Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tree Stump Planter and Pathways

  Our previous yard had huge cottonwood trees, some of which had died and been cut down. When we moved, I decided to take a stump with me. It was in about three pieces, but I knew it would make a great flower planter. I'm sure Brian thought I was crazy for bringing it along, but he still found a way to wire the pieces together for me.
  This first picture also shows my stepping stone path, made from leftover cement, during one of our many pours. Unfortunately, I was too busy making them to take pictures of the process. We had left over sonotubes from the deck support system. Brian cut them up for me to use as forms. I also used pizza boxes, and even garbage bags for some of the stepping stones. They turned out great!
Stump filled with soil/ concrete stepping stones
 This picture shows the finished planter, along with some driftwood around it. In the background, you can see the pallet walkway still needing the gaps filled. The topsoil has been brought up around the edges of the pallet.
Flowers planted in stump
2nd year. Petunias in stump, perennials all around.

Petunias in stump and perennials all around

Perennials all around, walkway behind.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Moms Outside the Box

 For years I've searched unsuccessfully for a group for older moms with young kids. Finally, the other day, another mom posted  on a FB page, her desire to meet other moms in this position. So often, as older moms, with little ones, we really don't fit in anywhere. The 55 plus groups don't really want us bringing our kids along to get togethers, and the younger parents just assume we are grandparents!
  This lady's post just exploded with other moms feeling the same way, so the logical thing was to start our own FB group, where we can speak freely about our own particular issues....such as dealing with toddlers during a hot flash!
  So, if you are an older mom with younger kids, come and check out this new group!

Moms Outside the Box

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shingles and They're Not On the Roof! REPOSTING

With so many coming to this post to learn about shingles, I thought I should add this photo of shingles on my back, summer, 2012. It was very painful, but I saw a doctor  within 72 hours and was given medication to clear it up and also medication for nerve pain. I went away fairly quickly, and I haven't had any problems since. Getting to a doctor within the first 72 hours is very important.

Shingles on my back

   I've also learned that essential oils can aid the healing of shingles. Young Living Thieves oil in particular, but there are others, including oils for pain. I wish I'd had this information back then! 

  To learn more about how you can purchase YL essential oils at wholesale prices, you can contact me through my website:  DB Bolack Young Living   or my other blog: Keystone Essentials.

Original Post from 2009:

Earlier this week, Justin was complaining that his scalp felt raw, and he had some open sores, so I gave him a different shampoo to try. Then he told me he had a lump behind his ear. I also noticed a lump on his neck, which didn't surprise me, because Justin had a sore throat, and usually when he is sick, his glands swell up. He was also complaining that his eye was itching and burning....something that he's also had before. Then another lump appeared behind his ear and another one in his hair.

Finally, late yesterday afternoon, my husband took Justin in to the walkin clinic. Their diagnosis: shingles! A $100.00 medication was prescribed...thankfully we have coverage for most of that! Aside from the sores on Justin's head, I didn't see anything that looked like shingles, so I was a little sceptical. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chicken pox, and you only get it if you had chicken pox in the past, which Justin did at about age 2. Shingles is far more common in older people than 13 year olds!

But this morning, when Justin got up, his eye was glued shut and a rash had developed all around his eye...a rash that definitely looks like chicken pox! Since the doctor had also said Justin should see an eye doctor, I called right away, and they said bring him right in and they'd fit him in. Brian came home from work and took him in. He now has Polysporin drops to hopefully keep the eye from getting infected. The eye doctor said that since he has started the medication for shingles, his eye should be okay, but will probably get worse before it gets better. He goes back next Friday to have his eye checked again. Right now, Justin can barely open his eye, and it makes mine water just looking at him!

Lump behind ear caused by shingles
The shiny white spot is the lump behind his ear. Right above the date you can see the swelling on his neck.

Shingles around eye
I took these pictures this morning.

Shingles around eye
Here's a close up.

Shingles around eye
And this is what he looks like right now.

Shingles is not contagious, but anyone who hasn't had chicken pox before, can get them by being exposed to shingles. I just happen to have three kids and a baby here who have NOT yet had chicken pox. Oh joy!!

* Edited to add Enough is Enough. Yes, the other two boys did get chicken pox, so shingles definitely are contagious for those who have never had chicken pox.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Keystone Essentials

  Ten years ago, we began using natural cleaning products in our home. Since learning about Young Living Essential Oils, and making them a part of our lives, we've been able to take that one step further, in replacing many over the counter meds as well. We've been so impressed with the health benefits, we want to share this new knowledge with others. So, this past week, I created yet another blog dedicated to that effort.  If you'd like to know more about the many ways we can use essential oils for our familes, visit us at  Keystone Essentials.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homeschool Technology Headaches

  This year, we are homeschooling three kids, down from the usual four. We're also using a lot of internet resources, rather than textbooks. So you would think that it would be easier now than before. But what I've found is that technology has brought it's own set of challenges, and I'm starting to understand why parents buy each of their children an ipad....but don't tell my kids I said that! 
 Our only rule up until now has been: Educational content only, up until 2:30 or 3:00 pm. After that, they are free to watch non educational and play games. But it seems there is a constant fight over the computer and the Xbox. So, for the sake of my sanity, Brian laid down some rules and scheduling. I tweaked it a little and typed it up, giving each child a copy, and posting one on the fridge. 
  We now have specific time slots for each child to use the computer and the Xbox, and what they should be doing during their turn. The boys use the computer for Khan Academy, and other internet resources, such as various YouTube channels. Danica has Always Icecream, and other resources too. They use the Xbox for NetFlix, where they can access many educational  shows and documentaries. Their 'non screen' time is for reading, book work, and other activities.

 And Mom? Well, I'm relegated to the laptop! But I'm hoping this new schedule will save me having to intervene and settle arguments!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Moody Manitoba Morning

This is the view from my front door....

And this is what I'm looking forward to seeing....

It's been a long winter of way too much white. I'm ready for some beautiful shades of green!