Losing So Many Warriors

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In the past few months, I have been receiving more notices about lupus warriors who are losing the battle. I am not sure if it is because a lot of us are aging with lupus, but it seems like the ones we are losing are in the prime of their lives. Beautiful people who look amazingly healthy, yet lupus has raged a war inside of them to the point of their passing away.

It is sad that so many people do not realize that it only takes one thing to knock us out. It can be something as inconsequential as a cold that develops into pneumonia and all of a sudden we are fighting for our lives. Sure, we look ok on the outside but it is inside where the battle rages on.

In honor of those who have passed, I just want to say that they were important to us all and their lives were meaningful to those around them. I may not know them personally, however I understand their struggles. I am sad for their families, having to live on without their wife, husband, father, mother, sister, brother or friend.

Please, if you pray, ask for God to sustain the families in this dark time. Pray for those suffering from this dreaded disease.  Most of all, we need a cure. While their journey is over, we need to fight on. Keep your chin up, lead on and educate others. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you are for the fight. I hope you are winning the battle today!

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Frog Lady aka Me

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This video is me…We had a booth at our state’s Mountain Mushroom Festival this past weekend. A you tuber named Karla made the video.  Please check her channel out and subscribe. Share the love! Tell her I sent you. Anyway, now you can see and hear me…oh joy! Wish I looked better but well, there you have it. Enjoy! PS. We SOLD out!

Who Am I?

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I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a Christian. I am a great grandmother. 
I thought I would write a short post on who I am. I am really basically a “normal” person. Ok, down to the nitty gritty here. I titled my page living life with lupus because, well, I am living life with lupus. I have had the disease for over 25 years and yes, it has impacted my life in many ways. However, while I may at times moan a bit about the disease, remember this… I have lupus but I am not defined by lupus. I make the rules here. Lupus is not going to control me if I can help it. 
I try to be a positive person and I am most of the time. I have down days but I try to find good in each day, no matter how I feel. I did a daily mindfulness of gratitude for several years and it truly does help you to focus on the positive things when it is the hardest to do it.
I am a blogger. I have a ton of information on it about not only lupus but many other autoimmune diseases as well. Feel free to go take a look. This blog is an outlet for me to learn more about things related to autoimmune diseases as well as life in general.
I am a homesteader. I live in Kentucky and while I rent the home we live in, I garden and grow whatever I can. My landlord told me that I could make the whole property a garden if I want to. Cool, huh?
I am a canner. I put up 18 dozen jars this year just from my little garden.  I made spaghetti sauce, salsa, jellies, jams, pickles, relish, stewed tomatoes, green beans, carrots, potatoes, apple pie filling, apple sauce, apple butter, cinnamon apples, ketchup and a  bunch more. I also can meats, including pork, beef, chicken, hamburger, beef stew and soups.
I am a dehydrating diva…well, not a diva but I am in that group on facebook.  I am learning how to use my new dehydrator to make powders for easy soups and veggies. I use my lemon and orange powders to add to baked cakes and pies. I make banana chips for my grandchildren when they visit me. Fruits, veggies and all that good stuff is what I dehydrate. I learn new things daily and it sure is fun! I bought an excalibur dehydrator and love it too.
I am a gardener.  My garden was 20 by 20 feet this year. It will expand a bit this year though. I am doubling the size of the garden and growing a lot of new things this year. I already have most of my seeds because I learned to seed save this year.  I am so excited and I am growing new things too. I already planted my garlic for spring so one thing down.  We use a lot of garlic and onions in or cooking. Herbs too. I get excited just thinking about gardening next year. 
I am a crafter. I crochet, knit, scrapbook, paint, quilt, sewing and love to learn new things too. I save most of my crafting for winter because I am indoors more then. 
I am a family history researcher. I have been working on my family’s genealogy for years and it fascinated me so much.  Now that I live in Kentucky, I can do more research because my family is from Kentucky and this state has great records online and locally.  I am trying to get as much as I can online so future generations can see their history too.
I am a firm believer that food is medicine. I am learning how to do lactofermentation among other things so that I and my husband can feel better and hopefully live longer too. Part of that process means removing most processed foods from our table. Now, I could say we are doing great in this department, but I confess, I am hooked on the duds, milk duds that is. We make efforts to work harder at learning more and putting it into practice daily. An occasional milk dud is ok. 
I am a practicing naturopathic. I do not have a degree. I do research though. Lots. More on this later.  It is an important part of my journey in life and lupus. I used to think those with lupus who used natural medicines were lying about how great they felt. I found the opposite to be true though and I am fine sharing the things I learn. However, please always consult your doctor when starting new things. 
This is just a sprinkling of who I am. If you stick with me, you will learn so much more.  I love learning new things so please feel free to share your own experiences as well. I love hearing from you!

Depression and Chronic Diseases

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I wrote this post way back in 2011, but it can apply today too. While I feel good right now, the depression is lurking out there, waiting to attack me again. I am more aware of it now though, and continue to fight against it. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy reading about this. 
 
Depression has many forms and can affect most anyone it seems. The definition of depression that I am discussing(from Mirriam Webster) is:
b (1) : a state of feeling sad : dejection  (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies  c (1) : a reduction in activity, amount, quality, or force (2) : a lowering of vitality or functional activity 
The part of the definition I am talking about is the sadness area mentioned above. When you have a disease that is chronic and incurable, you can have periods of depression just because you are sick. I mean, if you are sick and cannot do all the things you want to do, you would be sad too. Many people get medications to help with the severity that can fluctuate depending on the disease itself and how it affects you each day.  
The many variables that can set off a depressive state are many. It can be something as simple as wanting to hold your grandchild, to wishing you could go to an amusement park and spend a whole day! 
Unfortunately, I have had a bad day today, mentally. I think the reason could be boiled down to the fact that for a few days, after beginning treatment for my pain, I felt somewhat normal and did a great many things. However, the flip side of that is now that I feel the pain again, and have been in bed for a few days again, it saddens me because I saw how it felt to feel GOOD. It was wonderful!  
To have the carrot dangled in front of me like that and then to take it away is cruel. I will get past this I know, but today it was hard.  Many of us who have these diseases feel isolated and alone when we get down like this. That is why it is so important to have a social outlet like facebook or a support group to reach out and get the support we need when we need it. 
I know that others out there in cyberland may think we talk about our diseases too much. In our defense, we have to talk about it or we would go nuts! For example, if you were given a diagnosis of cancer, would you want to isolate and not discuss it at all to anyone or would you want to reach out and see how others who have had it are coping and got by. By reaching out to others, you find an outlet where you can openly and honestly vent your feelings and feel safe that you will not be ridiculed or told it is all in your head. These folks actually have been there and know how you feel and can give advice or just listen, it does not matter, but they are THERE!
 In conclusion, it is important to have those who we can relate to about these diseases and the discuss all facets of our disease. It is a healthy outlet in which we can keep the sadness at bay and live out lives to the fullest possible! I am so thankful to have an outlet like this to do just that… and live my life to the fullest! 

When To Plant

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What is plant phenology? It is when you look to nature’s clues to determine when to plant certain things. If you follow the hints nature gives you, it stands to reason you will be more successful in your endeavors.
I know this is new to some folks but it is proven to work. I have an old diary of my aunt where she kept similar sayings. This is not her sayings, but what I found on the subject at the library. 
So, how do you know what to do when? I have some examples.
When the daffodils bloom, you want to be planting swiss chard, spinach, beets and onions.
When the maple tree flowers, plant peas.
When the leaves of white oak trees are the size of a cat’s ear, plant potatoes.
When the apple trees drop their petals, sow bush beans, pole beans and cucumbers.

Really Great Week!

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The past week has been full of many wonderful blessings for me. It was finished off with the birth of my first great grandbaby.

The week started off like any other week. My mother in law called and asked if I could come over to visit her. She said she had got me a little something and actually played it off as nothing special. Later in the day, we went over there. Imagine my surprise when my husband came in with a big box! What was my gift? My mother in law had purchased a dream appliance I have wanted my whole life. She got me a kitchen aid mixer!! Not the bottom of the line one either, but the middle one. She also got me three attachments to go with it! I was blown away! It is red too, which is my kitchen color. I have already used it and of course, I love it!

The next great thing that happened is that my husband and I bought a beautiful hammer dulcimer from this amazing lady! We have wanted one for years. My husband is a musician and I am not but we both want to learn how to play this beautiful instrument. It is hand crafted and beautiful. Now we are learning and let me tell you, it sounds lovely.

Of course, as mentioned above, our first great grand child was also born. Our little Evalynn was the absolute cherry on top of the week. We are going to visit her next week and meet her. We cannot wait! She is a real cutie and looks like my granddaughter. Except for that hair, which our babies do not have. Black and curly hair! I finally got my wish for dark hair and curls.

I sincerely hope your week is great too! I have had three major blessings this week and by sharing, I hope ou find blessings at your door too.

Dandelion Syrup

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The lowly dandelion gets a bad rap these days but it is a powerful punch in the medicinal world. I already covered quite a bit about it in previous posts but thought I would share this recipe to make your own dandelion syrup. This syrup is great for treating colds, coughs and bronchitis. It is easily made and can be stored in canning jars for future use.
Here is the recipe:
Collect 400 flowers, in places that have not been sprayed with pesticide.
Pour 3 liters of water over them, then cut 4 oranges and 4 lemons and add to the mix. Leave the mixture for 24 hours. After 24 hours, strain the mixture and pour into a pot. Add 2 cups of sugar and cook for 30 minutes. Once the mixture gets thickened enough, transfer to sterilized jars. Seal. Once opened, refrigerate.