to-die/https://paleoleap.com/paleo-gallbladder/

‘K, so my notes. This is where I noted gallbladder is linked with celiacs disease (so… you will probably continue to have issues until the root issue is dealt with)…. but I followed some of the links in this article, and that sense of “won’t really get better until the root issue is cared for” (diet) made total sense and I found info about diabetes/high blood sugar and gallbladder stuff connecting (because… diet), which I’d never thought to connect before:
https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2014/01/26/get-rid-gallstones-without-surgery/
It also mentions a drug that QUICKLY dissolves gallstones (not my preference and I know it’s too late for you, but info to tuck away to share with others?), so that someone could get rid of the stones and then immediately go Paleo with high veggies and work on gut health and keep their gallbladder.
Then there’s this, about digesting fats better, but it reminded me that not only do you need bitters, but you would probably also need ox bile, if you don’t have it already:
https://blog.bulletproof.com/digest-fats-with-without-gallbladder/
Since I am really convinced about getting nutrients through foods as much as possible, that offer a range of variety within each food individually rather than lab-made isolated nutrients without any protective co-nutrients, this led me to find a list for you about enzymes from foods, to help you digest fats and foods better!
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/natural-digestive-enzymes#section6
And there’s this about enzyme supplements to consider:
https://lifespa.com/digestive-enzymes-the-hidden-dangers/

Also, that article from Bulletproof reminded me of a few articles I had pinned a long time ago. I don’t have a settled mindset on HCL, I am just presenting different bits of information about it that I have come across:

(This one could apply for people with heartburn, too.) http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/03/should-you-be-supplementing-with-hydrochloric-acid/

https://www.foodrenegade.com/hcl-not-just-supplement/

https://branchbasics.com/ways-to-increase-stomach-acid-production/

Random but not-so-random. Natural way to get a daily “multi-vitamin” (I do this, with the exception that I watch my green smoothies pretty closely because of kidney issues – I’m learning about foods that deal with oxalates too, so I don’t have to keep such a strict eye on my oxalate intake) :
http://heal-thyself.ning.com/notes/14_Steps_for_Healthy_GutsFollow-up email:

I went looking for a picture I could share with the post, and ended up finding this article:
https://paulaowens.com/liver-gallbladder/

Uhmm…. diabetes, hypothyroid, gallbladder problems…. sounds familiar!

Because of all the issues connecting together and that they would all be healed or avoided by eating low-processed carbs and higher fat, I would think that Paleo or Keto and the Yasko nutrigenomic protocol would be highly valuable for a person struggling with these things.
This is how I go about it:  https://4beautyinthechaos.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/genetic-shut-offs-through-food/

And, tagging along with the nutrigenomic stuff, my friend just sent me this link a few days ago. Eat the liver!
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/2019/02/26/mthfr-just-riboflavin-deficiency/

All or Nothing: Ghosting or Public Call-Outs

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9 times out of 10, when you have mounting problem with someone who is good-willed, you haven’t brought it to them before, and you are not able to move past it (which is not negative), the best course of action is to go directly to them in love and talk about it with them. Privately.
 
Ghosting them is childish and absolutely confusing to the person in this situation (which is a vastly different situation than “ghosting” an evil-willed/abusive person) and calling them out in a public way if you’ve *never* addressed the issue with them (to give them any chance of changing or sharing with you) before is typically just cruel and bullying. It’s foundation is one of disorientation and humiliation.
 
We can all be so much better than this with one another.
I am working on this aspect in myself, specifically the ghosting. Ghosting has become my default in trauma survival, the complete opposite of the doormat I allowed myself to be for nearly 3 decades. But what helped me survive coming out of that abuse, no longer works as I am trying to thrive.

None of us are perfect. It is to our own personal detriment to demand it of others when we cannot possibly be, ourselves. All we can do is try to better ourselves and encourage our loved ones to, as well.

Let the Little Ones Come to Me

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It matters that they learn that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly timed depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.

I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family – with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy – are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.”

~ Dear Parents With Young Children In Church, from I am *totally* that mom

This momma says this so much more eloquently than I ever have, but this is why I stopped sending Melody off to “Sunday school” after she was 4 or so. It’s why I don’t remove myself/my children from the service when they whimper.

Not only am I a part of the Body, but I want my children growing up knowing that they can be as well. They don’t need to be sent away to learn about Christ and how to live like Him, they can learn with all of us. They can ask us questions. They can make a joyful noise in front of all of us. Or a sad one.

Sending any children away from the church service had always made me sad, but when she was young, I was extremely pressured by the church I was going to, to put Melody in the class, so she “didn’t feel left out” from the other children. (Which isn’t an issue when all the children are welcome in the fellowship.)

I caved because I wasn’t resolved enough at that point in being different (who I am called to be) and realizing it doesn’t matter what other people think. It took me a good year or more at the church I was going to finally be convicted:

what matters is what I am choosing to invest in for my children.

Sending them away from me to learn about God, the Body, and loving others… wasn’t at all a priority for me (or sound rational, when wanting to let my children know that they can be a part of the fellowship of Christ).

So, anyway. I just really loved that older post and and I wanted to share it with you.

Healing

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breaking-patterns-dysfunction

When you start working/healing through PTSD, trusting the “red flags” is scary. It’s an element of trusting yourself and you really feel like a failure and should not trust yourself. Overall though, it’s a relatively easy part of the healing process, because it adds a layer of protection. For those struggling with PTSD, protection is the ultimate goal. To finally feel safe again, whatever it takes to feel that way, even if the method itself is unhealthy and not really keeping you safe. PTSD is fun like that.
At any rate, trusting the red flags around specific people IS a good practice, for everyone, but specifically for people who have gone through a traumatic event that included some sort of abuse.

But, what I have found is REALLY difficult is trusting something else inside of you. The ability to discern mostly who is decent, who will generally not seek to harm you, but will like yourself, inevitably disappoint others. Disappointment and hurts in a typically healthy relationship is “normal.” Someone seeking to harm or destroy you is a whole different ballgame. And it is kind of terrifying trusting your ability to discern who is safe.

It’s not like trusting the red flags, which put bricks in your wall of defense. It’s actively not only not putting bricks up in a wall that needs to be there for someone with signs of an abuser, it’s actively taking bricks out of sections of the wall, to let someone considered to be safe, in, entrusting that they will be an active member of your life that is also willing to invest healthfully in your life and sort of… take the place of those bricks. That when those that DO seek to harm you have come (and they will), they will be there to invest love and support. And protection.

It is scary to trust yourself with that specific ability. Will I fail at this aspect – again – what will it cost me, my family, my children, if I have?