Thursday, December 29, 2016

5 Healthy Uses For Coca-Cola

Believe it or not, there are healthy uses for this popular soda. (After you read them, you'll probably be even more convinced never to drink it.) In our search for alternatives to home products that contain toxic chemicals, we discovered many uses for coca-cola.

1) Keeping sink drains clear.

It works great to get rid of mineral build-up, soap scum or other things that tend to coat pipes and clog drains. Over the summer I was staying with a friend and the sink completely clogged up. I was able to extract a large clump of hair. Then I poured half a liter of coca-cola down the drain, and after that it was perfectly fine!

I try to remember to pour some coca-cola down my sink drain about once a week. I pour it slowly then let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. It's a simple way to maintain clear drains.

2) Getting soap scum off porcelain sinks.

I use a natural coconut oil soap, which tends to build up on the porcelain sink. So I've discovered I can pour some coca-cola in the sink, then scrub with an old toothbrush (or whatever you have). Then I rinse the sink with cool water. This works well to remove soap scum, with no toxic exposure for me!

3) Removing toxic chemicals such as pesticide from objects.

Last year we had some really bad toxic exposures. As a result, many of the things in our laundry room and garage were contaminated. My mom figured out if she put coca-cola on a rag and wiped the objects down, it would remove the chemicals.

I'm not sure it works on wood materials, but on plastic, metal, and most things it's pretty effective and doesn't harm the item. Just wipe the object down again with water after the coca-cola.

4) Getting chemicals off your hands if necessary.

Yes, I have washed my hands with coca-cola before. If somehow you get chemicals on your hands, perhaps paint-thinner, herbicide, petroleum, etc., just pour coca-cola over your hands. Then wash with soap. It's amazing how quickly and easily the soda will remove many chemicals. 

5) Getting petroleum or other fumes out of laundry.

A few years ago some of my clothes got contaminated with gasoline fumes. Several washes still didn't get them clean. Then my mom found a recipe for soaking clothes in coca-cola and baking soda, and it worked! Here's the recipe. Feel free to adjust it as needed, and learn what works best for you.  

Coca-Cola recipe for soaking clothes -
- put 1-2 cups baking soda and 1 quart (4 cups) of coca-cola in a small water level in the washing machine
- stir mixture (or let the machine agitate for a minute) 
- add the clothes (you can increase the water level after adding the clothes if necessary, just try to keep the load fairly small)
- turn off the machine and soak clothes overnight (or up to 24 hours)
- drain the water; then rinse the load with 1-2 cups of white vinegar added (we use Heinz brand). 
- wash clothes as you normally would (we use Charlie's Soap for our laundry -
If the fragrance/chemical in the clothes is really persistent, you might need to repeat this process again the next day.
Note: If your laundry room is not air conditioned and you live in a hot, humid place, then after doing this a couple of times you might need to rinse your washing machine with vinegar. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Well, there you have it, healthy uses of a popular soda. =) I'm just glad to know there is a good use for it.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

He Is Here

So far this year I'm enjoying fun Christmas activities that I missed for several years.

My mom and I actually got a real tree! We ended up decorating it twice because after about ten days it fell down. So we had to start over and decorate it again (with more lights and candy canes this time). =) I've had fun wrapping presents while mom had fun putting decorations around the house. We're planning to attend a Christmas concert this week, and mom even baked cinnamon rolls. =)

These are simple things, yet it's a huge deal that I'm able to participate in them once again! I'm so grateful and I praise God for all the healing He has brought, especially this year!

I think these little things mean more to me because of all the years of missing them. And I don't want to forget how far God has brought me. I found an old post from a time when Christmas was anything but fun. I thought I'd re-post it today. I pray it offers encouragement for those of you who are still living with limiting health challenges and hope to remember that God can carry you from where you are today to a better place in the future!

Even in the midst of the fun activities, the thing that still means the most to me about Christmas is this simple truth - Jesus came as Immanuel, God with us. He never leaves us. In the fun or in the pain, He is here. Hallelujah!

No Holidays

Yesterday was Christmas day 2009 - and I had a really bad day. I felt even worse than usual. I got sick every time my mom came in the room with me. (We think I was reacting to a herb she's been taking. Go figure.) I had a "Christmas dinner" of turkey and peas (mixed with a few tears). It didn't settle in my stomach very well. 

I was reminded once again that for people with Environmental Illness, there are no holidays.
Most people look forward to the holidays as a break from their normal routine, time to be with family & friends, maybe doing special things like caroling, playing games, etc. Well, with E.I. there is no break from the 'normal routine' of being sick. This disease (like most diseases) never takes a day off. Being with family and friends is usually not an option unless they "de-fragrance" themselves radically (which isn't easy to do, let me tell you). And special activities take more energy than we, as E.I's usually have. 

I'd like to say that after 5 years of this, I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me. But that wouldn't be true. I miss all the 'normal' Christmas activities, traditions, and fellowship. For some reason, the holidays are a like a slap in the face for someone with E.I. It's just another reminder that life as it used to be is gone, at least for now. If we're not careful, it's easy to start dreading holidays, simply because they remind of us all we've lost, all we miss. 

Well, I imagine you're good and depressed for me now. =) I just wanted to share the reality of what it's like. 

On the bright side, even during the difficult holidays, God's kindness is unfailing. (Ps. 18:50) In the middle of my very bad day yesterday, God sent me a Christmas text message from a friend, a cheering-up phone call from a friend with E.I., and a mom whose smile never ceases to brighten my day. 

I think I'm learning that the secret to managing the holidays for those of us with E.I. (in addition to changing my expectations), is to focus on celebrating them in my heart, with or without all the wonderful things that usually accompany them. 

If you know someone with E.I., remember that something as small as a text message, email or phone call, could make a big difference in helping them see God's kindness instead of focusing on all they're missing. 

And may we all learn to be thankful every day that Jesus came to earth as Immanuel - God WITH us!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Joy For Christmas

Happy December 1st! It's 82 degrees here in Florida and sunny, but it still feels a lot like Christmas! =) I'm looking forward to a wonderful month of celebrating Christmas in various ways. It's such a gift after all the years of really difficult Christmases.

At the same time, I know many people who are going through incredibly hard things right now - loss, grief, broken hearts, suffering.... It's strange how life can be great and awful all at the same time. I rejoice with my friends in their happy circumstances; I weep with my friends in their suffering.

In the midst of this crazy life, Christmas is a special reminder that God has given us true JOY - a gift that stays with us through it all.

So I wanted to re-post something I wrote a few years ago. I hope it encourages you as you think about Christmas.

Blessings to you my friends,

Sorrow & Joy -

I've been thinking about the strange coexistence of sorrow and joy in this life.

We think of Christmas as a happy time. Yet for many people this Christmas will be anything but happy. And I think we've all experienced Christmases that were less than "merry." Even the first Christmas was not without sadness.

Luke 2:33-35 says, The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel...And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

The first Christmas was a joyful time, as angels sang and shepherds worshipped. Mary and Joseph marveled at this special event.

And yet, Jesus' birth was also greeted with this painful prophesy of His future. The child's life would not be one of ease and comfort. And Mary's own heart would be pierced with grief.

The joy of Christmas was in a sense shadowed by the sorrow of the cross. Yes, the Savior had come - but He came to die.

At the same time, for those of us who know the whole story, the sorrow of the cross pales in light of Jesus' resurrection!

After the most painful sorrow, Mary experienced (I believe) the greatest joy! The joy of seeing her son raised to life must have eclipsed even the joy of giving Him birth.

And that same joy is ours today! Regardless of whatever sorrows we experience, the glory of the resurrection is even greater!

The resurrection tells us that there is more than just this life.
It reminds us that in the end God's goodness will fully triumph over evil.
And it assures us that the God who loved us enough to die for us, is WITH us through every moment.

So even if this isn't a very merry Christmas for you, I pray it will be a truly Joyful Christmas!