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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Charlie Browniest Christmas





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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, December 23, 2011

4 Years and Still Going Strong

I can't believe I almost missed our 4 year anniversary (living off grid), it was yesterday and I didn't think about it until late last night, oh well, I have excuses, really I do:
  1. Our life, living off grid, we don't pay attention to dates and times, honestly, I have to use email and Google calendar to remind myself about important dates I have to remember, such as doctor appointments for the ladies I take care of...
  2. I've never been one to pay attention to dates and times, I just don't play well with numbers... I think it has to do with 3rd grade math class, oh I won't go into that, it's much too boring, but suffice it to say that's when I began to give up on math and anything having to do with numbers. ;p
  3. Lastly, I don't have my computer at the moment... I'm using my old laptop and it doesn't have all of my stuff on it anymore... more about that later.
Soooo, it's been officially 4 years now, well 4 years and 1 day to be exact. I love our life and can hardly remember life before this, I'll tell you this, it wasn't nearly as rich as it is now, I'm not talking $$$ rich, I'm talking life rich, before I was working 2 jobs, commuting at least an hour each way, the only outdoor time I spent was the time I took to go from my house to my car and from my car to my jobs. I was surrounded by people but had few friends, and no sense of community...

Now I live on just a hair under 6 acres, on the side of a mountain, in the high desert of far west Texas, in a tiny community of between 150-200 people, I might see only a couple of people a day, or maybe none, but I'm part of this community, mainly through getting to know everyone when I worked at the Country Store, then when I joined our church, I met that many more people and really got involved with the community.

I can hardly go in to town these days without running into at least one person I know, it's usually more like 3 or 4 people, it's funny, on the rare times I'm in town and don't run into anyone I know, I complain about it, I'm so used to having that social contact now, I never had that before, I'll not blame anyone but myself, I chose to keep myself isolated, it was easy to do. When we moved out here, we assumed we would become hermits, but the community wouldn't allow us to do that, they not only opened their arms to welcome us, they pulled us into the activities and other goings on. In fact, my biggest problem is not getting pulled into too many things out here that I don't have enough time to do the things I need to do for myself and PB.

This past week has been so busy that I didn't go to our volunteer fire department's annual Christmas dinner, I hated missing it but I just didn't have the energy to go. I've seen pictures of those who attended and now I wish I had gone, I know it would have been lots of fun, but I can't worry about it now, what's done is done, I'll just hope to be able to plan better next year and try to go no matter how tired I feel at the time.

Oh yeah, my laptop, I finally got it sent off on Wednesday, the fan inside started making a loud noise when it first booted up, this began happening less than a month after getting it, I recognize that sound as a bad fan, one that will be failing soon, it sounded just like the original fans in the inverters I have after they had been in daily use for over 3 years, the laptop fan shouldn't have been in that shape so soon no matter how dusty it is out here. I contacted Toshiba and tried to get them to send the fan out and let me install it, it's just a fan for gosh sakes! Oh they would send me one and I could install it, BUT that would void my warranty, if I had been closer to the end of my warranty, I would have done it, but it's only a couple of months old, so I grudgingly agreed to ship it off. I immediately began feeling withdrawals when I dropped it off at the UPS drop off site on Wednesday, I've been tracking it via UPS, it hasn't even gotten to Toshiba yet, I figure it will be after the first of the year before I get it back.

Well, that's about all for now, oh except for one last thing, PB grabbed the camera the other day and captured a picture of the rare and elusive off grid mountain girl in her natural habitat, it can be very dangerous to get too close, they have been known to attack without provocation or warning, they are very shy and tend to hide whenever anyone comes around with a camera...
This one is surrounded by the necessities within arms reach, one laptop computer (complete with high speed internet connection), pretzels, hot tea (in the pink glass), Kleenex, crochet stuff and stash (in the grey tote), books (including my Bible), reading glasses, a light (low wattage LED light), the piano keyboard in back, and one warm robe. Who needs anything else???

If I don't write anything else before Christmas, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a safe & prosperous New Year!




All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blinking, Winking and Nod...

Today is a light day, in a couple of ways, the only place I have to go is to church class (Francis Chan, Crazy Love), I need to study the chapter we are in, the other way things are light is we finally have some SUNSHINE, it's been 2 weeks since I had more than one blink on my charge controller, as of right now, there are 5 blinks, that's 75% charged, after that it goes to a solid green light and I have full batteries. It's been pretty solid overcast skies for 2 weeks now, a couple of times during that week, the sun came out for short periods of time, maybe an hour at most, not enough to really do much, we have needed the moisture, what little it rained and snowed, woke up this morning to a dusting of snow, but that melted off pretty quickly.

One of our part time neighbors (hoping to be full time soon) came by yesterday, Z, he has property around the corner from us, he is clearing parts of his land, mainly to have a place to plant his home, PB went to visit him after church and he came over later after that. It was a very nice visit, he gave us a bunch of firewood, which was very nice to do, it was cut and ready to go, PB loaded up the larger part of the truck bed with wood, and there is more to collect on Z's property. Thanks Z!!!

Finally got to that solid blink, changed the cables over to charge the single (backup) battery, it's the one we use if I drain the other 3 batteries surfing the internet all night long, and yeah, I do that... I almost miss the days before we got our chest freezer/fridge conversion, if I ran the power down, I just shut everything off and went to bed, now that we have food in the electric chiller, I have to make sure I leave enough power for that thing, fortunately it doesn't draw too much juice, it runs once or twice an hour, a couple of minutes each time, with the cold temps we have been experiencing, it barely even runs, I'd like to take the whole unit outside so that it will run even less, but I have to admit, it's convenient to have inside... I have 5 blinks on the backup battery, soon will have a solid green which means a full charge, then I'll change the cables back to the 3 batteries to keep them charged.




All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Chinese Home Remedies-book review

Part of being more self sufficient is being able to take care of minor medical issues yourself. It can become rather expensive to run to the doctor or hospital (or clinic) for every little sniffle or scratch. Like so many people, health insurance just isn’t an option, so I try to live in a healthy manner and I read up on how to take care of my own minor health issues.

One book I received last summer is called Chinese Home Remedies, Harnessing Ancient Wisdom for Self-Healing, by Lihua Wang, L.Ac., I am drawn to alternative medicine, but might have passed this book on the shelf, I would have thought from the cover that this book was full of strange sounding herbs and such that I would have little or no access to. There is so much more to this book, I am so glad I gave it a second chance, this book is laid out in a most helpful manner.

In the upper right hand corner of this book, it says “A to Z”, it is laid out in an alphabetical order of health issues, from acne to yeast infections (there doesn’t seem to be any health issues starting with the letter Z listed in this book). Under each health issue, it gives you some information about that health issue, what causes it, when you should go to a doctor (you shouldn’t ALWAYS try to treat yourself), what you should AND shouldn’t do if you have this particular health issue, then it comes to my favorite part, how you can treat said health issues. You should  be able to do most anything in this book along with any treatment you may receive from a doctor, I don’t recall reading anything that would conflict with any western medical treatment, of course if you aren’t sure, you can always talk to your doctor about it.

They give you several different ways to treat yourself for each health issue, first there are the “folk remedies”, these are tried and true traditional folk remedies that have been used down through the generations, I saw some that my family used when I was growing up, I’ll bet you will recognize some of them too. Next are the food therapies, what you should and shouldn’t eat to treat yourself, I expected to find some of those strange ingredients here, but most of what I read were normal everyday foods, like spinach and walnuts, there are more exotic foods listed there too, but you should be able to find these foods in most larger towns, especially if you go to the Asian markets that are more abundant now days.

It also explains about Chinese massage, and tells you exactly how to do it, you don’t have to find a Chinese masseuse, you can do this yourself or find a friend or partner to help if necessary. There are diagrams of where to rub, press or massage, this is like acupuncture without the needles, otherwise known as acupressure.

You will also learn about what Chinese herbs can help, now this is where things start sounding very foreign to me, but again, with the internet, and with most larger towns having an Asian population living somewhere within, meaning there will be Asian markets nearby, you should be able to find what you need.

I spent a couple of days thumbing through this book, stopping to read the ailments that most interested me, I found this book to be pretty complete, covering nearly everything you can take care of yourself, it’s an easy read, no complicated language here, and well laid out, you should be able to go to this book and quickly find what is bothering you (or someone else), you can pick the remedies you want to try, it’s not necessary to do all parts, you can choose to try the folk remedy and massage, but not the herbs.

I will be keeping this book handy and referring to it as needed. I recommend this, even if you don’t think you are interested in Chinese medicine, this book is so much more, and the remedies aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg, you should be able to do part of the therapies in this book without having to spend any extra money, much of the other therapies are inexpensive.

Here is what is written on Amazon.com about this book:
Chinese Home Remedies is a book that offers an intriguing blend of traditional Chinese medicine-as practiced today-and a wide variety of ancient Chinese folk remedies. It contains more than 1,000 effective remedies, a treasure trove of information you can use every day. You’ll often be surprised how easily a problem that has lingered for weeks or months can be cured. Making moderate lifestyle changes and following the easy-to-use instructions on how to prepare home remedies, you will see how easy it is to end long-term suffering and experience healthier living.
This book is a distillation of Ms. Wang’s thirty years of clinical experiences, as both a physician in China and an acupuncturist and herbalist in the United States. It explains in simple-to-understand language how to treat yourself or a family member using a variety of techniques, including Chinese massage, Eastern food therapy, Chinese herbal formulas, as well as some heretofore unrevealed folk remedies, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
Did you know, for example, that: * Apple slices can ease itching skin? * Hooking your middle fingers together can stop a nosebleed? * Sunflower seeds can ease trigeminal pain? * Eating peanuts can lower your blood pressure? These are only a few of the more than 1,000 effective remedies that you will find in Chinese Home Remedies. By following just some of this book’s advice, you will find yourself on a healthier life path.
Lihua Wang began her career as a cardiologist in the China Academy of Traditional Medicine, in Bejing, China, where she practiced integrative medicine, combining both Western and Traditional Chinese medical techniques. In 1982 she was invited by Kaiser Permenante Research Center as a visiting scholar. She was later selected by the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine to teach acupuncture and Chinese herbology to American students for four years. She has been in private practice, specializing in traditional Chinese medicine, since 1992 in Portland, OR.

Read other book reviews here:
http://wretha.blogspot.com/search/label/book%20review

Legal stuff here, I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training, I am not giving medical advice, you must use your own common sense to decide if you need to go see a doctor, I am not responsible for anything you do or don’t do as a result of anything written here or anything you do or don’t do as a result of reading this book
I received a copy of this book for doing a review, my review is honest and as accurate as possible.



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keeping Busy...

It's nearly Christmas and life is good. I've been busier than ever, working and volunteering.  I work for a company as a caretaker for a friend of mine, I go to her house 3 times a week and do things like light housework, cooking and running errands. The volunteering comes in when I drive her to town and to doctor's appointments, I can't claim that time on the hours, the company will not pay for driving, their insurance doesn't cover it.

I'm also a driver for another lady who lives out here in the neighborhood, she has lost her eyesight, or most of it, enough that it isn't safe for her to drive. We go to town once a week (sometimes more), mainly to go to the doctor (weekly allergy shots), we also do the grocery shopping and any other errands that need to be run. This also falls under volunteering, though I do get benefits from it, she buys lunch each week, we pick out a restaurant to go to and have a grand time trying each of them out, I also get to do my grocery shopping and any other errands I need to do in town.

This week is a very busy week, Monday was our Christian class at church, Tuesday I went to do my caretaker job, today I am working on getting my computer ready to be sent off to Toshiba for some warranty repair work, I'm also putting together the Christmas carol music for church, tomorrow (Thursday) is my driving day, after that I am the MC for the Christmas carols at church, after that the whole church goes to a friend's house to eat chili-dogs. Friday I am driving the lady who I am a caretaker for to her doctor, that is a 3 hour drive to get there, we spend the day in that town doing the sort of shopping we can't do here (WalMart, Sam's, Golden Corral...), Saturday is driving to town (locally) again, then our volunteer fire department is having our annual Christmas party, then Sunday is church and our monthly board meeting, I'm the secretary for the church board so I have to type out the minutes from the last meeting.

With all of this said, I am not complaining one little bit, I thoroughly love my life, busy or not, life is good. :) Since I don't have family nearby, it's good to have wonderful friends and neighbors.

My laptop has developed a problem, it's practically new, just a few months old, the fan inside is making a horrible noise, it is a defective fan, it sounds like the fans in the inverters that are 4 years old, it shouldn't sound like this so soon, I worry that it will fail soon. I contacted Toshiba about it and they were great, they sent me a shipping box via UPS, I am planning on shipping it off on Thursday, it is supposed to be gone a week or so, I will be going through computer withdrawals, I'll have my old laptop, but now that I'm used to my newer faster one... oh well, it could be worse. :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Merry Christmas.



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ohhh, It's Snowing!

Just had to post a quickie, it's snowing, can't tell how much yet, too dark, but there is enough that it is blanketing everything and it's sticking. :)



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Two Bugs Are Better Than One

Grabbed some pix of the new (old) bug, as a good friend of mine likes to say, it's not as bad as it looks (LOL)... actually our current bug looked about like that when we first got it, PB says it's in better shape than our original one was...

PB putting on good tires...

Some rust, but not bad...

His n Her's


Kissing Cousins
Coming in for a landing...
 



Yeah, the tires are trashed, gotta get another 2 then we will be set...
Someone started to Baja it, they used fiberglass parts...
The nose, hood, fenders front and back are fiberglass...
The front windshield is cracked...



There is going to be a lot of work to get it really going, but once it is going, it will be a lot of fun putting around the neighborhood in our twin bugs. :)


All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!