Amazing and Questionable Medical Remedies! For the cheap.

Cold and flu season is upon us! Most of you will be paying for it, adding to the over over 4 billion dollars a year Americans spend on cold medicine. If you give up on over the counter stuff, and take a trip to the germ hut, (hospital) that will be an additional 100$ on average per visit.  Poor? Up for gambling with your health just to avoid the money grubbing health industry bastards?! Me too!

Being cheap and gambling with my health comes naturally to me. Let’s face it, I’m an artist from rural Idaho.Even on my dad’s side I come from a long line of people who don’t necessarily trust hospitals. You get cut, stitch it yourself. This is the stock i came from, add in my moms very nervous side too, and you get someone who is afraid of the hospital and distrusting of it….Do we even need them? it costs thousands just to have a kid while our ancestors just squatted one out long the trail and kept on trucking. Okay, that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point.

Growing up, we didn’t have a hospital close by to run to for every scratch. I only went to the doctor if something was seriously wrong…like when I broke my arm, or when I fell on my head from a two story tall structure. (i know, explains a lot) Anyways, are you ready for my advice? 😀

Flu and the Common Cold:                                                                                                                                                   Don’t buy cold medicine. It only prolongs the symptoms. Your body fights harder when every part of it is fully aware something is wrong. When you wake up, drink a large cup of cayenne pepper mixed with chicken broth. Studies have proven chicken broth fights sickness. Cayenne pepper is good for you in general, but also clears your sinuses.

Sinus infections:
This is more preventative. When you get the sniffles, don’t blow your nose! Pressing one side of your nose and trying to blow all the mucus out is a bad idea, it drives the stuff further into your sinuses, eyes ears etc. Sinus infections are expensive. Just dab your nose if it runs. You will find  that your sinuses clear up much faster.

Pink eye:
If you didn’t listen to the “don’t blow your nose” advice your sinus infection could have spread to your eye. Or maybe a kid with pink eye sneezed in your face. I worked in daycare for six years, I’m no stranger to the embarrassing ailment. Here is my solution: Don’t go to the doctor. They will give you antibiotics or a spray/drops for your eye and it will be expensive. Instead, clean your eyes in the morning with a few drops of lemon juice mixed with hot water. Or you can go the crazy route, it actually works. Get a piece of white bread put a little milk on the middle and tape it to your eye before you go to bed. Somehow the milk proteins plus the breads absorbency clears it. In the morning it was totally gone, every time I did this.

Strep throat:                                                                                                                                                                     Working in daycare I had strep throat often, five times in a row one winter! I went to the doctor the first four times, a decision I questioned by round one, as I sat in a cold room at the hospital alone and shivering with a very high fever waiting for the staff to come back…and waiting for hours… later they apologized for forgetting me. Weeks later, despite hundreds of dollars and several rounds of antibiotics, it kept coming back. Finally, I did things my way. I was convinced they were doing this to get more money. So I decided, no more antibiotics for strep throat. My body fought it off in five days and I was fine. lets save the antibiotics and money for life threatening stuff! At the onset of being sick, gargle with salt water, and hope to God it isn’t strep throat.

Fever:
My mom treated my fever the old fashioned way, blankets. It is frowned upon, but far more comfortable… So long as you don’t get to brain cooking temperatures, you will sweat it out and feel better. After all your body is trying to kill the germs. however, buy a thermometer.

And lastly, my number one piece of cheap advice is this:
When you are sick don’t complain! Attitude is everything, and what we focus on grows. Think positive!  If you walk around saying “I’m sick” as though you have a deathly illness, someone will make you go to the doctor. Mostly because they will be tired of you whining.  In fact, when someone asks you if you are sick, say no.For all you know, you could be on the verge of getting better, Don’t assume you are in for weeks of poor health, or maybe you will be!

These remedies probably seem weird, but they have served me well as a poor human/artist! Even if I won the lottery I would still use try these remedies first. My experience is that they work faster and are less unpleasant than modern medicine. That being said…I am not a doctor; obviously, since I don’t charge 400$ an hour and torture you at the germ hut (hospital). You could probably die from any of my suggestions, then again you could also be hit by a bus or die from a flesh-eating virus you picked up at the hospital.

Happy cold and flu season! 😀

Rural Idaho: Where you get soap in the apocalypse.

My husband looked over my shoulder and laughed because I was rather intensely researching where soap comes from. He asked quizzically after the first hour, “ARE you STILL reading that? Why do you think you need to know medieval soap making practices?” The answer is simple. Because I don’t know, and neither does he….and I suspected, mostly none of us do.And why not?
Here’s the skinny :
       Originally soap was made from watered ash dust “lye” and animal fat. One story of its invention claims that it all happened when women coincidentally washed clothes in a part of the river close to wear animal sacrificing was taking place. Ash and water and animal oils/fats ran together into the stream making for a noticeably cleaner wash.  We don’t know for certain if that’s how it began. We do know that people made the firsts soaps from the cooked/purified fat of the animals they killed mixed with ash/water mixture that has previously been filtered through reeds or sticks.
it was a tedious time inducing process.
Why did I feel the need to research something ancient, when I can just drive to Walmart and buy soap for under a dollar? If shit gets real, I want soap. If society were to collapse, or we get entrenched  into some-kind of horrible unforeseeable situation, almost nobody would even know how to make soap. Most people would be totally helpless in general, and that bothers me. We live in a time where we have easy access to more knowledge than ever before, and we don’t even know how to survive. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Knowledge never hurt anyone…(Except maybe the kind you put yourself into crippling, starvation inducing debt over, with no foreseeable future employment to pay for it.)
            Before you pack me into the box of “crazy doomsday-prepper,” hear me out.
I’m not frivolously spending on supplies, or planning for some imagined swift inevitable demise of modern culture.I have a gas mask but only because an old roommate of mine was essentially throwing it away doubting it would ever have a use. I know it does. I realize I also might never need it. To me, having a bit of extra water food around and common survival knowledge seems less crazy than the alternative. There are MANY situations it could come in handy, crazy and highly possible alike!
         My parents are also not doomsday preppers, but the way I am is certainly because of my upbringing.I  spent my formative years in rural Idaho; like my mother, and half my ancestors who immigrated to rural Idaho from Bavaria hundreds of years ago. By rural I mean wilderness level, not just a small town clinging right next to a larger town like its unfortunate turd. Basically our town was a collection of homes next to nothing, except the side of a mountain. Make that all sides. Unless you count the side with the icy river, where you might plummet to your death if another rock slide hits the other road in spring. That is a bit over – dramatic. On on the daily, it was a place where bears get into your garbage every morning, and renegade juvenile delinquent cougars eat your pets. There weren’t movie theaters, or hospitals, or Walmarts, or Mcdonalds. It had a little gas-station/store, but we had to make quite a trek for our most of our groceries/supplies, (on that road I mentioned a minute ago no less.) Simply put, I’m used to the idea of not getting everything life requires from the store.
           As a child I knew exactly where my food came from, and how it got onto the table. We grew a garden, learned to catch fish, use a gun, gut animals we ate. My limbs grew longer the natural way, from wild meat and pesticide free foods. I was Strengthened by carrying river rocks to build our driveway, that was, like most of the roads in my town, made of dirt. We learned about every kind of tree and fish. Our school included sessions about things like, how to survive in winter, avoid hypothermia, build shelter, and use compasses . Long isolated winters meant multiple powerless days and cooking on the wood stove which also heated our home. Warmth came from the trees our family chopped down, always planting more as a community each spring.
               When I try to explain my beautiful upbringing, the pitiful looks and response I get is all too familiar. Most people react like my childhood was detrimental. The responses are pretty close to the faces I get if I talk about my gas mask, or thoroughly researching soap. Is it really an atrocity that I didn’t have daily access to movie theaters and Walmarts? Is what I filled my days with instead, what is really so useless? My fun was nature, fishing and hiking, instead of playing lazer tag and collecting backstreet boys cds, like my kid relatives from the city.
            When will we as a society re-evaluate what is silly to learn, about and what is not? Hopefully not when it is a terrible emergency and we HAVE TO learn on the fly, because that might be too late. If a dire situation arose all of those “hillbilly” things would be invaluable…Just Think of  the walking dead…Daryl Dixon obviously already knew how to survive. It’s probably not gonna be zombies. but still. 🙂
              I am not ashamed of how I grew up, or my weird propensity for wanting to be prepared. I am embarrassed for the many survival things I should know that I don’t. Disappointed, about the now foggy things I once knew with perfect clarity, before my years in the city. To those memories I cling, so they wont disappear…like the average person’s knowledge of how to get soap (other than the stuff plastic bottle you find in the store)
I’m no doomsday prepper. I’m just a girl from the mountains of Idaho, who still sees a bit of value in knowing how to survive…Now get over here and help me make 18th century soap. 😀

Start asking about what art I’ve made, instead of asking when I’m going to make a human.

Art creation vs Pro-creation:
Sometimes I get the feeling half of my relatives are  sizing up my torso like a vessel for their future baby friend/family member.  I understand why, the thought of it is exciting to most people. There is a reason most married young women have dreams of having a family…just the way they dreamed of a glorious wedding.
       Then there is me. I’m not a picket fence type, and i never was. While my friends dreamed up weddings and cute babies and handsome husbands, i couldn’t picture it. Instead i dreamed of owning an old dilapidated home and renting out all the rooms to eccentric strangers while living a kooky artist life, or possibly even devoting the other half of my life to religion.
     I really had no plans of getting married, in fact i planned the opposite. As a young adult and even went as far as to carry out bizarre rituals to improve my odds of not EVER finding myself attached. I attended church almost everyday as my primary form of socialization. Secondly I had no physical contact with anyone. Upon someone extending a hand in greeting I would plant mine firmly behind my back and say, rather loudly ” I don’t touch people!” Revealing instantly that I was probably koo koo, and therefore frightening any dating prospects away  intentionally. (of course I now realize how hilarious, and effective this notion really was.) Trouble is, I am actually a little bit ocd, and what started as a brilliant plan ended up turning into a very tough to break habit/quirk. I couldn’t touch anyone even hugging family members without a distinct anxiety because isolation had become my new normal.
  I had begun moving past that “stay back” quirk (and of course onto other quirks) when I met Christopher…The man I find myself married to now. I like to say I find myself married, because it was more something nice that has happened than something I planned for. Sort of like a happy accident. Now that the decision has been made, I feel pressure from others to sign onto the entire picket fence idea of my peers. and well, that just isn’t me. Sharing my life with someone who loves and cares about me, doesn’t imply that this crazy eccentric person, is magically transformed into a baby popping out Martha Stewart type. Not that there is anything wrong with those ladies, but it certainly isn’t this lady. Being a christian sometimes means being part of a culture of people with a different “ideal life plan” than me, and it can feel alienating.
       I’m an artist. most artists aren’t parents, or if they are it isn’t accomplished easily.We make very little and it takes up a gargantuan amount of time. the only creation i foresaw myself taking part in my life was creating making art. maybe you think that is strange, but really it isn’t entirely dissimilar to motherhood. Through making art i feel a strong connection to those around me, to the world, and everyone who views my art. The things i create sometimes feel as though they have a life of their own and I’m merely the steward. there is even the sense that I’m leaving something valuable behind for when I’m no longer here. that is not so different for how hopeful mothers to be feel i imagine. An art mentor once said, (upon my disappointment that a friend had refused to attend my art show) “people don’t understand that creating a new piece of art and wanting others to see it is like having a newborn baby and introducing it to the people in your life”
she hit the nail on the head with that one. but people aren’t excited about things they don’t find meaningful.
      I don’t hate the idea of bringing a baby into the world…but  I am annoyed at the  one-sided attitude people verbally display trying to convince me about it . As if there are only positives to consider, and I will for sure I miss out on a quality life if i chose not to have kids. Mama didn’t raise no fool, i know there are many negatives you do not say. I have had horrifying nightmares about things like stretch marks, being morbidly obese,( i know, its kinda funny) but it can happen. Not to mentions more serious things like postpartum, or dying in childbirth. I use my very body as a form of art with modeling, and I’d  prefer my torso not to be sawed in half, or turned into a purple striped watermelon. Secondly I like my breasts the way they currently are, thank you very much. I don’t call that vanity, I call it self-preservation. If I’m going to be a construction site for a human creature, at least lets consider doing it when I have enough money to hire a crew to clean up the damage.
       I get that you feel like the positive outweighs those possibilities. I have worked with children for most of my life, primarily toddlers for over 6 years. Although i admit my job included the higher stress level, of watching 14 toddlers in one room for over 8 hours a day in a daycare setting…i wont be in quite the same situation unless i beat the record of octo-mom. I was  nanny for a year too. i liked doing both, and I am quite good at these things. So its safe to say I know exactly what the job of being a good mom requires. including being potentially covered in poo and vomit on a daily basis…I also know that  pales in comparison to the positives of watching growth and being a part of small daily triumphs. ive experienced both,albeit with other people children.
      I don’t look down on moms.But lets be real, being a “mom” isn’t the hardest job in the world. (being a GOOD MOM IS!) just the title of mom, entails becoming impregnated and labor. We all know there are plenty of women who take the easy road. moms who babysit with tv constantly, and provide McDonald’s daily while they watch tv shows, or play candy crush on their cell phones all day. they drop their child at daycare more than they really need to or at random people’s houses while they lounge the day away in stained shirts and baggy sweats that hide their growing dairy-air from the sedentary lifestyle.
 Its being a “GOOD mom” that is a very VERY hard job. i see the hard work and dedication of the many great moms around me, and i know It would consume most if not all of my life. i would have to put it ahead of all other things. With my background i wouldn’t be able to, with a clear conscious, be anything other than the very best mom i could be.
 Sure,some women balance motherhood work and creative endeavors like a bright yellow bendable smiling Dr. Seuss character, and good for them. But i know i would feel pain and guilt, real division of heart over having to decide between my human creation and my art creations, the first would always win out. that’s why I’m choosing to be an artist right now.
     I don’t think my choice should warrant condescending phrases like “you will change your mind”…or questions as to if anything is wrong with me as a possible reason for why I don’t have kids yet. To which I have decided will now respond “I  am an alien from Pluto and I have a frozen womb, I actually do give birth to snowflakes twice a year.”I think ridiculous rude questions deserve ridiculous rude answers.
     I am not saying I NEVER will be a mother… lets face it, I was saying I would never get married, and I am that. Both myself, and my drivers ed instructor said I would never drive, and I do that, (although not particularly well.) This choice like those,also is mine, and my husbands to make on our own time. It is not the “obvious american dream default choice” that it is made out to be, or one that anyone should be taking lightly.  We do not all share the same dreams, so please talk to me like a person, and not merely a vessel for another person. You can start by asking about what art I’ve made instead, of asking about why I still haven’t made a human.

I’m an artist, Not a writer. Reaching out none the less.

I’m not a writer. I am a painter. The desire to create art for me, stems from a need to reach out to others. I’m hoping this proves to be fulfilling in a similar way. I will never give myself the title of “writer” because I think titles are something you earn, and I have no clue what i’m doing. This time in history gives everyone a creative license to express, regardless of skill level. case in point, I’m a terrible photographer with over 400 Instagram followers. My intro there reads

“real redhead real artist, I’ve got one cracked oar but I’m going to row like no tomorrow,…cheer or point and laugh, whichever”

I dislike taking photos, so  i was hesitant to even try Instagram. But I adore it.  A friend once said of me “If you walked past a rock everyday, eventually you would fall in love with it”  I don’t doubt that this is what happened with Instagram. or really, all of the people who I end up feeling connected to through it.  I felt so strongly about it that over the summer I did a series of paintings, all inspired by instagram photos taken by people who live in my city. mostly ones i hadn’t ever met. I was trying to make something most people wouldn’t see as “art” into just that. (the image featured is one from the series) Most people got it, some people were a bit surprised and weirded out.  After that I began to grow brave about adding more random people who wanted to “follow me” Maybe it is creepy to some people i mean even the term, “follow” has a slightly creepy ring to it. i suppose i did it out of curiosity. Mostly good experiences came from my decision. I learned strangers following usually fell into a few clear groups.

“gingerpriders” “art-enthusiasts”  “oglers”

The last two were half expected, and the titles speak for themselves. but the first group came as a complete surprise and ended up being my favorite of the strangers on my insta. You are probably scratching your head yourself just reading the term “gingerpriders” which I made up to explain the scenario. “gingerpriders” are Natural redheads who take the time to praise others like them, take interest in their lives and essentially form a community around the culture of being ginger. It can be an alienating experience, and most of us grow up with the teasing that is worsened by the fact that gingers seem to have extended awkward phases.  Because we have this weird shared experience/mutant ethnicity/pseudo culture, ginger fans seek out each-other. There are also fans who aren’t ginger themselves but are admirers to such a degree that they create whole pages devoted to the hair color.  anyway, this group now makes up over half my followers, and has caused some of my most  pleasant experiences and “insta-friendships”

The question is, who exactly is going to follow/read my blog, if anyone??

There is only one way to find out.