Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Arthritis Cure?

I was diagnosed with arthritis in my right hip a couple of decade ago and was reminded very firmly by a doctor at that time, there would be little I could do to help make the pain bearable as the years crept on by. By in my early 50's the pain was downright debilitating. After numerable doctor's visits, they all boiled down to a handful of things I could do, unless I was willing to undergo steroid shots or hip replacement surgery. Basically prescriptions consisting of anti-inflammatories and ibuprofen. I was told to exercise more to help keep my joints moving.

Yet how can anyone move, stand or attempt any level of exercise when the pain I was dealing with was excruciating. I would rate my pain level some days as beyond 10 out of 10. Sleeping was almost an impossibility especially on my right side and the only thing that really helped was moving, all the time. Perhaps it was the moving that kept me from focusing on my pain.

I had talked to other people who had undergone the hip replacement option and others who opted for the steroid shots and most claimed that the surgery helped, I wasn't quite ready for that to happen just yet. I am a firm believer that holistic and natural options must exist somewhere and if so, did they really help? The steroid shots from all the people I spoke with did not much to minimize the pain and now with the recent pain addictions, not even my doctors would give me a prescription for Tylenol 3.

So armed with the internet, I was on a mission. Not only that but my step mom who is in her mid 70's was already undergoing the same things as me, but on a whole different level of pain. She was now reduced to taking pain prescriptions and just living out her days in between doses. I tried the anti-inflammatory diet but the pain still was not going away. Some days it was worse than others and I felt if something didn't happen soon, I would be joining my step mom on the couch and giving up my existence of being physically mobile anymore.

Now the good part....

I discovered through my research a regime by Dr. Oz about using a variety of supplements through a program to naturally repair, reverse inflammation, restore function and rule out and treat infections and food allergies. At this point, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The first part of the natural therapy was repair using a combination of glucosamine sulfate, 750mg, 2 times a day for 6 weeks, MSM (2-3 grams a day) and if the arthritis is severe, Chondroitin,(less important 400 mg 3 times a day). It also is critical that you get a good multi-vitamin, powder supplement is best.

Next came reverse inflammation to prevent damage and decrease or eliminate pain. He recommended Boswellia (also known as Frankincense) In one study it was shown to decrease arthritis pain by over 90% and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Use 900-1000 mg a day.

Willow bark, the natural source for aspirin because it is proven more effective and has been show to not cause the stomach bleeding caused by arthritis medications.

Cherry because it does have significant anti-inflammatory properties and eating a dozen cherries daily can be very helpful. If you have inflammatory arthritis also take a teaspoon or more of fish oil daily which acts as an anti-inflammatory.

You can read the full article by Dr. Oz here for more tips. 

What I did find was adding Turmeric capsules twice a day also helps as an anti-inflammatory. So my daily regime was taking 1 Osteo Bioflex tablet, 1 Turmeric capsule and 1 Boswellia capsule twice a day with meals, preferably meals with protein. Along with this I added COQ10 tablet, prenatal vitamins, Krill Oil Capsules, Multi-vitamin for women over 50 along with lots of water.


In just two weeks, 90% of my pain in my hip was gone and I was able to function like normal again, with no side effects. I did notice if I failed to take the Osteo Bioflex, Turmeric and Boswellia pills for a day, the pain was immediately back again in full force. In fact, you can take these supplements while still taking your regular medication, but always verify with your own doctor. The one thing that surprised me was my own doctor and that of my step mom said these supplements would do nothing for us that a couple of Advil or Tylenol would do. I beg to differ in a strong way.

I tried prescription medications, ibuprofen, Aleve, Tylenol, Advil and nothing helped like these three did. I ordered mine online or through Costco and would highly recommend them to anyone who has suffered with limited mobility issues due to pain and arthritis.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care...

Finished all my indoor decorating about a week and a half ago, just before Thanksgiving Day we started and I thought I would share these pictures with you. Over time, as others have shared theirs I have borrowed a few decorating ideas here and there, so you just never know what you just might see. People ask if I decorate bathrooms for Christmas, and the answer is a resounding "Yes!!!"

I love adding things to our indoor and outdoor decorations each year and believe it or not the best places to get them are from yard, garage or estate sales. You truly get one of a kind decorations that they simply don't make any more. Even antique stores are my newest novelty. I don't want what the big box stores are selling anymore. It costs twice as much and isn't made anywhere near the quality of older things.

So without further adieu, the tour of the Smith family household begins. We start where people enter our home. I have taken the liberty of collecting Christmas cards over the years because they hold so many memories and often times, people have stopped sending them. These are a few I have collected over the years.What you can't see is on most of my front facing windows are ice blue snowflake window clings I have held onto every year.

You enter the house and walk into our living room. It is where we have debates each year on where to put our 9 1/2 foot Christmas tree. We always have to be careful where it goes, because the base diameter is 6 feet round. This year my living room is all about snowmen, from my Hallmark singing snowmen to my Christmas book's I've collected over the years, these are feel like home to me.

Next you walk into my dining room which at the moment is lacking a dining room table. I have quite decided on what kind I want but I know I want it big. Seems odd, considering each year our family is downsizing and we have less and less people over but you just never know. I love hosting big family get together.

You notice the two book shelves my husband lovingly, okay was begged by me to make to house my growing collection of books that I can't part with. One day maybe but for now, when the kids move away I might just begin to reread my favorites. To me, these are my favorite places to visit. Perhaps I share a sneak peek at those titles tomorrow.

The little houses on the top of the shelves are ones that we have handpainted each year, a tradition of my husbands that we have incorporated into our Christmas celebrations. It is nice to be able to go back and look at them to see just how far we have come in painting them.

From there our home branches into 3 different directions. Walking under the arch, you enter our family room where we spend most of our time. From the mantle decorations and garland to the stockings hung with care. Our best tip was taking a curtain rod and cup hooks and attaching it to the underside of the mantle. I don't care how wonderful and weighted your stocking holders are, they will fall off the mantle when they are filled. This way, they don't fall off no matter how full you stuff them.

Our kitchen is decorated in what I am going for a vintage Christmas look. We added a Christmas plaid curtain over our kitchen window this year and some fun vintage placemats I scored at Big Lots for $2.50 each.

On top of our pot shelves are Christmas villages I have collected over the years. I have given 14 of them away to my girls to begin their own sets now that my oldest has moved out this year and has her own pot shelves which those 7 amazing buildings look right at home there now.

One set is from Christmas Valley that Target used to sell more than 20+ years ago and the other is a set of the It's a Wonderful Life with all the buildings for that.

Down one hallway is two bedrooms, our guest room and our daughter's room. This is the picture of our guest room. Feel up to stay sometime? I love the woodsie feel of this room and the painting above the bed is something my husband bought me before we were married because I didn't have the money at the time as a single mom and fell in love with the painting. It proudly hangs in our home year round.

The wooden train was something my dad built for me. The train comes off the tracks as it pulls into the station and has a watertower and ticket booth attached. For now it is carrying some of my favorite Christmas toys. My dad actually built this for me a couple years ago when I mentioned growing up I always wanted one of the wooden trains he used to build, never imagining it would be to this scale. He never knows how much it means to me. I love vintage old toys.

My daughter's bathroom comes next and it's all snowmen, icicles and lots of icy blue. It has to be my favorite bathroom of all. I have collected the snowman pieces through antique stores over the years and who knows maybe these will all go with her when she is ready to move out.

Back down the other hallway is our office and guest bathroom. I don't currently have enough right now to begin to decorate that office space but who knows what the future brings. For now I have decorated the cubby outside the office and just before you enter the guest bath. I have my favorite Gund teddy bears along with some old fashioned blocks and bears I have collected over the years. The advent calendar is something I longed for, but for now haven't done is awhile. Perhaps next year I will work on adding events to do as a family or couple to the box.

The guest bathroom is all about pines and pinecones. I even have a custom burned wood slice my dear friend, Niki made for me to remind me that "Today is a good day for a good day." It's all about the attitude. On the top shelf are my favorite Beanie Buddies that I collected and sold with my hubby. These are ones I bought and will not part with. Love the garland, ribbon and lights around the oval mirror.

In the final hallway it leads to our master bedroom. The thing I love most about our home is that there are bedrooms and bathrooms separated by the main living areas in our home and they are isolated so we are not bothered by guests or our kids when they are visiting. Our Master bathroom is now being filled with the toys from the Land of Misfits from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. For now I have a Dolly and the Elephant. I hope to add to them over the years.

My master bedroom was just finished this year. We always pour our best efforts into where people will meet and often times neglect our bedroom but we struggled to find something that really felt like us until this year. While my husband will argue that we still missed out on the Christmas plaid quilt set that was on clearance, our love our Red and White Snowflake quilt.

We added some vintage items to our shelves and of course a wreath above our bed. Now I look forward to spending my quiet evening hours in here.

I truly hope you enjoyed my home tour and perhaps these even gave you some ideas for your own home.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Card Exchange Requested

It's Christmas time again! My favorite time of the year. I live for this each and every year that rolls around because it means for me, not only the Savior's birth which we celebrate, but it genuinely seems that most people are a little more kind than they usually are. More giving perhaps. More willing to be charitable and pass along a kindness or two.

Just the other day, my brother Mike and I talked about our Christmas growing up. Great memories even though we lived with my mom, who divorced was working two jobs just to make ends meet, so we didn't get a chance to see her that much. But we lived for the day we knew she wouldn't be home for a while so we could climb up to the rafters and get all the Christmas boxes down and begin decorating as a surprise for her.

We would use EVERYTHING we found in the bins. We added colored garland to each of the beams in our house and some sparkly snowflakes hung on fishing line or even left over glass bulbs that didn't find a home on the tree between the swags. It was never decorated the same twice. We would turn on Johnny Mathis' Christmas album and get to work. It took us all day working together, singing beloved Christmas carols. If we had time we would climb up on the roof and add our traditional Santa and two lighted reindeer along with the traditional glass bulbs. None of these icicle lights or LED's but the old stand by's you had to screw into the sockets. They were great cause when one burned out, you simply replaced that bulb.

It was such a joy to see the surprise on my mom's face when she got home and was immediately filled with the Christmas Spirit and a whole lot of love from her kids. I miss that. Traditions are important. They need to be passed along to our kids who may or may not pass them along to their own kids.

One of the traditions I see disappearing are Christmas cards. The old fashioned kind you wrote in. Not pre-printed ones, but ones you went to pick out and added your own Christmas wishes for whomever you were sending it to. Now a days, you get photo Christmas cards, with pre-printed messages on them or the Christmas letter telling you what someone's family accomplished all year. Those are great because things are so busy these days, but I miss Christmas cards. The old-fashioned kind that fill your mailbox with something other than bills or advertisements.

I love pulling out some of the one's I have kept over the years because they still mean something like Christmas decorations. They hold memories I want to hold on to. So today, I sit and write out Christmas cards because I want the person I am sending them to, to open them, smile and know that I cared enough to send them a bit of Christmas Spirit. Do you still send Christmas cards? This is one Christmas tradition, I hope never dies out.

If you want to join in a Christmas card exchange with me, I'd love to send you one if you'll send one back. Email me at and lets exchange addresses and get them in the mail. Perhaps I share them on my blog but know this, they will all be treasured in my heart.