Once a Month Habit

Another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Once a month I take a trip to the big city to visit my eye doctor. He’s an expert at helping people keep their eyesight, and he knows one important factor in his job is to check my blood pressure.

After my visit, I make another visit, this time to my favorite eatery, Julie’s Deli.

Get the Julie's Deli Habit!

Get the Julie’s Deli Habit!

And if my blood pressure tested really good, I reward myself there, with coffee and dessert.

Today, I had pecan pie.

Because the cheesecake was all gone.

For more reading about habits, check out some of these:

  1. Habit How-to: Beginning
  2. Habit How-to: Repeating
  3. Habit How-to: Reminding
  4. Habit How-to: Requiring
Pollen is so tiny, yet so troublesome to us, yet so necessary!

Seven Steps to Stop the Sneezing!

I have noticed it’s that time of year again–lots of searches leading to this one again.



Itchy eyes, ears, nose, throat; runny eyes, nose; stuffy nose; and cough are just a few of the delights that visit us each year, if we are among the pollen afflicted.

It’s Fall Fever. This is a made-up name for the Fall malady that corresponds to Hay Fever which happens in Spring.

And it makes us feel like yuck.

Outside of chemicalizing oneself half to death, what can a person do?

I have found several ways to beat autumn’s ragweed, and I’d love to share them with you.

  1. The first thing I do is eat honey all year long.
    Stop Sneezing steps pollen seven stepsNot just any honey will do. It must be raw, as in uncooked. If the label isn’t boasting, the honey probably isn’t raw.
    It also must be native, as in: from the area where you live. Even better is from someone you actually know exists.*
    Why? Honey contains minuscule flower parts in various forms, and eating it daily helps me beat my pollen allergies, like an immunization.
  2. Outside of honey, I avoid all sugars.
    Sugar kills immunities, especially the super-processed sugars.
  3. I take vitamin C. A lot.
    Vitamin C is supposed to help with the body’s immunities, so is what I need. Also, for me, the things I’ve read about Vitamin C acting as a mild antihistamine are true.
    They say you can tell how much you need when you develop loose stools. They say to cut back a bit if that happens. I usually take 1000-2000 milligrams per day, in divided doses.
    (Addendum to the 9/13 posting: One teenager I’ve recently met had sneezing so bad that his nose would bleed regularly. After only two 500 mg doses of Vitamin C, he stopped with both symptoms. Now he uses only one dose per day for upkeep.)
  4. I wash my face a lot, and even rinse my eyes with artificial tears.
    Every time I feel the pollen effect, I wash it off. Notice the above magnified photo of pollen: It looks prickly like cactus. No wonder it bothers sensitive tissues!
    After washing, I apply a coating of lotion, or even make-up, to my face to make a barrier between my skin and pollen. That also helps me.
  5. I stay indoors and keep windows shut.
    I know, some cannot do this, but remember, the pollen is out there, not in here.
    (Addendum for 9/13: This is especially true during the hours from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.)
  6. If I find myself still miserable, I use heat on my face.
    I run a basin of hot water and dip water from it with a washcloth to hold on my face, renewing as it cools. Or I stand in the shower with hot water spraying on my face.
    Do NOT scald yourself!
    It takes 10 or 15 minutes, but this wet heat draws out the histamines in my body. Histamines are what cause allergic reactions, what anti-histamines circumvent. As the heat applied to my face draws out the histamines, my face is itchy and my nose grows stuffy. When that itching stops, all the histamines my body could produce are out. Most bodies cannot produce any more for 4 to 8 hours.
    That’s hours.
    Of no itching, sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes, etc. It’s plenty of time to take a nap, go to a restaurant, or visit a friend like a normal person.
  7. If I happen to become wheezy, I drink hot coffee.
    Coffee is supposed to be a good emergency substitute for asthma drugs. I don’t have asthma, but hot coffee helps me breathe when the pollen count is high.

There you have it: what I do instead of taking pills. Sometimes, when it really is tough outside, I have to add pills to my regimen, but not often.

I love not being tied to chemicals, all drowsy or else wired to the sky.

*I’m sure it would shock you to learn that it is quite legal for our honey to have corn syrup in it in large percentages, and for it to come from any country in the world. So stick with a local, known source.

Note for 8/10/13: So many folks have searched and found this page using the terms “sneezing first thing in the morning” I’ve decided to add my opinion, for what it’s worth.
I have noticed that the body shuts down some responses and reactions during sleep. Perhaps you have had the experience of sleeping through a loud storm or sleeping with a headache. It probably is a merciful mechanism that allows us sleep in spite of life’s difficulties.
I have noticed that when I am really sick with a cold, I might cough all night, and that might be good, but once I begin to recover, I also begin sleeping more peacefully, which I am sure also is good. However, on those mornings, I must cough lots to make up for lost time.
Could it be that sneezing is the same? We don’t sneeze at night, so we can sleep, but then comes the morning? Just thinking out loud, here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

This is my new mug.

Companionable Mug

My Companionable Mug

You can plainly see it has ice water in it and not coffee. Why have I done this?

Well, several health care professionals in my life have been after me to drink more water and less coffee. They’re wrong, of course, but what can I do?

So I’m trying. And I thought dirtying another vessel after my only cup of coffee would just be more work, I put my secondary and tertiary drinks into the same beloved mug.

Water is tertiary.

And I discovered something.

I just discovered how much loving coffee also has to do with loving the mug. This one is earthen, red clay, and hand-made by a lovely lady just up the road. And I owe her a debt of appreciation.


  • The balance of the weight of this mug is perfect, full or empty. The drink inside stays hot or cold longer than with ceramic.
  • The handle is comfortable. I can only explain that by asking you to notice the way it has an indentation for the thumb, running down its length.
  • It is not tipsy. That fact is so important when working at a desk. It has saved my life at least once.
  • The glaze is textured. It feels good in the hands.
  • It has a thin lip, as thin as glassware, preventing the spill we often get from another favorite mug.
  • The bottom is completely flat, allowing it to dry in the dishwasher with no top-rack puddles to dribble on the dishes below.
  • It is wider at the bottom than at the sides, so if I whip cream in the bottom, more pops to the top when I add coffee.

It’s just the perfect mug.

And if I have to drink water, at least it comforts me about it, reminding me of better days, and holding promise of that one cupful tomorrow.

It’s like a friend.

If you need to drink more water, maybe making friends with a companionable mug will help you, too? Think?

Meet a New Coffee-Loving Friend Today

English: Making of Latte art of cappuccino on ...

Making of Latte art of cappuccino on Coffee Right in Brno, Czech Republic. Výroba Latté artu na Cappuccinu na Coffee Right v Brně.

Just met a new blogger, a young missionary in Czech Republic. So far, what he has written is great reading. Thought you’d enjoy taking a peek and wishing him well. Here he is:


Divine Addiction

I don’t think it’s a very big secret that I love coffee.

Like for real, I have a serious love affair with caffeinated beverages, hot or cold. Whenever I go into a coffee shop, I have a routine.

I myself am a barista, so I already know the best way to prepare these beverages, but I must decide what the flavor combination will be, so I stare at the board, pretending to make a decision based off of what I see there, but what I am really doing is having a discussion with my taste buds and trying to negotiate a compromise between their opposing demands.

Finally, when we all come to a conclusion, I then scan the pastries to decide what would best go with that drink. (The pastries I see may or may not affect the treaty that my taste buds and I have signed.) Once that has all happened, I lay this request at the mercy of the barista behind the register, pay for my order (including a tip; if you want a good drink, you MUST tip) and then find the place that I want to hunker down and celebrate this magnificent creation I am about to receive.

Crazy, right?


Okay, friends, GO HERE to read the rest of this great post all the way from Czech Republic. You’ll like it, I think.

I Give Up!

If this post actually appears, it will be my last.

Until mid-September, that is.

I had ideas about what to say, here, but the skies are not friendly in the Deep South.

The local librarian tells me, “The clouds are crowded.” It’s her attempt at humor AND at explaining why even her computers are dysfunctional.

We keep getting the “can’t” page.

So the Internet has fallen down and scraped it’s knee and all it can do is boo hoo. Okay.

We’ll be totally busy here with our son’s wedding. That is a very good thing.

It’s finally raining on our world. That is a very good thing, too.

I have counseling notes to consolidate and a paper to compose — two more very good things.

All my floors are needing a good sweeping. It is a very good thing to have floors — many people in this world still do not.

The dryer is done. Very good on two counts: we now can put on socks and the electricity meter has stopped before going into orbit.

my mug

My Mug

I left my coffee mug by the stove and must get out of this seat for the next sip — glad I can walk, glad God made coffee.

‘Bye, now!

See ya in two weeks or so.

Or sooner, if the weekly photo challenge is too tempting.

The Keys in the Car Caper

keys to your kingdom

Take your keys with you!

“You can tell it any way you want to, but you did it.”

Those were my husband’s parting words to me, administered with an ornery grin.

Oh yeah. I did it.

I went to town (partly to run errands for him) and when I accidentally left my keys in the car, I also accidentally locked it.

It’s one of those newer models and the guys in the auto parts store apologized that they were scared to try to help with it.

It would have made a good Lucy Ball episode.

Except — these days we have cell phones. I could call my husband and plead insanity and he would come help me.

Except — he wasn’t in the house. So I unknowingly woke our night-shift working daughter. Ooh, I was so sorry about that. She had no idea where her dad was, she mumbled to me, but would find him for me and he would come and help me.

Except — when he got back to the house from tending chickens, he learned he also had accidentally left his keys in the car I had taken to town. He remembered and found the valet key he had stashed wherever guys keep valet keys, borrowed our daughter’s car, and came to my rescue.

Meanwhile, I had gone across the street to get a cup of coffee and had shared my end of the story with the kind waitress. She was so sympathetic, she gave me her pen to cheer me up.

By now, as I feared, the whole town knows about our keys, the only excitement we’ve had for at least a week, but I have learned a new level of cherishing thankfulness for this tiny town where the parts guys contemplated helping and the coffee waitress gave me her pen.

And that’s how I want to tell it.

And I did not do quite all of it.