Monthly Archives: April 2014

Magnesium: A Many Splendored Mineral

I’m not a scientist nor an explorer, but I’ve recently discovered the huge benefits of magnesium!  Allow me to explain…

At the ripe age of 44, uninterrupted sleep has become a distant memory for the last couple of years.  It would seem I’m in the phase of life called “perimenopause”, a fancy word for “Your body is changing and life as you now know it will never be the same.  Hang on, ’cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”  Such is life.  Yes, it’s the stage right before the big change commonly known as menopause.  I can tell you, sometimes your body betrays you and does things that defy all logic.

I used to be able to sleep with no problem whatsoever.  Then, shortly before I had neck surgery in 2012, I began having trouble staying asleep.  I can go to sleep with no problem generally.  But, it seems that hormonal changes affect the ability to remain asleep.  I’m so jealous of my husband’s ability to snore through the night!  😉  He does so with such ease! 🙂

I’ve never been one to take a lot of medicine and I opt for the all natural route whenever possible.  A few months back, I discovered magnesium in gel cap form and decided to give it a whirl as a sleep aid.  Magnesium is a natural sedative.  I’m very sensitive to all medication, so the 125 mg. dosage works like a charm.  I don’t take it every night but when I do, it helps to regulate my sleep pattern for several days.  I’m so sensitive to medicine that one Advil (200 mg.) puts me to sleep.  That never used to happen!  See what I mean about your body changing?


Another thing that didn’t used to bother me was indigestion.  I usually steer clear of tomato sauces (i.e. spaghetti, lasagna, etc.) and spicy food late at night.  I have an all natural remedy for that too…Papaya tablets with mint.  I like the NOW brand.  They’re chewable and work great!  Actually, they’re good for many stomach and digestion issues.


{Disclaimer:  I’m not a medical professional (obviously!) so please consult your physician for advice.}

The other awesome form of magnesium is in Epsom salt!!!  I do a lot of work around the house, not to mention, caring for my father.  No grass ever grows under my feet.  I’m always in motion.  As such, from time to time, I have muscle aches.  Plus, I’m recovering from a sprained arm from scraping ice and snow off the SUV.  This injury has droned on way too long.  So, I’ve been soaking in Epsom salt regularly and have noticed such a difference!!

I’m the new poster child for Epsom salt.  Just saying that makes me feel like an old fogie, but if it works, I don’t mind that label!

Lastly, the third benefit of magnesium is it helps with regularity.  No disappointments there.  ‘Nuff said.

I love to pass along information on things that have helped me.  And, if you have any of the above challenges, it might be worth an investigation.  Some of the best things in life are natural.  And, I am so thankful that God gave us magnesium!  They say that most people have a deficiency in magnesium, so there’s little risk you can over do it.  Magnesium is an all natural muscle relaxer and I can attest to feeling very relaxed and ready for sleep after soaking in Epsom salt.  It’s one of my new favorite things!  Who knew?



Filed under Health Stuff

Wanted to Say “Hey” to New Followers!


If you’re a new follower to my blog, I just wanted to say “Hey” and offer a big welcome to theenglishrose2014 world!  They say “Hey” in the south a lot in place of the normal “Hello” or “Hi”, and despite the fact that I now live in the north, that catchy greeting remains with me.  So, “Hey”! 😉

Things have been a little hectic with caring for my dad lately (on top of attempting to juggle life with my own family) so I haven’t devoted as much time to my blog and checking out other blogs as I’d like, but I definitely plan to pop in and check yours out soon!

It means so much to know that you’re here!  So, thank you very much for your interest in my musings and hopefully you’ll find a good dose of encouragement as well as laughter around here!  Please make yourself at home.  I love making new friends and am interested in your input and comments always.

If you lived close enough, I’d whip up a batch of yummy banana pudding and pour you a glass of sweet iced tea.  🙂

God bless, my friend!  🙂


Filed under Miscellaneous

Would you take a Quick Poll?


Thanks so much!  Your input is highly valued and appreciated, my friend!  🙂


Filed under Miscellaneous

Praise Report: Auto Style

Can I just tell you that I spend entirely too much time worrying about things?!  Just Wednesday I was provided with fresh worrying material when the Toyota mechanic at the dealership informed us that our 2002 Sequoia needed new front and rear brakes, rotors, wiper blades, terminal for the battery, and on and on their list went!  Yes, fresh fodder for this weary mind that has a lot going on at the moment!

Well, the total for the above repairs would have cost $1,400 as I mentioned in a previous post, which nearly gave me heart palpatations just thinking about it in light of other recent expenditures.  We’re a one income family on a fairly tight budget, so huge unforeseen expenses are unwelcome financial intruders!

Our good neighbor across the street happens to be a Toyota certified mechanic and we’re also good friends with them.  I tell you, the Lord planted them there to be a blessing to us and vice versa.  My daughter often pals around with the young mom and her toddler, who is cute as a button!  We called our good neighbor last night to see if he could install the parts if we picked them up.  He said that it was no problem to order the parts and he could do the work today!  Wow.  Not even 24 hours later, he had our SUV up and running!  He picked up the parts this morning and paid with his employee discount too!  The parts cost $440 and he wanted to charge only $110 for labor.  We couldn’t let him do that, so my husband will give him a check for $650.  I know he doesn’t want to accept it and just wanted to be a blessing, which he was!  But, we also believe in treating people fairly and showing our appreciation.  We’ll have to bake him a cake soon.  He loved the last chocolate cake my daughter made for them.

What a tremendous answer to prayer this is!!  A savings of nearly $1,000!  (If the parts only cost $440, that means the dealer’s mark up and labor was $1,000!  Insane!)

God truly is so faithful to provide for our every need.  Why do I spazz out and doubt then?  “Lord, help my unbelief!”  Ah, somehow I think trusting God is a lifelong lesson.  God always provides and it’s not as if I didn’t think he would in this instance.  I just didn’t know how!  The timing couldn’t have been worse, but that’s when a pause is in order and deep breaths.  How I thank God that His favor lasts a lifetime.  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!”  He is so good to us, full of mercy, compassion and love!

So, the lesson here is trusting God no matter what the circumstances or the timing are.  And, the bonus lesson is remembering how God provided this time when the next financial challenge comes along!  In the Old Testament, they built a monument in the desert when God performed a miracle.  Sometimes we need to also do that in our spiritual life today.  Write down the praise reports.  We’ve instituted a “Blessings Jar” where we write down all the great things God does for us throughout the year.  And at the end of the year, it’ll be great to reflect back on!  This testimony definitely qualifies a submission in the Blessings Jar!!

How has God provided miraculously for you lately?  Have you praised Him for it?  Built a monument?


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Filed under Christian Living, Finances

Kindergarten Memories…

It was September 1975 and this little, dirty blond haired girl was super excited to go to a big school just like her older brother and sister.  Just writing that year makes me feel a little ancient, however, it is what it is.  A mere 39 years ago.  Haha!

I went to kindergarten in the afternoon.  The option was either morning or afternoon as it was only a half day schedule.  I remember my teacher vividly.  Her name was Mrs. Segal and she was Indian.  In my small world, I hadn’t seen anyone dress in a sari, so that was different.  She wore a sari every day.  She was always very pleasant and I loved her.  We probably had about twenty students in our class, so it was a busy place.

I remember we learned the alphabet and numbers, played with wooden blocks, colored papers and did finger painting (which was pure joy!)  How’s that compare to today’s standards?  Haha.  (Side note: As a longtime homeschooler, I’ve read many articles about early childhood learning.  There’s such a push for kids to learn things early and from what I’ve read along with my personal beliefs, the final educational outcome is not based on when the child learned a particular skill.  I think I turned out pretty okay after all.)

One of the highlights of being a kindergartener was being selected to go to the cafeteria with a wooden wagon to fetch the milk for lunch time.  We went two by two’s, one girl and one boy.  Of course, the thrill was being the one who got to pull the wagon.  🙂  I always chose chocolate milk for lunch as it was my favorite.

My bus was the orange triangle.  That’s how I knew which bus to get on when school let out.  Isn’t that funny that I remember that after all these years?  I actually hadn’t thought of that until just now.  There was also the yellow circle, blue square and the purple star, but those buses led to other neighborhoods and I would surely be lost.  Simply riding the bus, though, was a big treat for such a little girl.

I’m sure I had a best friend in my class, although I don’t recall that little detail.  From day one, I’ve been a social butterfly, so I likely had a number of friends.  I just liked to talk …

Kindergarten was such a fun experience for me!  Life was carefree and full of learning more about the world around me.  I think it helped pique my curiosity about life and learning.  After all, isn’t that a building block of a solid education?


Filed under Memories

Frugal Challenges: Auto Style

Frugal living does not necessarily mean a life of total sacrifice.  It, conversely, has more to do with saving money where you can so you are free to spend money on the important, quality things of life.  So, that’s our mode of operation in general.  It’s all about intentional living … Redirecting our money away from useless, fleeting expenditures (like Starbucks coffees, pedicures, fine dining, etc.) and toward the things that strongly matter to us.  Choices.  All about choices.

Well, we were presented with an opportunity to choose to be creative with our finances today…

Yesterday we dropped our 2002 Toyota Sequoia off at the dealership to have the oil changed and fluids topped off.  And today they called us with the ugly news!  It seems our twelve year old SUV is in dire need of front and rear brakes, new rotors and a fresh air filter.  *Sigh*  The ugliness of it all is to the tune of $1,400!  Ouch!

It would seem our money tree out back is bare at the moment, so my husband has a better idea than to line the dealership’s pockets.  Our good neighbor is a Toyota mechanic so we’re going to see if he can help us out.  He also happens to be a Christian and we like their family a great deal, so prayerfully it works out.  He often does work on the side.  We figure between the cost of the parts and labor, we’ll likely save half.  That’s frugality put into practice.

We did, however, pay $88 to have the oil changed, etc. because my husband is sold on the idea of using synthetic oil and we always have.  So, that costs more and it likely needed quite a bit.  That said, we’ve owned this SUV for about seven years now and it has never given us a bit of trouble.  We always maintain it and since it’s my baby, it is driven for leisure only, not to commute to work.  It has about 181,000 miles on it and has traveled extensively along the eastern seaboard.  I always say that it will last however long we need it to!  🙂

Lately, it seems every time we turn around, there’s an unexpected expense!  We’ve had three:

  • Garage door spring repair – $450
  • 3 New Toilets – $600
  • HVAC repair – $809

Not to mention, the last three months of electric bills were: $718, $597 and $565!  And, now this … Ugh.  It’s a good thing we have no car payments!  I’m so thankful that old man winter has had his run for this year and we are slowly marching into spring weather!  (which means lower electric bills!!  Praise the Lord!)  Also, our electric bill will be lower anyway due to recent repairs and freon being added, thankfully!

Today I went to the discount grocery store we usually do a fair amount of our shopping in and reflected on the $86 well spent!  I stocked up on a ton of fruits, vegetables, and a lot of things.  At the regular grocery store, it would’ve been more than double that price!  So, we save where we can, like I said.

Oh, and I was so excited to use my $5 off coupon at Target this evening (if you spent $35 or more)!  Not bad considering I’m not much of a couponer.

And my 16 year old daughter has announced that she’s in need of a new summer wardrobe.  To the thrift store we go…

Also in the mix is our desire to do a few household projects, but we’ll see about those.

I cannot complain really.  We are so very blessed.  God is always so faithful to us and has never failed to provide for our every need!  We are firm believers in tithing and offerings.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t outgive God!  He owns everything, afterall.  It’s all His.  He gives us the ability to work and earn a living, and blesses us on top of that!  What a kind and loving God we serve.  May we be wise and faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted us with!

When unexpected expenses arise it reminds us once again of the importance of an emergency fund and savings.  Like I’ve told my daughter, you will never be sorry for saving too much money!

So, here’s to increased savings!




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Filed under frugal living

Life is Fragile

Yesterday was my dad’s fourth Dr. appointment post-hospitalization.  It was an all day event as usual.  I drove the 45 minute trek listening to praise music on my iPod and praying while fighting the normal, congested traffic that is our area’s trademark.  Before I had the opportunity to suggest that my dad take the walker, he mentioned that he thought it was a good idea.  I definitely agreed.  He’s still in an ankle brace from his recent fractured foot and his equilibrium is not what she used to be.

Our first stop was the lab so he could get his routine blood work done since he’s on a blood thinner.  He has to have it checked every 3-4 weeks, sometimes more often depending on the previous results.  If he’s put on antibiotics (like now), we have to check it more often as it interferes with the Coumadin.  He’s been on it for almost two years and my life has become increasingly busy.  We were in and out of the lab in no time flat, which was a blessing.

We enjoyed a nice brunch at our favorite French cafe afterwards.  We both really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and great service there.  I suggested that he get a hair cut as it’s been a while and he was unsure about climbing the three steps that lead into the barber shop.  I assured him that I’d go with him and help him, so he agreed.  As he held onto the railing, I turned the walker sideways (like the physical therapist showed me) so he could use it as a railing of sorts to navigate each step.  So, he climbed one step, and I put the walker on the next step up.  This sounds like an easy process, except for the fact that each step was challenging.  Normally, when I take him to get a hair cut, I wait in the car, so this was the first time I went inside.  They are fast and always do a superb job.  I know he wanted to look nice for next week when my sisters visit.  (He usually fights me on hair cuts…unless it’s his idea…)

We still had time to kill before his cardiologist appointment, so I ran into Walmart for a few things he needed while he waited in the car.  God gave us a beautiful, sunny day and he was happy to sit in the car with the windows partially down and enjoy the breeze.  After we got gas, we headed for his follow up appointment with the cardiologist.  They did an EKG and everything looks fine, so that was good news!  His blood pressure is good too.  All in all, a great report…next appointment in six months!  (I can’t even think about six months from now, but it’s on the calendar…)

I was on a mission to get him out of that ankle brace contraption as I knew it was too tight for him, which made walking painful.  His feet and legs swell, which is why he’s on a diuretic.  Apparently, this brace was the largest that the orthopedic office had in stock.  I popped into the medical supply store on the way home and they only had small and medium ankle braces, which didn’t help at all.  Then I needed to get a half gallon of milk for him, so I popped into Target.  They had one that I thought would work, so I got that, as well as an ace bandage type ankle brace for when it heals further.  I figured between the two, one should work.

When we got back to his house, I took that contraption off (which is great for athletes, but not for 77 year old men whose feet and legs swell!!) and changed his socks.  He’s in the fifth week of healing post-fractured foot and he’s improving all the time, but it’s still tender.  So, I was trying hard not to further inflict pain as I got his foot into the new ankle brace.  I barely got the criss cross velcro straps to adhere to the other side, but it worked!  I had him do a little walking so I could make sure it’d stay in place and it did!  Yay for success!  When I removed the old contraption, I saw the reason why I know the Lord was nudging me to get him into a different brace.  His leg surrounding where the brace had been was incredibly swollen and it was not good for his circulation, I know.  He said the new brace was so much better and he wasn’t in pain like before.  So, that’s what we were shooting for!  Good deal.  He did have to take some Tylenol when he got home from all the exertion of the day.  I’m sure he slept good last night!

My dad definitely seemed weaker yesterday and I was surprised at how much he was relying on the walker, considering how much he detests the thing usually.  He did mention that he didn’t want to fall into me like last time and I do appreciate that.  I don’t want him to fall into me either!  He’s still battling the urinary tract infection and has one more day to finish that round up.  We’ll go to the urologist early next week and they’ll reassess.

Aging is really stinky sometimes, isn’t it?!  Somehow God gives both dad and I the grace and strength to face each new health challenge.  I know he’s ready to return to his volunteer work at the church and misses the interaction with the church and school staff very much.  Due to his hospitalization and subsequent recovery, he’s been away from the church for five weeks now, which is a long time for him!  Volunteering is what keeps him going and his mind active, so it’s a good thing.  His primary care doctor warned him not to return too soon, which he agreed with.  If he continues progessing as well as he currently is, perhaps he’ll return to the church in another month or so.  He has to regain full mobility and be able to navigate the eighteen concrete steps that lead to his area at the church.

One blessing I noted yesterday was the fact that, although his body was a little weak, his mind was very sharp.  It was one of his good days, which is always a blessing!  God is so faithful.


Filed under Caregiver