About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why Does My Freezer Look Like This?

Why does my freezer look like this?
Well, actually it doesn't today. This is how it looked at the beginning of the fall season. Now all the little white packages take up about 3/4 of the same space in my freezer. The little white packages are all venison, in various forms. Did you know deer meet is very low fat? I often don't even have to drain it when I brown it for recipes. If it is prepared correctly in the field, it doesn't have a wild taste. Often, my family doesn't have a clue whether they're eating beef or venison.

Why is this important today? Other than it's another way to sneak a little healthy into your suppertime?

It's raining today. Just like almost every other day this week. And I've run out of groceries. Who wants to drive all the way to town and then lug groceries in the rain out to the parking lot and into the car? Hallelujah for the stockpiled freezer. Looks like we're having venison meatloaf tonight.

Know where I got my stockpile? I knocked a hunter over the head as he was loading his truck at the meat packing plant.

April Fools.

I'd never do that, silly. I just asked him real nice-like at the beginning of the season if he'd save a couple for me. I only had to pay a $55 processing fee per deer. Seems like a good deal for 6-12 months of meat (depending on how much you eat!).

Love to you,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Treating Headaches Naturally

My son has suffered from migraine headaches for the past three years. Along with a pediatrician's help, we discovered they may be triggered by drops in blood sugar caused by going too long between meals. Adding snacks seemed to help the headaches dissipate somewhat, but they still sometimes cropped up without warning.

If you've ever suffered with migraines, you know the onset of one pretty much means the end of your day. My son would have to go to bed in a dark room and sleep it off until the next morning. He missed a few fun activities along the way, like a Monster Jam and fishing trip with Dad.

Since I am a big proponent of natural remedies, I decided to see if we could treat his headaches in a manner better  than a daily dose of ibuprofen.

One product we tried is called PastTense, an essential oil that comes in a roll-on bottle. I purchased mine from a company called doTERRA, whose oils are very pure. When my son feels a headache coming on, we roll a "stripe" of PastTense across his forehead and at the nape of his neck. It almost always alleviates the headache within 1-2 minutes. I have lent my PastTense to others to try, and they all have experienced similar results. I have written about essential oils before, such as in the post Essential Oils for Good Health.

PastTense contains many individual essential oils:
  • wintergreen
  • lavendar
  • peppermint
  • frankincense
  • cilantro
  • roman chamomile
  • marjoram
  • basil
  • rosemary.
We also are experimenting with making sure he adds more magnesium into his diet, so he never gets to the point where he needs PastTense. Our sources have been nuts (almonds mostly), seeds (roasted pumpkin seeds are a favorite), broccoli, raw spinach, and brown rice. Magnesium deficiency can cause migraines. Magnesium is known to relax muscles and blood vessels. This magnesium focus has been helpful in alleviating headaches for my son. Every headache case of course is not simplistic, and I'm not suggesting doing what we are doing will solve everyone's problems. But for us, this natural course has worked. I am happy to put away the ibuprofen.

In good health,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life-Work Balance

I got a chance to visit my college friend Jolie in a neighboring state last week. I realized how blessed we are (and I know we are not the only ones) to be able to add to our household income by working without excluding our children.

She is able to work as a part-time preschool teacher, taking her three children to work with her most mornings when they are "tracked out." They attend year-round school, so some months they are off during non-summer months. How wonderful it is to be able to provide while still keeping an eye on your children and teaching them the value of hard work.

I homeschool and am able to complete media relations projects and writing assignments at my home office during non-school hours or while my son is studying independently. What a blessing to be able to finish a last-minute magazine article assignment during the evening while my son is snoozing or on the weekend while he is having fun with dad. With the proliferation of technology, it is possible to do both and do them both pretty well.

Although technology is often blamed for creating a 24x7 stressful environment, my experience has been that if you know how to put it all in perspective, technology can be an enabler to true work-life balance.

Hope you find your balance on this Monday.


My friend Jolie doing her "teacher thing" with her kids and mine at a science museum. I know, I know, some of the kids are blurry, but did you really think I could get four kids to stand still at the same time??