All the Colors of the Phlegmbow: The Common Cold.

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Why isn’t there a cold vaccine?

Since everyone’s body chemistry is different, and the cold can be caused by a possible whopping 250 different viruses, scientists wouldn’t be able to make a vaccine to protect against all of them.  Not to mention, the cold usually isn’t long-lasting unless it turns into something worse, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, so there’s no real need for a vaccine. Shocking I know!

Considering, since everyone’s body chemistry is different, everyone experiences the cold differently. If two people have the exact same virus that caused their colds, they may each suffer differently depending on how each of their bodies immune system reacts. For some, it’s just a few days of the sniffles and much-needed rest, for the rest of the world and MEN, it literally feels like we’re dying.

Not to mention, people with allergies, and/or preexisting breathing problems such as asthma are more susceptible to getting colds, and since their lungs are already irritated, inflamed and fighting off phlegm, it makes having a cold a lot more severe.

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 Should I get an antibiotic?

Colds are viral, not bacterial. Antibiotics fight bacteria. The only time you should take an antibiotic is when it’s prescribed by a doctor for possible inflammations and bacterial infections that you may get with or after your cold. Such as sinus blockage or ear infections.

Tips From WebMD:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If you don’t have that nearby, use an alcohol-based gel.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue.
  • No tissue? When you cough, turn your head away from others.
  • If you have a sudden sneeze, bend your arm and sneeze into it.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash any shared surfaces, like phones and keyboards, frequently. Viruses can live on surfaces for several hours.
  • Stay away from crowds during cold and flu season.

 Is the old wives tale true about catching a cold in the cold?

No, this is a myth. Although being in the cold doesn’t help if you’re already on the verge of getting sick or you have a preexisting condition such as asthma, which could push the cold into high gear. Since colds are viral, you have to come into contact with a virus in order to catch one.

The Colors of the Phlegmbow: All the Icky Facts

YES, we’re going to talk about that nasty stuff you blow out, cough up and other such nonsense! Because, despite it being gross, it’s important to know when it’s gone from just a cold to something worse, and you can tell by the color of your phlegm. Buck up buttercup cause here it is:

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Self-Care for the Common Cold

Basically, you know your own body best. Only you can figure out what you can give your body to help yourself feel better. Over-the-counter medication really only should be taken when you have the extra body aches and pains, otherwise you’re not really giving it a chance to fight on its own. The more natural remedies help boost the immune system as well as they’re usually things you should be eating/drinking every so often anyways. (my opinion)

In terms of suppressing the cough, sometimes you need to change between cough drops so that you’re body doesn’t get thinking you’re just sucking on some candy.

Here’s what I’ve been taking:

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Always read the label!!!! No matter what you’re taking. Also, be in tune to what you’re body likes and doesn’t like, and how each thing reacts with it. The two Cepacol lozenges work pretty well but they numb your tongue more than the throat. I had a bit of difficulty trying to get a mucus clump loose from the back of my throat when trying to swallow after having part of my mouth go numb.

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When it comes to eating, I’ve been trying to do spicy. It helps to clear the nasal passages and I like spicy food. Noodles have no real nutritional value, but when you’re not really into eating much, it seems to help me. If you can do a broth, or chicken soup then that’s great. Eat whatever you can get down, and what you feel will help. Best to try to be as healthy as you can though, as it will obviously help you feel better as well as be good for you.

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Tea tea tea. I’ve been doing good in avoiding coffee. With the tea comes the pee. Be prepared for lots of trips to the bathroom. Tea is good for you as it’s got lots of good stuff in it that’s good for your immune system. Ideally, green tea is supposed to be the best, but I’ll stick to my Chai, since I think the green is yuck! The only time I’ve been doing a bit of sugar (as little as possible) in my tea is with the chocolaty chai, otherwise Manuka honey is the best kind of honey to take when you’re not well.

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Peppermint is good for you when you’re sick. If you’re sick and tired of tea (no pun intended) then add some peppermint extract to some hot chocolate made with hot water and a tiny bit of milk or cream. 20171129_152639

Peppermint and tea tree oils are great to use for a steam, being careful to make sure your eyes are closed when you have your face under the towel. Only a drop of each is good in a bowl of steaming hot water.

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Ginger and garlic are two great things for you and your immune system. Since I’m a picky one, this is what I’ve come up with that incorporates the two, tastes great and definitely has a good kick to it!

Pan fried Turkey scallopini with spices cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried red pepper flakes, garlic pepper, paprika, dried basil flakes, dried oregano in olive oil, basmati rice covered in some teriyaki sauce, pan-fried yellow onion, roasted garlic puree and minced ginger , take a bun hollow it out a bit and heat so soft, add rice then Turkey and veg and top with shredded Habanero cheddar cheese.

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Here’s my “death” photo, if only you could photograph the inside of your lungs to really show how much you feel like crap…

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Basically, take care of yourself. You only get one “you.” If you feel like it’s more than just a cold, never hesitate to see the doctor. Even if it only turns out to be a bit of being a hypochondriac, it’s still better to nip it in the bud if it does end up being a bit worse. Colds can turn into things like pneumonia or bronchitis, so it’s best to care for your cold, and, as much as it hurts the bank account, take that sick day. Taking one or two sick days is much better than being off for a month due to something worse.

That being said, they say not to use “Dr. Google,” but for home cold remedies it’s a great place to look, but do your research. You need to make sure what you’re putting into your body is in fact good for you and not going to make it worse.

You can get free health information by:

Health #’s in the U.S. https://health.gov/nhic/pubs/tollfreenumbers/

Access to a Nurse 24/7 in the U.S. 24 Hour Nurse

Clicking on Health Link BC 

Dialing 8-1-1 in Canada

Or Googling your area.

Don’t forget:

Keep warm, lots of blankets, hot showers, heat on just a tad, but make sure to get in some cold air as well, being too stuffy isn’t good for you. Make sure your tissue is stock piled. If you’re like me, you use an excess amount when you’re sick! Aside from the tea, make sure you’re getting your liquids and staying hydrated. For that little rash you get above your upper lip from blowing your nose more than usual, vaseline or an over the counter medicated cream will help. If you don’t have any Vicks Vapo-Rub for the chest and back, there are similar menthol rubs that are for muscle aches that work just as well. You can also try the onion in the sock as well. Before bed, take a couple of slices of onion, stick one on the bottom of each foot and cover with a sock, it’s supposed to help drain the toxins from your body and help you sleep. If you’re not comfortable with the onion, put vapo-rub on the bottom of your feet before bed and cover with a sock.  If you don’t want to get your steps in by going to the bathroom to frequently wash your hands, you can keep hand sanitizer handy.

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This is the time to veg out on the couch or in your bed, with either a book or Netflix faves, eating ice cream, spicy noodles, drinking tea and ginger ale and getting over your cold. Especially if you’re having troubles sleeping since you’ve been woken up at 3 a.m. due to a nasty coughing fit because a phlegm chunk is stuck at the back of your throat and it feels like/sounds like you’re hacking up a lung.

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Yes ladies, the man cold is not just for the man! In fact, I do believe that WOMEN get the “man-cold” worse than they do, especially since we’re the ones expected to do everything and we burn out a lot more easily! (My opinion, you can take that with a box of salt.)

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Take care of yourself and I hope you don’t see every color of the Phlegmbow!

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Local with Love! Why You Should Shop Local!

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By supporting local shops, starting businesses, and crafters, you are helping them get their products out there and you gain a sense of pride by owning and/or wearing something made/handmade right in your own neighborhood.

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A friend and co-worker of mine, Kelsey, decided to start her own jewelry business, it was first inspired by her second daughter and it grew from there. I’m proud to say I own three pieces from her business. She’s professional, courteous, and you get what you pay for, genuine handcrafted love. She know’s what her pieces are worth, she’s knowledgeable about all of her pieces and is willing to make it right if you are unsatisfied, providing you are friendly and reasonable. I purchased a skull diffuser charm, and a necklace and earring set.

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Check her out, you won’t regret it!

Wicked Wind Creations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wickedwindcreations/

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/wickedwindcreations

Blog: https://wickedwindcreations.wordpress.com/

Instagram: Azura Stone Jewelry

Another local business I’ve had a great experience with is Van Isle Style! I found them during our local Bathtub Weekend, and mentioned them in the post I did, Nanaimo Bathtub Weekend:World’s Largest Bathtub!

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The tank top I purchased from them is my favorite! I feel comfortable, a sense of pride and not to mention LOVE the design! If I can just get to Chemainus , then I don’t think you would be able to drag me out of their shop!

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Van Isle Style:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanislestyle/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/van_isle_style/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrteegraphics

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/VanIsleStyleCanada

Love where you live! Shopping local may just what you’re looking for this holiday season. You might find something really unique, and guaranteed to find some one of a kind things as well. Get to know the people in your neighborhood, you just never know!

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Got the Burnt Out Blues? Take A Break!

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It’s that time of year where people tend to overdo everything! The holiday season keeps getting busier, and crazier. That means more people are wearing themselves out, becoming irritable, tired, unbalanced. But if you remember to take a break, you can come back, refocus and be a better you.

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It’s go go go, rush rush rush, and most of the time you don’t even know where you’re going or what you’re doing. Take the time, breathe. It will all work itself out. Even just a couple of minutes a day can help keep you balanced. Taking that time to enjoy your morning coffee, or perhaps take a small walk, turn off all devices and meditate, watch a movie and eat junk food, color a page in an adult coloring book, just to name a few. For your sanity and everyone else’s.

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When you take the time to stop and take a breath, you tend to notice a lot more. How pretty the sky can be when the sun is setting, how over-tired and burnt out you’re becoming, and how you can shift your focus to regain some of your strength back.

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I can still see big dips under my eyes and I know it’s that time of year. The anxiety starts to climb higher and higher, and pretty soon that winter cold decides to creep up on you. Self-care is one of the most important things if not THE most important in our lives.

 

 

By running yourself ragged, you risk your physical health as well as your mental. By taking the time to just shut down and reboot, you’re one step closer to having a nice relaxing holiday, rather than being worn out and potentially sick.

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This time of year, people spend so much time running around and spending money. If you really take the time, perhaps some of the people on your list may like something that is homemade or something more simple. Taking the time to make a gift, is not only relaxing but you know it’s going to be given to someone special and made with love.

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This isn’t just for the holiday season, it’s for all year round. When you feel you’re getting burnt out, remember to take a break. It’s just this time of year seems to be the MOST crazy for a lot of people and the spirit of the holidays gets lost among the frustration and chaos of it all. Others can’t enjoy your company if you can’t even enjoy your own.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number!

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People age. That means at some point we all become seniors. But what about the seniors we’re surrounded by now? In my personal opinion, and experience, I believe that people should have friends in all age categories, including seniors. Why? Because not only do they have wisdom, and stories of the “olden days,” but they make good company.

It gets you both out of the house, good conversation, builds character, and you can laugh and joke with the best of them. Seniors have some of the dirtiest minds out there, because they’ve been around and have some experiences.

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I enjoy having coffee with the girls, and getting hugs, sharing stories, laughing at “senior moments,” talking technology, and seeing some of them “flirt.” Chatting about world news, not owning the winning lottery ticket, hoping the weather gets nicer, and anything that comes up.

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Life can put you in a rut. When people my age are busy having families, and such, it’s hard to get out of the house and do things. When seniors are retired and don’t have anything to keep them occupied, they stay inside too. Can’t think of a better way to get out of the rut then get you both out and enjoy each other’s company.

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I’ve met a few seniors, between 50s and late 80s that are still so full of life! I even work with a few, and they are a big part of my chosen family. I don’t really have a blood family close so I cherish these people I let into my life.

Be bold, introduce yourself to a group of seniors at your local senior hangout (here it’s McDonald’s or Tim Hortons). Ask your parents to meet their friends or even start visiting a seniors home, there are some that don’t have families that visit and would love your company.

Not every senior is a grumpy old git like you see portrayed on screen, but they are like the ones portrayed as funny, dirty, ditsy, wise, loving as they really are. (Thank you Mrs. Brown!)

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You’d be surprised to know how many actually are very knowledgeable on technology and the like. Some choose to keep up with the trends because it’s what helps keep their minds fresh. Dementia and alzheimers are not pleasant, and by making more connections and keeping the mind active, helps in preventing these heartbreaking diseases.

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As the years go on, the new “old” gets younger and younger. When you turn 30, it’s “I’m Old.” But with the way the world is changing, women having children in their 40s and some in their 50s even, it’s time to change the attitude.

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There are many young people who don’t appreciate some of the things they have today. They take things for granted. Being in the middle of the technological up-rise, I have grown to appreciate what technology has become. No kid today has to worry about dial-up internet. Lucky bastards! Hem.. What I’m saying is, is that young people should have to spend time with seniors during their school years. They should want to, to learn, to laugh, to grow. I know I have, and I’m very lucky.

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Ripped Through to the Soul

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Shadows cast through the eyes 

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as pain pierces the heart

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a fresh wound as knife

slices  through

skin draws blood

hand reaches in to pull 

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rips out part of soul

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inner demons fight

to keep the rest in

it belongs to them

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numbness draws a smile

upon the face to fake

the battle has not yet 

been lost as there’s 

still hope for light

to mend the heart

and return the soul

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Knight of Wands

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Today’s Card: Knight of Wands

“On the positive side, the Knight of Wands is full of energy and life. He’s never afraid to try something new and will reach for all the gusto he can. Others may shake their heads at his crazy stunts, but they still admire his courage and passion. He’s sexy and irresistible…always the charmer. On the negative side, this Knight is a little too sure of himself and his abilities. He tends to be shallow and thoughtless. Don’t expect a deep commitment from him. He’s also reckless and irresponsible. He acts without thinking and constantly gets in trouble because of his temper.In readings, a Knight of Wands shows that his confident, passionate style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you, someone else or the atmosphere in general. You need to ask yourself, “Is this Knight’s energy helping or hurting?”If his style is evident, then balance is needed. Is your confidence really cockiness? Are you angry and impatient all the time? Are you crazy about someone whom you know is going to break your heart? Is your company rushing into something risky with no preparation? It may be time for a change.If this Knight’s energy is missing, a dose of passion and daring may be called for. Are you in a rut? Try something new. Are you always planning every last detail? Wing it next time. Are you working too hard? Go out and have some fun. Let the Knight of Wands introduce you to his world of adventure, excitement and risk.”- Learning The Tarot

 

“The Knight of Wands is seen riding upon his horse, which rears up in the intensity of the Knight’s quest for success. The Knight’s face bears the determination of one bound to succeed. The plumes from the Knight of Wands’ helmet and the decorative tassels hanging from his back and arms are the colour of flame and he, like the Page, wears a shirt covered with the symbol of the fiery salamander.”-Biddy Tarot

My Reading:

I picked the card from the Spirit Deck, but I wanted to get the meanings from each for a more rounded and full reading.

Spirit Tarot Deck: A journey, advancement into the unknown, alteration, flight, absence.

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Aquarian Tarot Deck: (Knight of Rods) May indicate change of residence, travel, departure

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Rider Tarot Deck: Departure, absence, flight, emigration, change of residence.

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Since fire is my favorite element, it makes sense that this would be my card (at least today). It must be time to keep charging forward, don’t doubt the confidence, try new things, try not to worry so much (working on that one). Could also mean finding a new place to live in the near future. Like fire, it’s time to keep the flame burning bright, and not let anyone rain on my parade.

Swallowed in the Moment

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Meeting a buddy for coffee?

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Take note of the sensations you feel. Is it cold? Today was windy, cold and overcast while walking there, sunny and warmer while sitting inside for coffee, and windy, cold and overcast while walking home. Take a look at your surroundings as you walk, be present in the moment. Something new growing along the familiar path you take?

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Does the sky look particularly interesting today? Perhaps the shape of a cloud as it hovers over the trees and rooftops like a dome.

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How does your body feel as you’re walking? Any aches in your legs? Bladder full? Coffee is a diuretic after all, especially after drinking 2 medium double-doubles.

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How’s your breath? Steady as she goes, be wary not to get winded, while walking in the wind. Holding the coffee cup with your teeth, as you dig out your key, turn off the music from your headphones, and unlock the front door. Up to your room to create, fresh full of inspiration. Mini strawberry cheese Danish bites saved for desert, as leftovers are heated up for lunch, butter chicken stir fry, with mozza on a bun.

Stare at blank paper while candle burns. Music from your headphones tunnel through your ears and fade in the back of your mind transforming into background noise, unaware of what tune is playing, as you try to concentrate.

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A sip of cold coffee,  a glance at the candle, the inspiration melts like candle wax, and manifests into shadow play with candle light.

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Meditation and mindfulness can be just taking the time to notice surroundings, your senses heightened, and let them swallow you in their presence, capturing the moment as you experience it.

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