Monday, November 27, 2017

The Canary: Artificial Fragrances and Environmental Toxins: Are They Making You Sick?

by Lisa Rector

Canaries are vulnerable and highly sensitive to toxins, making them useful as early detectors of toxic gases. Because of this, miners would take them underground. If a canary became sick or died in the mine, the miners knew to put on protective respirators or to get out of there.

I know you've seen this in movies.

The reality is toxic gases aren’t just underground.

You may have heard of fragrance allergies or sensitivities. You may have friends who declare they get headaches from smells. That’s because something in the environment is toxic and is reacting with their system.

Don’t just ignore them or brush their symptoms off. They are one of the unlucky few that are cueing the rest of the world to how toxic it really is. They are real life canaries.

Are we listening to the canaries?

Take it from a real life canary who is highly sensitive. Every synthetic fragrance makes me sick. This canary is ill on a regular basis and is “sick” of it.

I had a recent exposure to some sort of fragrance. The following is a simple timeline after exposure. At the time, I didn’t connect my symptoms with the cause. Only when I was standing right next to the source and my symptoms dramatically became worse did I realize what the cause was.

My first clue should have been the ringing in my ears.


Within five minutes after entering the area, while waiting for guests to arrive, I said, “Whoa, my ears are ringing. That’s weird.”


Within fifteen to twenty minutes, I had a blotchy circular rainbow-colored patch in my vision.


Five minutes later, the blotchy circle shifted to a wavy rainbow of color diagonally across one-third of my vision. Reading because difficult. Concentration was impossible. I couldn’t focus on anything anyone was saying.


At this point I was worried I was having a stroke. I was prepared to interrupt the goings-on and have someone call 911. But my speech wasn’t garbled. So instead I sat there and prayed quietly to myself.


A few seconds after I finished my prayer, a fan came on, creating airflow. This is when the wavy rainbow lifted upward until it left my field of vision. Feeling shaky and disoriented still.


As event concludes, vision is clear, but flulike symptoms begin to increase. Disorientation. Headache. General feeling of malaise.


Make it home. Awake for most of the night because of extreme side effects. Mostly pounding head. Body aches. Brain fog. Edgy.


As I am writing this, I am still having side effects. Typing is really hard. I have to correct every other word because my fingers keep hitting the wrong keys.

Toxins are in our environment. They are everywhere. They are making people sick, causing things from ADHD and behavior issues to migraines to dementia and Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. Even headaches, flulike symptoms, malaise, and disorientation. Who knows what else. If you’re chronically sick, consider getting rid of the toxins in your environment.

Here is a list of some of the things that affect me and should be avoided. Baby wipes, plugins, Febreeze and other sprays, dryer sheets, hand sanitizer, perfumes, household cleaners, cigarette smoke, and scented candles, diffusers, and warmers using artificial fragrances.

I am the canary. You may not be feeling the effects, but the toxins are getting into your system. Do you really want to expose your children to this stuff?

Think about it.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Giving Thanks

Today’s the day we remember to be thankful. It’s common to go around the table and mention what we’re thankful for. It’s usually the big things, Mom & Dad, healing, food, modern conveniences, health, a child’s teddy bear, home, and so forth.
This post will point out different ways to find gratitude. For one week, notice everyone and everything that helps, encourages, or lifts your spirits in any way: The clerk in the store that smiles at you, the spouse that says “good morning,” the Face Book post that makes you smile, birds singing in the trees, trees, the sun shining, the Face Book post that inspires you, the clouds that bring needed rain or snow, and on and on. See how many you can find in one day. It doesn’t matter if it gets silly, nobody will know except you.
Living a life filled with gratitude will make us happier. Look for that silver lining in the cloud hanging over you. Even if you have lost a loved one, ponder the joys they brought into your life. Find someone else with trials, and lift their spirits. Lift the person you think least needs it. Chances are they also have a heavy load to carry.
Joy and happiness are born of Gratitude. Gordon T. Watts

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Struggle is Real

By Lisa Rector

I’ve been dealing with several different health problems this year, and I’m about crushed with exhaustion. Having health issues is very isolating and often people don’t understand. But I do. I haven’t really been questioning why, but more really, how much longer can I endure? 

I have many moments when I have felt God’s help, and it has been humbling. I don’t blame him, and I’m not angry at him, but I’m frustrated. I’m putting forth so much effort every day just to stay mobile, and it’s tiring. I have felt the spirit guiding me with things I need to do to help myself. There are some areas where I had to give up things, and this leaves a lot of guilt, so I am trying not to be too hard on myself. 

A sister missionary said in church one Sunday that she always says the phrase, “The struggle is real,” but conference helped her see it in a new light. Now she says, “The struggle is really good for us.” I wanted to get up and leave the meeting, but I mostly choked back tears. I have had many struggles in my life. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and now physically, which I think is the hardest one for me to bear. I try to look at how my struggles might help me grow, and I wonder what I agreed to in the spirit realm when I said, “Yeah, I will tackle that trial.” 

What was I thinking? 

I’m questioning my strength to endure. But I was reminded today through a song called “King of the World” by Natalie Grant that God is in control. I at least know that he will multiply whatever little effort we can put forth.

And so here I am, slugging along for another day. Whatever I have to give will be enough, because it has to be, because it’s all I have.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Writers' Preparedness

No matter where we live, we’ve been told to prepare for natural disasters whether hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, blizzard or something else. Most often having a 72 hour kit and with the necessities for 3 days on top of the list. We don’t usually think about being prepared with our writing in mind.
            I’m sure you know the first rule. Backup. Backup. Backup. But do you backup consistently?
My preferred method is using the cloud if you can afford it. It isn’t that expensive. I have several reasons why it works for me. First of all, it’s automatic. Every time I make changes—boom it’s there. Secondly, it’s not in my house. An external hard drive, won’t do you any good if it’s near the computer when disaster strikes and you aren’t home, or don’t have time to take anything but the clothes on your back.
Another method is sending your writing to an out of town/state/country contact. I did this in 2003 when the Cedar Fire hit our area. We self-evacuated because we lived a couple of blocks south and west of the cross roads for the evacuation area. I sent all of my writing to a writing buddy in England who happened to be on-line at the time. This became valuable a few years later when I couldn’t find the most current outline for the semi-autobiography I dabble in between novels. He salvaged it out of his old computer.
You can also use thumb drives, re-writable CD’s & DVD’s. Whatever you do, backup often, and have it somewhere besides in your house.
Also, keep your favorite books on writing with your grab and go items in case you have a few minutes to gather important papers, pictures and such. Especially if they are out of print, marked, or hard to find. Keep a list of the books you have and the authors so you can replace them if needed. This can be on paper with the important books, or on your chosen backup device.
In short, a clear safe backup plan can save you tears and that hollow feeling of losing hours of work. You may attempt to re-write what you have, after all those are your stories, but they will never be the same. I know about that too. In the long ago days BC (before computer) I had several hand written chapters of a speculative fiction novel that was tossed out. I’ve tried to re-write it, and have done some of it, but it isn’t the same. The characters aren’t the same. I may or may not ever finish it. It’s especially true for non-fiction and research.
So my friends protect your work. Have a plan in case Murphy takes his hand at your work. Foil him with preparedness.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Because I’m Happy

by Lisa Rector

When I was a young single adult, I had a friend who constantly told me I wasn’t happy. This shocked me. I couldn’t comprehend, for one, how he could determine this in me, and two, I didn’t see how I wasn’t happy. Maybe, because I was a big flirt, he thought I was seeking for happiness in all the wrong places. The truth was, when I was single, I was living it up and enjoying life. I had so many pressures and stressors while I went through nursing school that on the weekends, I was a hopeless flirtatious bomb.

I didn’t care.

Then I married. Then I had children. I became a hostage to hormones running amuck in my body. I hated my daughter for the first six months of her life. I resented my husband for some unknown reason. All because chemicals told me I was unhappy. Until I experienced seven years in a mix of chemical and postpartum depression, I didn’t know what happiness truly was.

From the darkest abyss and wishing for death, to indescribable, the-only-way-to-understand-would-be-to-plug-your-spirit-into-mine-with-some-sort-of-mind-meld happiness. It’s not something you can express. When you’re happy, you feel it throughout your whole soul.

What’s my secret? I can explain it in a few phrases that will make you want to throw your tablet across the room, because you will say, “Duh. I’ve heard all this, but it’s not working for me.” Well, until the moment when you experience the change from unhappiness to bliss, you won’t really know what it means to be inexplicably happy.

Ready to throw your device?

The Light of Christ
The Atonement
The Plan of Salvation
Effort
Enjoy the moment
Find your purpose
Let it go
Count your blessings
If my God is with me, whom then shall I fear?

The formula is different for every single soul. But I will tell you. Because of the atonement, I conquered chemical depression. Because of my testimony in the Savior, I live each day with hope and peace. Because of the atonement, I am clean and light and free. Because I work my butt off every day to be still and let peace and beauty soak through me, I can breathe. I don’t fear evil. I rejoice in all that is good in life. I have purpose, even if it is only to get up every morning and hug my daughters. Even if it is just to lay beside my snoring husband and listen to his heartbeat.

My soul—my heart and spirit—want to rupture on occasion. The feeling is so hard to contain.

My daughters scream in embarrassment when I crank the music loud and dance in my kitchen, when I roll the window down and wave at everyone who drives by. When I make silly faces or when I start in on a lecture about how amazing the sunrise looks or how the rain makes everything look like a fairyland. Or how the squirrels and the rabbits bounce through the yard. I tell them to look at every good thing, look at every small moment, SEE what God has given us.

My only regret is that not everyone sees and not everyone feels this happiness.

The world would be so different if they did.

“Men are that they might have joy.” Be in that joy.

Now watch this.


Monday, September 25, 2017

A Well Worth Read...

Valerie Steimle

I don't normally put book reviews here but I have had the pleasure of reviewing a book from a friend that I absolutely adore!  The name of this marvelous book is: 

The Efficiency Playbook: Your tactical Game Plan to Getting More for Less

This book is a phenomenon in of itself.  With over 25 years of experience, Michael Andrew has pinpointed a plan for anyone wanting to improve their personal life as well as their employed life by leaps and bounds. I was blown away at how much information was packed into this book. A jewel of a find if you are interested in how to make accurate decisions in seconds, measuring your own personal time value, cutting through clutter and even measuring your own thought processes and much more. There are written assignments after many of the chapters where we can write our own thoughts about the ideas presented in the book which gives this book an air of classroom learning.

With a football playbook set up, there are countless great quotes and ideas to help everyone improve their life exponentially. One of my favorite lessons taught is the idea of consolidating two or more problems into a single course of action called using the double-edged sword in solving our problems.

This should be required reading for every business manager as there are so many great ideas and opportunities to create more efficient experiences for ourselves through the experiences and thoughts in this book from running our own companies to improving our own habits. Well worth the time to read a great gift for any CEO or business manager.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

God's Hand: The Nonflat Tire

by Lisa Rector

Let me see if I can sum up this highly emotional day. While on 15 north, heading toward Gettysburg, my low tire-pressure light comes on. I’m not driving bumpy so I proceed to the next exit and get off. There’s no gas station so I pull into an RV place to check my tires.

Right away I see a screw in my rear tire. It doesn’t even look low so I am baffled as to why my tire light came on. I consider driving on or using the can of air in the back (but the tire wasn’t really flat), but decide to call AAA, feeling slightly stupid.

The AAA lady sends someone anyway, which was fine. Better safe than sorry. Guy comes, changes the tire, and tells me how to get to a tire place so they can patch my tire so I don’t have to drive like a turtle on a donut. Great.

Get to car place. Dude removes screw. Tire is not flat. Screw didn’t go all the way through.

What? What the heck?

I’m beyond tired, so I’m like, whatever. They put the tire back on, check the air in all the tires and send me on my way.

I have no idea why the strange detour in my life today happened. I do know that after being away from home for a week, traveling, and having jet lag that I was beyond my limits emotionally and physically. I probably shouldn’t have undertaken the short 40-minute trip I had planned today. I do know that in our family prayers this morning, my daughter asked that we be safe in all our travels today. So even though I have no idea why things played out the way they did, I know God was watching over me. I had an hour less to spend with my cousin, but as I reflected on things on my way home, I’m just so grateful that, once again, Heavenly Father was mindful of me. He kept me safe as I followed the promptings to exit where I did. Everyone was super helpful and efficient. Even though I was a mess and cried, everything was okay.


The mysterious nonflat tire could have been a way of avoiding further calamity up the road or it could have been to remind me of God’s hand in my life. Either way, I know He’s there.