More dining room renovation!

Quite a while back (maybe two years ago?), we tore out a wall between our kitchen and dining rooms, giving the area a much larger feel. We’ve been living with very much un”done” space ever since, however.

Last Sunday we worked on tearing out and sheetrocking one section of the wall… yay!

Here’s a shot of that wall sheetrocked (with the last coat of mud finished):

And yesterday, after the chapel work day that totally kicked my pa-tootie, Jonathan tore out the outside wall. Lovely lack of insulation, eh?
The plans for this wall (besides adding insulation) are to bring it out a few inches so that the wall is flush with the stairs, and to move the window over to the landing at the right. Not move that old window, of course, but move the window location. 😉

More updates as we get more work done!

The truck that ran over me

I feel today as if I’ve been run over by a truck. Didn’t even make it to church today… didn’t get out of bed (except to feed Stephen) until after noon.

So here’s what did me in…

Our chapel workday was yesterday, and Sue and I finally tackled the nursery (a project we’ve been wanting to work on for a year or so). The first thing on the agenda was stripping the wallpaper from the lower portion of the wall. Actually that was second – first was taking down the hideous drapes!

I had totally unrealistic expectations of how long everything would take, but realized that we did a great job to get the wallpaper stripped in the time we had available. Here are the “after” pictures:

Next comes paint!

I’ve been locked out!

I haven’t been able to login to Blogger lately. I’m not sure why, because I’m logging in and out of Gmail on the same account just fine. But I can’t login on the main Blogger screen. I finally got in today by leaving a comment on Katie’s blog – the login to leave a comment works for me. Anyone else been having trouble lately?

This has been quite a week for me. I don’t have time to write more now, but I’ll “sneak” in later and post.

Health Stuff

I’m rather tardy about getting about to writing this post, but here I sit with gritted teeth, and I’m gonna get it done!

The last few months have been interesting ones for me health wise. In brief, I spent from June 2 to August 27 waiting to find out whether or not I had cervical cancer. Praise the Lord, the results came back negative (which is a big positive!). However, they did find some precancerous cells (CIN1), and I go back in six months (from the end of August) to get re-tested.

In the meantime, we’ll be working on making my body the least hospitable host possible for any nastiness trying to grow. For the record, here’s most of the regime that we’ve formulated:

**Daily Multi-vitamin/Multi-mineral supplement.

**Progesterone cream – Excess estrogen promotes cancer growth, and as I’ve discussed here before (and no, I haven’t finished that series yet…), I discovered last year that I was waaay estrogen dominant. I’ve recently gone back to using the bio-identical progesterone cream to help with that.

**Liver Support – Among a myriad of other functions, the liver helps with hormone issues. I’m taking Milk Thistle and Dandelion supplements to support liver function.

**Thyroid Support – I’m taking a natural supplement to support thyroid function, as well as taking an iodine supplement (under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner) to help restore my body’s iodine supply, which is critical to thyroid function.

**Topical Regime – I will also soon be starting a mostly topical regime targetting my cervix (under the supervision of the aforementioned qualified health practitioner). I’m not going to go into the details of that on this blog. 🙂

**Ph Balance – I’ve found that my body is extremely acidic, and getting a better ph balance will help create that inhospitable environment I’m working for. This is pretty much done through food, so I’m in the process of revising my diet. And I’ll admit that it’s not fun. 🙂 But it’s worth it.

I think that’s all. All – Ha! By the time I get all these systems working right, I suspect that I’ll be feeling better than I have in years.

This post is pretty much a sketch version of most of these issues. If you’re curious, I might work on posting more details on some of them. And if you want to read about the journey from “What’s that?” in labor to “There’s no cancer, but…” email me at and I’ll see about getting you access to the private blog I started for blogging about that.

And now, I must go nurse the little man!

The Green Salve Project… explained

I was cruel enough to post a picture last week on my photo blog with the title “The Green Salve Project” and then not explain a thing about it. And I know that you, my faithful 3 or 4 readers, have just been expiring from curiousity about that green salve business. So, hear I am to sate your wonder by giving you the scoop.

Last Christmas, one of the families at our chapel gave away 2 oz jars Green Salve. My friend Sue and I quickly realized it was fabulous stuff, and this spring as our 2 oz jars began to run out, we decided we had to make some ourselves. It’s great for so many things! Infected owies, preventing infected owies, bug bites, rashes, acne, burns, etc, etc. I don’t think we’ve found the end of the uses for it.

Green salve has plantain, comfrey leaf and root, red clover blossoms, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and goldenseal powder, in a base of olive oil and beeswax. If you look up all those herbs separately, you’ll see why it’s great for such a variety of uses.

So last Wednesday, after months of talking about it, Sue and I finally got to make our first batch of Green Salve. And it worked! We were like little girls when we got done – so excited that we’d actually done it. 🙂

We got about 85 ounces out of our double batch, which should last a long time! We’re planning on making some for Christmas gifts, too. Isn’t it lovely?

And now, to fill the day’s cuteness quota, I bring you a picture of the two adorable babies in the background:

That’s Grace and Stephen. The arranged marriage contracts are still being negotiated. 😉 Just kidding, but she sure is a cutie, and she’s growing up with a terrific example of a mom who is a wonderful helpmeet.

This last weekend

We spent a great weekend up at Mark Twain State Park in Stoutsville, MO, at the second annual Friends of Missouri Midwives Family Retreat. It was a fun time of fellowship, learning, and getting business done. The only bummer was Jonathan getting sick Saturday evening. He was pretty much out of it until late morning on Sunday. Thankfully, he felt better as the day went on, and was able to drive home, etc.

Here’s a shot of the main building where we ate and met, with my dear friend Mary walking along. It looks like she’s reading while she walks… she’s good at that. 😉

An interesting question

I was asked this question today – “Laurel, why is it important that midwives who do not have medical training to be able to deliver a baby when you can have a midwife that does have a medical background?”

Here is my answer. I thought it was worth posting here”

For one thing, I cannot have a CNM (“a midwife that does have a medical background”) attend my birth in my home. CNM’s can only attend home births in Missouri (or get hospital delivery privileges) if they have a collaborative practice agreement with a doctor. Only 2 CNM’s have been able to accomplish that feat in Missouri; neither of them live anywhere near me.

Secondly, while Certified Professional Midwives are not trained in the medical model of birth, the Midwives Model of Care in which they are trained is an excellent model. Their training is extensive, and is specifically focused on assisting women in home births. No other certification requires training and experience with home birth, so they are the logical choice for families who decide to have their babies at home. Additionally, study after study has shown that planned homebirth with a CPM is at least as “safe” as hospital birth, with fewer of the interventions that some families wish to avoid.

We personally have had a baby in a Missouri hospital with a CNM. We appreciated the services of our CNM, but it was obvious that the hospital environment was not the birth environment for us, except in the case that we needed medical assistance. That is why we have chosen to return to Kansas for subsequent births – to legally have the assistance of a CPM in a home environment.

Those of us who are striving to legalize CPMs in Missouri seek to not judge those who chose to birth differently than we do. We simply would like to see more healthy birth options available to the families in our state, and would like for parents to be affirmed in their responsibility and ability to make well-informed decisions on behalf of their children (instead of having their rights to make those decisions limited by the state). If that choice for someone else is to go to the hospital, that’s a choice that I respect.

Coverage on national Fox News

Our legal situation in concerning midwives in Missouri has been receiving national attention, and was covered last Friday on the Fox news network. I’m posting the video that a friend recorded. If there is a problem with posting it (legally, I mean), please let me know.

And in case you were wondering, I am less than thrilled that my 3 seconds on national tv is of me scowling! 😉

Nifty Linkage

I am past behind on blogging, but I have a couple of cool things I want to holler about, so I’m going to post this real quick. 🙂

First of all, Saints Serving! This is a great site with free hymn recordings. For some of the hymns they have separate recordings to help you learn your parts. The downloads are all free, and I love listening. For those familiar with the black hymnal Hymns of Worship and Remembrance, many of those wonderful songs can be found on Saints Serving.

Second, on a more earthly note…
Aldi has developed an amazing meal planning/shopping site. I was floored by how easy to use and helpful it is. Check it out!