Manic writer

Are you a manic writer?

This isn’t to condemn or poke fun at someone that suffers with manic episodes.  As I encounter my own struggles with depression and anxiety I find that up and down is a perfect way to describe my life.  A roller coaster that kicks me off and pulls me back on with no direction or routine.

I go through these phases where I’m so enthused at the idea of writing. I take on any writing job that comes my way and happily punch away at my keyboard enticing readers in.

Then there’s these phases where the mere idea of writing causes my brain to freeze, and all creativity is sucked out on the dark horse it rode in on.

Since I was a little girl I loved to write.

I wrote my first book about an ostrich when I was maybe 8.

Writing is my outlet. But then there’s these phases where life is too crazy. My brain is too foggy that I can’t seem to find the energy to write anything but my reminders on a sticky note.

I’m simply a manic writer. Up and down. No in between.

Any project I take on I dive in.

All in.

It’s all or nothing. Then it seems a few weeks pass and I’m onto the next. But I always come back to writing.

And when I do. I’m reminded of how great it feels to jot down some thoughts.

Happy Wednesday.

Danielle

 

Benefits of gardening with young children with sensory challenges

Gardening is a great way for children to get the sensory input their bodies crave.

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You can’t deny all of the input you receive from being outside, digging in the dirt, (barefoot if you are related to me and my children.)

I made sure to really understand and learn from the occupational therapists about the children’s different sensory needs.

Before Miss H and EBEs diagnosis’s I didn’t understand the term; sensory seeker, undersensitive, hypersensitive, avoider, just to name a few.

But I’ve made it a priority to learn, to take notes, to ask when something isn’t working.

Anyways I am a firm believer that we do need to go back to our roots sometimes.  No you don’t need to throw out your WiFi router, or toss your computer.  But, we’ve become a society obsessed with labels, obsessed with quick fixes, overly medicated, instead of making maybe a few life changes.

This is my first big garden.  Most of it was started from seed.  It was back breaking labor, but I love seeing our progress.  I love being able to teach the kids about the importance of diet (because in our home it truly does make a difference with behaviors).

I love knowing how things were raised, no pesticides, truly organic food.

I don’t have enough this year so of course I still buy from the grocery store.

It not only teaches the importance of working hard for what we eat.  Being grateful, and not being wasteful as well.

The kids absolutely love it.

Usually they are barefoot, which I wholeheartedly support.  If you haven’t researched grounding and barefoot walking you should.  It’s pretty interesting.

I have a sensory seeker, and a sensory avoider, one loves to be barefoot and one doesn’t.

EBE is the sensory avoider.  Somehow after we had spent 30 minutes digging for potatoes he barely had dirt on his fingers and asked for it to be immediately washed off.

Miss H and I had dirt in our hair, up to our elbows and were barefoot.

EBE is the avoider, and Miss H is a sensory seeker.

Both were so excited to be picking their own food and were tasting it along the way.

EBE has a lot of food aversions, but even he was so thrilled at our garden finds that he happily ate some freshly pulled carrots.

There is so much value in teaching your kids about healthy diet choices, teaching them to grow their own food.

I know for our house food really affects the behaviors we see.  I can always tell if we’ve been a bit to relaxed on diet and snacks.

Have you noticed a change in your child with autism or sensory processing disorder depending on their diet?

I find that whole foods and non processed foods are the best way to go for us.  I tried gluten free, but it didn’t make a difference for us I didn’t see a noticeable change in behaviors like I do with whole, natural foods, and lots of water.

Thank you for reading!

Danielle

 

Ending my toxic relationship with my iphone

I’ve been feeling this way for a while.  I don’t know if I’m just mean.  Have minimal patience or what.  I continually find myself rolling my eyes at the latest troll on social media.  It seems like people are so much more confident behind a keyboard.  Hatred is spewed much more than if we didn’t have Facebook or Instagram.

They aren’t personal attacks on me, but I think I’m just tired of people’s opinions.  Rude comments.  And God forbid you block or delete anyone someone might get their feelings hurt and post about it to the latest community page on Facebook.

I’ve felt this awakening for a while.  And decided it’s time.  I’ve deleted all social media apps off my phone.  And won’t be downloading them again for a long time.  Shoot ultimately I may end up deleting my accounts altogether.

It’s not that I don’t want to see what friends and family are doing.

It’s their asinine comments and opinions that seem to just rub me the wrong way and life is to short.

It doesn’t stop with friends and family it’s everywhere.  Everywhere you turn someone is being shamed on social media for something truly irrelevant to my everyday.

So today starts Day 1 of who knows how many days where I steer clear of my iphone except to make important calls of course.  Gone are the days of an immediate response via text.  No I won’t be answering my phone, but I will get back to you maybe on the weekend, maybe in a few weeks.  I’m not sure.  But I’ve been feeling this pull for a while to eliminate toxic relationships, and I’d say my iphone and I are in a toxic relationship.  It keeps notifying me of things I need to check out, but in reality I have one life to live and I do not care what other people are doing on social media.  I just don’t.  Sorry not sorry.

I’m 31 years old with two young kids I need to make family my priority.  All the hate will still be there when I get back I’m sure.

I used to love to follow people on social media to get ideas for workouts, dieting, kid activities you name it.  But it seems that all anyone cares about on social media is one upping someone else.  I’m sick of seeing the same people in the same pose talking about the same things.  I’m sick of the latest politically charged attack on Facebook.  There is nothing wrong with having opposing views, but there is something wrong in violently attacking people we care about over political differences.

I’m just tired of it.  I don’t know if I’m getting old or what.  But every time I’ve checked into Facebook or Instagram to see what is going on I’m inundated with horrific atrocities occurring around the world.  The latest and greatest gadget I need to buy to be happy.  It’s tiring, truly tiring.

And to be honest makes me embarrassed to call some people friends or family.

Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss.

So today starts my journey

Day 1-Ending my toxic relationship with my iphone

Don’t get me wrong I love my iphone, but I don’t love this pull that I feel to check into social media.  So I’m putting my foot down for my own sanity.

Here are just a few simple steps I’m taking on Day 1.

  • Unfriending those that seem to get under my skin (sorry it’s not you it’s me)
  • Deleting all social media platform apps off my phone
  • Turning off my phone for the day
  • Drinking a cup of tea on my porch taking in all the beauty we’ve built around us.
  • Writing.  I get paid to write not to check my social media accounts.
  • Diffusing Young Living Essential oils
  • And lastly living

The last bullet of living I think is by far the most important.

I think has a whole our iphones have taken us away from truly living.

I’m not sure what Day 2 will hold for me, but I’ll let you know.

Let the toxicity be cleansed.

Danielle

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How to naturally increase Iron absorption with skillet cooking

Symptoms of low Iron

  1. Unusual Tiredness
  2. Paleness
  3. Shortness of Breath
  4. Headache and Dizziness
  5. Heart Palpatations
  6. Dry & Damaged hair& skin
  7. Restless Legs (which can result in poor sleep)
  8. Brittle or spoon shaped fingernails
  9. More frequent infections
  10. Feeling anxious

These are just a few symptoms associated with low iron levels.

When EBE was about 2 years old we started consistently talking to the doctors about his inability to sleep.  He was always tired yet never slept.  We referred to a psychiatrist who talked about a lot of nonsense and pushed prescription medication.  Needless to say I got up and left in the middle of his prescription medication rant.

I did what mama’s do best and started researching and demanding blood work.

He did in fact have low iron levels which made sense considering I could barely get him to eat anything but a milk and graham cracker diet.

Fast forward to today.  I cook almost everything I can in a cast iron skillet.

Did you know a cast iron skillet has the ability to naturally increase your iron?

Scrambling eggs in a new iron skillet increased the iron content from 1.5 mg to almost 5mg

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I will warn you that children under the age of three can in fact get to much iron, resulting in iron toxicity so I’d encourage you to speak with your Doctor or do you research beforehand.

Plus I think everything tastes better in the cast iron skillet.

 

Considering backyard chickens?

Then welcome!  Let’s talk chickens this week.

Last year if you had asked me if we’d ever have chickens I’d have told you absolutely not.

But I was misinformed.  Hadn’t really considered all the pros to being a chicken owner just had one disgusting experience involving chicken cannibalism as a teenager house sitting.

Our decision to add chickens to our homestead sort of just came to be.  It wasn’t a monumental moment that I could really jog from my memory.  But I do remember being sick of the prices of organic happy chicken eggs from the store.  Diet is important in our house.  And organic free range eggs are a staple.

I found someone locally getting rid of a few hens.  Quickly a few hens turned into 8, oh and plus one rooster.  The luck of the draw with pullets (unsexed baby chicks) locally hatched.

Not only we were saving money on eggs immediately, but we found that the chickens were actually a great form of sensory input for our children.

Raising good humans in this worlds current climate is necessary.  Providing our kids with opportunities to learn and encouraging growth is our job as their parents.  What better way to teach them about the food we consume than having chickens in the backyard.

When our pullet turned Rooster we decided to use the fertile eggs to hatch our own babies this spring.  Out of 10 eggs, 5 hatched all natural, compliments of our broody hen Harriett Ann.

It was really simple.  Nothing to crazy.  Harriett Ann did reject her first chick, but with the advice of others and an evening chick reverse kidnapping she happily took him under her wings just a few days later.

So here it is in a bullet version why I’d encourage you to consider backyard chickens (if you’re not a lengthy article reader)

  • Cost savings (Even with the price of chicken feed I’d say it was much more cost effective then buying eggs weekly from the grocery store)
  • If you have kids it’s an excellent learning opportunityIMG-3402
  • They are really simple and don’t require much.
  • Inexpensive to start you’re own backyard chicken flock.  I think our total cost to starting our little chicken family was about $50.
  • You can build your own coop using pallets or recycled wood.IMG-7735(1)
  • Feeders can be found on sale.
  • The best eggs I’ve ever tasted and they are much cuter than store bought eggs!IMG-2031
  • Fresh, I always wondered how long have the eggs I’m purchasing actually been sitting on the shelf.  Now I know how fresh mine are.
  • Organic eggs.
  • An extra way to make money on the side by selling farm fresh organic eggs to neighbors.  Also people looking to start their own backyard flock are willing to purchase hens.  You won’t get rich quickly, but it is a nice way to make a little money on the side.

There are cons to owning chickens too.  I mean they can be stinky.  But I use essential oils and natural products to keep their coop as clean as I can.

But overall I’d say the benefits to owning our own backyard chickens has exceeded the negatives.  And I’ve found myself fond of quite a few!

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