Thursday, March 29, 2012

OP Update and Life Stuff

As promised, I am posting to update on how my Oil Pulling (OP) experiment is going. 

OH... I haven't changed my routine except to begin the OP regime and to drink a cup of hot lemon water first thing each morning.  Skin care, diet, etc are the same.  Oh, I stopped taking my allergy meds.  :) 

So, where to start? 

Which oils and how long seems appropriate.  :)  I started with Coconut Oil in the morning and Olive Oil in the evening and doing the process for 5 minutes each time.  Over the past 9 days I've slowly worked up to 10 minutes each time.  My plan is to work up to 15 minutes by next Friday.

The first few days were a bit difficult.  Holding and swishing oil around in my mouth for ANY length of time seemed gross. *shudder* I couldn't wait to spit it out, rinse my mouth thoroughly and brush my teeth.  Once I became accustomed to the whole process, it no longer bothers me.  And, if I'm busy, the time goes quickly.

The benefits?  Are there benefits?  I know this is what everyone is wondering.  ;)

Yes, I can see benefits after a short 9 days.  Specifically:

1.  My teeth are whiter.  I attribute this to brushing my teeth with a mixture of baking soda and sea salt after I OP plus using whitening toothpaste other times.  I wasn't sure they were truly whiter, so I asked my hubby if he noticed a difference.  He assured me there is one.  YIPPEE!!

2.  My allergy symptoms are gone.  Gone.  Did you see that?  GONE!!  I was dealing with nasal congestion, post nasal drip, runny nose, cough, really bad headaches, and I couldn't sleep at night without taking extra meds (Nyquil to be specific).  Now, I have a tiny bit of nasal congestion (left nostril) and sometimes I have a slight cough due to post nasal drip, but ONE cough drop takes care of it immediately.  I've only had to take two cough drops since starting this.  Two in nine days.  Before, I was taking two every half hour - at the very least!  No more Nyquil at night, no more zyrtec during the day.  No more Afrin so I could breathe thru my nose.  No more bags of cough drops in my purse!  No more headaches.  Well, maybe an occassional one, but not daily, verging on migraine ones.  Usually, if I have one it's because I need to eat - or drink more coffee.  :)

3.  My skin is no longer dry.  I was beginning to look like a reptile!  The backs of my hands were so dry it was ugly and awful.  I also had extremely dry cracked heels.  Also, my forehead was dry with large pores.  I noticed after 3 days that my heels were not as dry.  Today, the deepest cracks are still there, but are healing from the inside out (best way I can describe it) and they look and feel so much better.  My hands are so soft and feel so much better.  I was using lotion constantly prior to OP.  I can't remember using it in a week.  My forehead is no longer dry and the pores are smaller.  Overall, my skin is moister and softer.  Wonderful.

These are my initial observations.  If these are the ONLY benefits I ever see from Oil Pulling, they are enough.  Seriously!  I am going to continue this.

In other news, we are starting our house hunt.  We've identified our wish list and our must have list.  We've even been on-line and pulled a few listings that have peaked our interest.  Over the weekend we drove past a few just for fun.  Today I'm meeting with our realtor to start the process.  I can't wait!! 

Writing has stalled.  Life has been happening and writing has gone by the wayside.  Hubby finally read my last chapter (the emotional crisis chapter) and gave me some helpful feedback I needed to bring honesty to the male character.  He said I was close....but not quite there.  Once we talked, I understood where I veered off track. 

Coffee.  Oh yes, every day.  All day.  Either Gevalia Traditional Blend or Community Coffee Breakfast Blend.  Splash of half and half and some splenda.  Yum.  I need to go pour another cup.  :)

So, have YOU tried OP?  How's it going?  Have you seen any changes/benefits?  If you already OP, which oil do you use?  How often?  Benefits you've seen?  Let's discuss!!  :)

EDITED to add links!!!  These two links have the information I read before deciding to try Oil Pulling.  Hope they answer some of your questions and help you decide if you want to try this technique.  And, before you think I'm extremely gullible, NO, I do not believe all the claims they make. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do you OP?

Have you ever heard of "Oil Pulling?"  Have you tried it? 

I first learned about it last week from my friend Vicki in Corpus Christi.  She mentioned it qhen we were discussing our allergies and subsequent sinus problems.  She has been seeing it mentioned a lot on Pinterest. 

When I got home, with allergies running rampant, I Googled it.  Wow....what a plethora of information is out there on Oil Pulling!  After reading a ton of testimonials about it, I decided to try it and started Sunday night. 

Let me say this is not for those who have weak stomachs or easy gag reflexes.  A tablespoon of oil in your mouth that you gently swish for 5 minutes (and up to 20) can make you feel quite ill if you think about it too much.

Guess I'd better put the Warnings out here first.  Do NOT gargle.  Do NOT swallow the oil.  Just swish it around your teeth and across your tongue.  After spitting it out, immediately rinse your mouth with fresh water and then brush your teeth. 

After my hours of research, I decided to start slowly, swishing for 5 minutes at a time and slowly building up to the 15-20 recommended minutes.  One of the reviews/testimonials I read stated by doing this she had fewer "detox" symptoms. Also, my research revealed Oil Pulling will quite often cause an increase in mucous and it tells you to NOT take medications to lessen it as that is counter productive.  Thus, I put away my allergy medications and decided to give this a dedicated try for two weeks. 

How is it going? 

I started Sunday night.  Wow, they are right when they say it increases your saliva and mucous.  I coughed, blew my nose and spit for 30 minutes afterward.  But, once I did that, I felt so much better!  And, after brushing my teeth with baking soda and salt (as they recommended), I thought my teeth looked whiter - a good thing for a coffee drinker like me.

Monday morning, I used coconut oil.  If you gag easily, this oil is not for you.  It starts as a solid and melts in your mouth.  Yes, it's gross.  But, it has a much better taste than EVOO.  I did the OP for 5 minutes, brushed my teeth and wondered, "Are my teeth really whiter?"

Last night, I OPed again with EVOO.  I read on one of the testimonials about using complementing oils to "pull" different impurities from your body and help you detox.  Since I had those two on hand, I thought "why not?" More of the same mucous reaction.

BUT, this is HUGE to me.  When the cold front came through, I didn't get sick.  Normally, I have a massive headache and am down for the count prior to a major weather change/storm like we had last night.  It didn't happen this time.  The only change I've made is Oil Pulling.  Makes me go "Hmmmmmmmm????"

Once again, I started my day with Coconut Oil.  Adding a second OP before lunch using coconut oil.  Tonight I will OP with EVOO. 

The early results:  I think my teeth are whiter.  And, I'm doing quite well without zyrtec and afrin every morning and Nyquil every night to be able to breathe.  If the only real benefit is whiter teeth, I will take that.  I was seriously considering a professional teeth whitening, they were getting so yellowed from coffee.  But, if it helps with my allergies, headaches and various other problems (hair, nails, cracked heels, skin, etc.,) all the better.  If not, the worst thing I've done is waste a little bit of various cooking oils and time.

So, I'm going to continue with the experiment for 4 weeks vs the 2 I originally intended.  As one of the testimonials said, and I paraphrase, "what's it going to hurt?  You are swishing oil around in your mouth and spitting it out."

Writing.  Yup.  At Panera as I kept getting side tracked at home.  Managed to get 1350-ish words written in 1.5 hours.  It was some heavy duty emotional stuff.  I almost cried in the restaurant as I was writing.  Obviously, I identify with my main character too much!

Coffee:  Of course.  Community Coffee, splenda, half and half here at home.  Light Roast coffee (2 big mugs of it) at Panera.

So, what are your thoughts on OP?  Let's start a discussion!  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Confessions and Recipes (Happy Belated St. Paddy's Day!)

Let me start off by stating this in no uncertain terms.  I do NOT like beer.  I do not drink beer.  I think the stuff stinks and tastes nasty.  Are we clear on that?  Good. 

However, I do enjoy cooking with alcohol.  Beer, whiskey, wine, whatever.  I am willing to give all alcohols their equal opportunity in my kitchen to make awesome meals.  The alcohol cooks out and the fluids reduce leaving wonderful flavor.  Like my dinner tonight.  Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage served with Beer Batter Bread.

I've made the beef and cabbage several times over the past 5 years and always lamented pouring out half of a perfectly awful stinky beer.  Since hubby and I don't drink, I buy a single, rather large 24 oz  beer to avoid purchasing a 6 pack. This morning as I moaned over having nothing to do with the other half of the beer, I hopped onto one of my favorite recipe websites ( and searched for an easy to make beer bread.  The one I found is so tasty.  It has a nice yeasty flavor, no hint at all of beer.  WHEW!  I admit making a couple of changes to the recipe.  I left out the italian herbs and onion seasoning.  And, use REAL butter for the topping.  It says use margarine or butter.  Trust me when I say "use butter."  Everything is better with butter.  Everything.  I would not lead you wrong. 

While we are discussing buttter, let me add that I find I use less butter when I'm cooking.   It makes everything richer and taste better so you don't need as much to flavor your foods.  Take this morning for example, I used real butter to make scrambled eggs.  When I use margarine, I use a LOT (3-4 Tbsp) of it because I "brown" the margarine before putting the eggs into the pan. Margarine has lots of water in it, so it takes a LOT to make the eggs.  Today, I used 1 Tbsp of real butter.  It browned nicely and the boys said their eggs "tasted good Mom"... 

Enough about butter.  These are the recipes I used today.

The corned beef and cabbage recipe can be found at this link:    BTW, when I make the corned beef recipe I use 2 cups of water vs the 4 the recipe says to use. Then, I use 12 oz of beer instead of the recommended 6. Oh...and I use lots of veggies. We love the veggies. 

The beer batter bread can be found here:

Hope you enjoy these recipes if you try them.  If you are wondering, I used Bud Light. 

Coffee today?  Yes.  Most certainly.  In fact, I fininshed my pot of coffee before 3 pm today.  I considered making another pot, but I'm really trying to keep my coffee drinking under control.  I mean, seriously, a pot a day all by myself really should be enough.  Don't you think?  Oh, it was Community Coffee, Breakfast Blend, splenda and a splash of half and half.  Good stuff.  All day.  I need some now....  Anybody up for a Starbucks run?

Writing.  Yes.  I'm happy to say I wrote both morning and afternoon today...a grand total of 2.5 hours.  However, I did quality work and managed to write a total of 1,944 words.  Chapter 5 is complete (well, still needs some editing) and Chapter 6 has 999 words already.  I love that the computer counts the words for me.  :)

Seriously....anybody want to go to Starbucks?  I think we can beat the impending doom and gloom headed this way.  It's barely raining....  :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Writers should be readers, so I've been told.  Well, I definitely fit the "reader" part of this saying.  Here is a stack of books I purchased over the last 10 days. 

 If you look closely, you will see two of the same book. Guess I REALLY want to read it, huh?  :) 

Actually, my iPhone has a listing of  almost all the books I own.  Some are STILL boxed in the garage.  Last week I bought some books and neglected to log them.  While in Corpus Christi, hubby and I went to a favorite haunt, Half Price Books, where I bought more - one of them being the second copy of Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot.

Btw, I know you are wondering why I have a list of all my books in my iPhone.  It's so I don't buy multiple copies of the same book.  Oops....  LOL

As for the "writers" of the quote at the beginning....I'm working on it.  Slowly, but surely.  Spring Break has thrown me off schedule.  Monday I will be writing again. 

As promised on Facebook, I will discuss tonight's dinner.  Hubby went freezer diving this morning, found a couple of rather large steaks, and suggested them for dinner.  I agreed and logged onto to find a yummy recipe.  This is it.  Do you see the name of it?  Men Love This Steak.  Truth.  Women do too - in case you are wondering. 

I must be honest and admit I did not follow the recipe - although it sounded tasty.  These are my changes:

#1  I didn't grill it.  Our grill is dead, so I did broiled it after browning it in bacon grease - for extra color and flavor.  Good decision.

#2  I omitted the dijon mustard.  Several of my guys do not like mustard.  Instead, I used a little extra worcestershire sauce. 

#3  I omitted the cheese.  First, none of us like bleu cheese.  Second, I don't have any bleu cheese. 

#4  I was totally out of peppers and fresh mushrooms as we just returned from vacation. So....I used extra onion, canned mushrooms and garlic. 

I have to say, it was good.  Next time I make it I will use boneless steaks and I will use more seasoning on the steaks.  Also, I will put the veggies/sauce mixture over the steaks about halfway thru the broiling time so more flavor cooks into the meat. 

That's it for tonight!!  Hope you have had a great week.  We certainly did.  Will tell all about that soon. 

Coffee:  But, of course.  Gevalia.  Traditional Roast.  Yum.  All gone.  Wish I had more, but am not going to make another pot as it's almost 9:30 pm.   

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

Oh wow.  I just really looked at my page.  This will be post #14 (or was it 15) for the YEAR.  Oops.  So much for "blogging more".  At least I didn't make that a New Year's Resolution.  LOL  Actually, I didn't make any resolutions this year.  I never follow through, so this year I let myself off the hook and didn't bother.  Is this a good thing?  Hmmmm....  Must ponder that later.

On to the here and now!  I am soooo proud of my son, Justin put on A1C!!!  For those who aren't familiar, this means Airman First Class in the World's Greatest Airforce!  I am so proud of him, his dedication, his drive, his enthusiasm, his commitment, his everything!  He is fabulous. If he allows, I will post a pic of him wearing his new rank.  :)  I so hope he says I may.

Isn't he handsome??  :)

Other news? Our second son Matthew is a dedicated, motivated individual who is working toward becoming one of the few and the proud. He is amazing. He is rock solid in his determination. We are proud. We are humbled. We are terrified. We love him desperately, as all parents love their children. And, as we want him to fulfill his dreams and his God given purpose here on earth, we are stepping aside and letting him follow his heart with our love and total support. Being a parent is NOT easy. But, it is worth every moment.

BTW, there will be no photos of him as he has requested I not include them. Since I respect his privacy, I will not. But, you should know this Mama wants to show off her son!!!!

The other two boys are currently flying under the radar.  This is good.  Very good.  They need to continue to do so the rest of this week.

Speaking of this week, it's Spring Break!  Ahhhhh.  I do so love being able to sleep in, and relax with the family.  Having Spring Break coincide with time change is even better.  Now we have a week to adjust.  Nice.  Very nice indeed. 

Hubby is off for Spring Break this week too! I'm still adjusting to our new civilian schedule. Initial reaction is "I think I like it." No alarms, no late days, no rushing to meet a schedule for anyone this week. Yes, this is good. I have to wonder what it's going to be like this summer. Let's hope it's just as wonderful. :) Hubby is Type A and NEEDS something to DO.

Speaking of doing, later this week we are going to South Texas to visit friends and favorite places.  I can't wait to see how things have changed.  The only place we don't plan to go is the beach.  We remember the two plus hours of sitting in traffic just to get onto Padre Island.  Um, no thanks.  

As for me, I am sick.  Allergy season is here.  Zyrtec is my new best friend. Hoping to have the correct combo of meds soon so I can breathe through my nose 24 hours a day, without coughing, sneezing or sniffling.  If this year is like past years, by the time I figure it out, the pollen will be gone and it won't matter. 

I haven't added any pics lately, so I am editing today's post to add a couple.  Hope you like them.

Cardi:  American Eagle
Top:  Anthropologie
Jeans:  Old Navy
Shoes (below): Banana Republic snakeskin print.  LOVE them!!

And, that's what is happening in my house today.  Nothing special.  TVs are on, video games and iPods are playing, the laptop is computing, and everyone is happy and reasonably healthy.  Ahhhhhh.....LIFE IS GOOD.

Coffee, but of course.  Gevalia, Traditional Roast.  Last cup.  Planning another pot soon.  :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Update, Finally


Can you believe how long it has been since I last posted?  I'm actually ashamed of myself.  I promised myself I would do better this year and post at least once a week, if not more often!  Oh well.... 

What have I been doing to keep me away from the computer?  I've been living life, writing (when I can) and travelling.  :)

The boys are definitely keeping me busy.  Matthew is a senior this year.  We ordered his cap, gown, tassels, invitations, etc recently.  I was technically "late" ordering them.  Somehow, the order form got misplaced and then forgotten.  Thankfully, the company has an office in town.  They were very wonderful in helping me order what we needed.  Whew! 

Matthew is making plans for his future.  My Mama heart pounds when I think of it.  No, college isn't in the plans....unless he uses a certain benefit from his job.  So, we are doing all that we can to help him become one of the few and the proud....  Including working out at the YMCA, which we joined this past week.  Mama (ahem, ME) needs to get back into shape too.  My jeans are getting too tight and I do NOT want to go up a size... 

Daniel has been busy with his video games.  A little too busy, but I won't embarrass him here by telling too many details.  Let's just say, his electronics time has been greatly reduced.  We have been "nice" though and are allowing him some quality visitation time with them during Spring Break.  LOL

Patrick is busy being an 8th grader and drumming.  Always drumming.  On everything.  Everywhere.  All the time.  Did I mention, he likes to DRUM??  Anyone want him to come visit this week?  :) 

Last weekend, I spent time in Biloxi and New Orleans with our eldest, Justin.  It was wonderful.  We did the two things I most wanted to do.  #1 visit Cafe du Monde repeatedly.  Seriously, in 2 days we were there at least 4 times.  Would've gone more, but the line was a little too long and it was a little too cold outside.  Brrrrrrr.... and #2 was to go to Preservation Hall and hear the jazz band. was WONDERFUL.  I do love to hear good jazz music.  Wish we had gone again on Saturday night, but it was freezing outside and we didn't want to stand in line.  Now, I regret it.  But, this gives me a good reason to visit NOLA again, right?  :)  We did some other stuff too, walked around a LOT, watched street performers, shopped, ate and ate and ate, and drank some really good coffee.  And, did lots of talking.  I needed that face to face time with him.  I miss my son.  But, I'm so proud of the man he is.  He's doing well.  Very well indeed.

This week, I've been busy trying to get back into my routine, both in housework and writing.  Didn't take long to get back into the housework routine.  After 20 years, it's second nature.  The writing routine is taking more time.  And, with this week being Spring Break, it won't happen until the following week.  Especially since we are going out of town next week for a few days.  I can't wait!!!! 

That's about it from my part of the world.  Life has been busy, crazy, and wonderful.  Hope yours has too. 

Drinking Gevalia coffee tonight, purchased IN STORE!!!  Yes, you can buy it at your local retailers now instead of ordering it on-line.  Try it.  :)