Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 54- I Sick

I have been sick for over a week now.  Nothing too serious, just a cold, but a doozey of a cold.  Of course everyone else got it too, so we haven't accomplished much.

Between naps I read through my herbal remedy notes over and over and over again.  They weren't making much sense.  I decided to start a list for common ailments and write down the herbs and remedies suitable for treating it.  It means I have more than one copy of things, but searching by plant when my head feels like a football just wasn't working.

Husband, of course, had an outbreak of gout to go along with his cold.  I made a list of treatments for it, then started on the common cold.  I should do the same for the flu, urinary infections, and other illnesses we're likely to encounter.  I'm mad at myself for not collecting more herbs and weeds through the summer while I had the opportunity.

Lisa's been a blessing through this illness, coming up everyday to cook and clean.  I'm amazed she hasn't caught it from my germy crew.  Husband borrowed the treadle sewing machine from Diego and Nira, and she's been sewing curtains for the cabin, and taking in some of the pants that I got from the flea market.

I'm finally starting to feel somewhat like myself again now, though my nose is still runny and my chest a bit congested.

I have a fair bit of OTC drugs here at home, but tried to treat everyone with herbs and natural remedies.  I did give everyone a dose of cough medicine before bed on the worst nights, and #1 and I both had a touch of an ear infection, so a few drops of polysporin.  That's when I started wondering, what would I do?  That polysporin bottle is so tiny, it won't last long. 

Now I'm armed with a list of natural remedies, but I have many ingredients to gather for next winter.  We'll have to make do with what I have to get through this winter.  Hopefully we won't pick up too many viruses, since we're not out and about socializing like we used to be.

The one thing I noticed that I'd never given any thought to before- q-tips!  What did people do before q-tips?  I have less than half a box of them.  I hid them in my room to keep the kids from wasting them.  I know you're not supposed to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear, but I just seem to produce so much ear wax when I have a cold.  I suppose I could flush the wax with oil or water.  We still have one of those suction ball thingys from when #1 was a tot and had ear infections all the time, but I don't remember how to use it.  Q-tips will definitely be harder to replace than toilet paper.

I didn't have anywhere near enough hankies for this onslaught either.  I've had to cut two more sheets into hankies.  I've been washing them in a bucket in the tub everyday, with a bit of bleach, and it seems we're still out of them before the washed batch is dry.  I've been using the old kleenex boxes to store the hankies in, but that'll only work for a little while longer.  They're starting to wear out.  I don't really want to have a laundry basket exclusively for hankies, but I don't really have anything else suitable to store them in.  Would wooden kleenex boxes be too weird?  Maybe I'll think of something better when my head clears a bit more. 

We set up the tree.  I don't think anyone's given much thought to presents this year.  Thankfully #4 is the only one who still believes in Santa, so the older boys won't be too horribly disappointed.  I had a few things tucked away, found on sale through the year.  It won't be much, but at least it won't be barren.  We'll definitely need to put more effort into it in the future.

The Christmas tree also solved the rocket heater problem.  I had decorations stored in old coffee cans- metal coffee cans!  I wouldn't have thought to look there, lol.  I haven't got it put together yet, but once we're all feeling better we have what we need to make them.  Would outhouse rocket heaters make good presents for the extended family?

On a positive note, we finally got some snow.  Barely a foot, but enough that we don't have to go for water for awhile.  It also means we're feeding hay constantly though.  We may have to see about making a trade with the Hutterites for hay.  We haven't butchered Mindy, but we did butcher Lucy.  She hasn't produced in the 3 years she's been here, and we had planned to sell her.  I suppose I could have put her on the list at the feed store, but I really just wanted her not eating hay.  Besides, I'll probably have an easier time trading the Hutterites for a cow than a goat.

Snow also means the house isn't so drafty.  The boys walked around with the shovel and piled snow in snug around the base of the house, covering all the 'holes'- the basement vents, the spot where the satellite cables come in, the basement windows.  It's still not warm enough though.

Husband and I have been talking about a power source for the furnace fan.  If we take all of the car batteries and the old truck batteries and wire them together we might have a reasonable battery bank.  We only have a couple of those mini solar panels to charge them with though.  I dug out my windmill plans, but he doesn't think we get enough wind to bother- and we don't really have anything suitable for a pole.  He doesn't think a log would be strong enough.  He said he'd fiddle with things once he's feeling better.

In the meantime, the boys moved their bunk beds to the livingroom.  The tv, book shelves, coffee and end tables are all up in their rooms now.  We haven't sealed off the upstairs, just keeping the doors closed and the curtains drawn.  The livingroom is crowded but functional.

We haven't seen Brother's family, or my parents.  I hope they haven't caught this cold.  Lisa offered to check in on them, but I didn't want her spreading the germs if they aren't sick.

Hopefully we'll all be well in a few more days.


  1. Wendy - get a few onions and cut them in half. place a half of onion on a plate or bowl and put a half an onion in each room. put a cut onion on a plate right next to your head by your bed. don't be surprised if the onion is black in the morning. onions attract all kinds of bacteria and other stuff and people used this onion method for hundreds of years - it really works! of course it helps even more if you do it as soon as you get sick. but if you do it now it will speed up how fast you guys get better and it will prevent you all from keeping passing it around.

    as for the lists of natural remedies - great thing to keep you occupied over the winter. if you all can hold out over the winter - there will be tons of food sources and remedies come the spring.

    as for outhouse heaters - go for it! they would be welcomed by everyone - bahahahahah!

    your friend,

  2. I've heard that about onions but haven't tried it. Your natural remedies list looks like a great resource but I'll need to look up some of the stuff. There are quite a few things on there I don't know much about. I was really excited to find birch trees on our new property a couple of weeks ago. The ones I found so far are not large but I think I'll go this week and get some bark. I didn't know you could use the leaves also. So much to learn!