Friday, October 12, 2012

Bronchitis Treatment? Or Coincidence?

Salt water from a neti-pot can clean out sinuses.  Salt-water gargles can soothe a sore throat and wash away excess mucus from the throat.

Monday night I was wishing so bad for a "neti pot" that could wash snot out of bronchial tubes and the lungs. 

For some reason, it crossed my mind that hot, moist compresses might help.  Soaking in a hot tub might do something, but that's not long enough.  So I placed a wrung-out hot washcloth at the base of my neck, covered it with a heating pad, used a wide Ace-bandage to strap the heating pad to my upper chest, turned it on, and went to bed.  (Okay.  Okay.  I know the instructions that come with the heating pad say you should NEVER sleep with the heating pad on.  It's a fire hazard.  Or you could burn yourself.  I'm sure they're right.  I was a bad bad person to go to sleep with the heating pad turned on.)

About three hours later, I woke up, coughing.  I spent an hour --an entire hour-- disturbing Gary's sleep mightily, coughing and coughing and coughing up mucus and snot-balls.  It was disgusting!!  But amazingly, by morning my chest was no longer tight.  It's not like I was done coughing for the next two days, but my health was much better than I'd expected it to be.

So was it a coincidence?  Or shall I try it again (bad bad bad to use a heating pad this way) next time a cold tries to settle in my bronchial tubes?  My logic is that we use moist heat to draw infection such as in a stye or an abscess or in mastitis or in boils.  Maybe the moist heat drew the infection together so that it could be coughed out? 

Shhhh -- The tricky part is going to 
be my trying to remember this little 
experiment next time my bronchial 
tubes get clogged.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poll-Worker Training

Okay, so maybe I'm just kinda sorta, a-little-bit maybe, intimidated.

I went to training this afternoon for those of us who work the elections.  Voter-ID was shot down by a Madison judge.  So today we talked about what proves identity, what we can and cannot ask for, as well as what proves residency.  [Mind ... spinning....]  Since the poll-workers in our group really seemed to care about the integrity of an election (that is, everybody having his vote counted, and only one vote counted per person) there were lots of questions.  "Wait!  You don't mean to say ...."???   Same-day voter-registration is fraught with problems!

We know that turnout will be exceptionally high for next month's election.  At the end of the training session, one of the poll-workers asked just how high a turnout the clerks anticipate.  They said "high 90s."  HIGH NINETIES?!  They told us that our county had the highest turnout rate in the country for the last presidential election.  It sounds like it could be a very long day.

Write-ins?  Do you know how much longer that makes a poll-worker's day?  We have to be there a minimum of 15 hours as-is.  Every write-in ballot makes the day longer, as we have to record them by hand. 

One of the poll-workers reported that she had received phone calls at home, asking if she usually voted absentee or in person, and what time she would be voting.  She was horrified.  Why would anybody want that information unless they were scheming to submit absentee ballots in the name of other voters, bumping their votes? 

They told us that there would be "observers."  I don't know if one side or both will be there to observe.  But some of the poll-workers are aware that at least one campaign is training observers to be there to watch closely.  We were taught what observers can and cannot do.  We were warned that out-of-state "observers" will sometimes cause conflict, suggesting voting irregularities because different states do have different laws.  (For instance, one time I was registering voters, and I had a 17-yr-old come to vote.  He wasn't trying to scam anybody or hide his age.  The state they'd recently moved from allowed 17-yr-olds to vote in the primary if they'd be 18 by election day.  He and his brother and his dad initially thought I was disenfranchising the teenager.  Nope.  Wisconsin law doesn't allow that.)

Military votes can come in via online or email ballots.  That will be interesting.

I think I better make a crockpot of substantial soup to take with me that day. And hearty bread.  And beverages.  And cookies.  

What a chance to say HI to all the neighbors!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dairy-Free Tomato Soup

Saute in some olive oil:
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-3 tsp hot pepper, minced (may substitute a pinch of red pepper flakes)
until onion is transluscent.

2 quarts of canned tomatoes (or about 4# of fresh tomatoes, chopped)
1 bay leaf

Bring to boil.  Then add:
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 slices of bread (or 1-2 oz of soda crackers)

Continue to boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
In small batches, put soup through blender to puree.

In saucepan, bring 1 pint of chicken broth to a boil.
Add tomato-smoosh to broth. Heat through.
Adjust seasonings with salt, black pepper, and other spices of choice.

If soup is too thick, water it down with water (for those who must avoid dairy) or with whole milk.

Hat tip to Sue's blog
Thanks for the yummy suggestion!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Conundrum of Healthy Eating

When you most need the good food,
when you most need to avoid store-bought products with their additives,
when you most need vitamin-packed whole foods,

is when you're sick or weak
and cannot prepare the usual wellness-instilling fare.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Red Leaves

Katie and the girls walked to the library yesterday.  Katie tells about the 3-yr-old's trip on her blog.  But I didn't see 1-yr-old's tale written anywhere yet. 

So Zoe had a brown, dry leaf that she could carry.  After a while, she dropped it.  When she noticed that she no longer had her leaf, the barely-talking child indicates to Mom that her leaf had gone missing.  She needed help.  So Katie picks up a red leaf and hands it to Zoe.

Zoe looks at the red leaf and says, "Hot!  Hot!" in that way babies do. "Hwwwwhhwww; hhwwwwhhww!" she blows to cool it.

I don't know about you.
But I think that's pretty
good deductive reasoning.
Wrong.  But good thinking!