The meaning of life: dreams, Nietzsche, the percent of infinity, how it all works and why?

Ever wondered why we are here in the first place? What is the meaning of life and what the hell are we doing? I have an idea....

Maybe it's a blessing or maybe it's a curse, but I routinely remember at least 4-5 long-form dreams every night. Sometimes these dreams are prophetic.

Most often, the dreams are very specifically tied to my life. They are traumatic 90% of the time. I've learned a lot by analyzing my dreams, but their "realness" also haunt me. In waking life, I am unable to "imagine" pictures in my mind. What a disappointment to discover that a large portion of the population, can "see" inside their mind. We are so oddly unique. In contrast, my dreams are almost as real as waking life. I can see, touch, smell, feel, hear. I am "me" most of the time. Rarely, I play all the characters in the dream. I do not do fantastical things like flying, walking through walls or exploring mythical realms (except on the extremely rare times I am able to lucid dream.)

Instead, I argue with people from my day-to-day life, make breakfast, do taxes, fold clothes, drive cars, plant things. All normal stuff. It often takes me a few hours each morning to separate what happened all night from the day ahead. It seems like one big continuation of the regular day.

But sometimes the details are wrong. I'm still in college, say. Or I am living somewhere unfamiliar. When the dreams show me something extremely unusual it is often my invitation to take control of the dream and go lucid (for example; one time my mom was fighting with me at my house - but she has been gone for 13 years, so I knew it wasn't "real")  Or I occasionally meet "new people." These new people often give me insights. Insights that turn out to be accurate or related to something I am dealing with in real life.

A few years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night gasping. I had been shown "how it all works." Leading up to this, I had been given little dream "glimpses" but the people in the dream argued with each other about telling me too much of anything substantial, stating that I couldn't handle it.

Normally, waking leaves me with hours or remembered dream material. I process this information for a while then let it go. Sometimes, the dreams are worth revisiting and/or writing down. Usually, they are just tedious/disturbing moments I would rather forget.

But when I awoke from the "gasping dream" the details started to go almost immediately. What I remember is this: I have lived this life before.

Blah, blah, yada, yada - reincarnation, we got it. No. I mean THIS life. I was shown that I have lived this exact life an infinite number of times. I have done all the things I thought I missed. What if I took the promotion across the country? What if I married the loser I dated in high school? What if I never had kids? What if I had 15! All the junctions in my life where there was a turn - I've done all of them. A perpetual GroundHog Day.
It was relayed to me as a sense of "don't worry about what you have missed, where you have errored, or what you have chosen because you do all of them." But to me it instilled a major sense of terror. I do NOT want to live THIS life an infinite number of times. Heck, I don't even want to do it a handful of times. Once has been enough. But surely, in other "lifetimes" I choose all the right answers and life is a breeze, right? I'm not so sure. And, anyway, to be me, I have to have the same parents, dna, circumstances.....

I thought about this for the last few years. It was laid out explicitly in the dream. I understood how, why, etc. But none of that is available to me now. I started thinking about how it could be possible. If it's true for everyone, then there are an infinite number of times that my parents do not get married. There are an infinite number of times they stop after one child. Or that my fetus doesn't get born. There are infinite lifetimes where I die as a baby or at any number of ages. There is an infinite number of spin offs from every single person's reality. What a monster of a data heap.

There is much talk on the net about the idea that we might be living in a simulation. It makes a lot of sense, but it's inherently a waste of time to consider. It doesn't matter if this "life" is a simulation or not because while we are here it is "reality" and we have to live it. It still doesn't solve who/what the creators are and what they are doing with us.

But thinking of reality as a simulation does simplify a few things. The chicken and the egg conundrum, for one. Which came first? Probably both. When you think about life as a simulation, the best way to view it is as a video game. I find the Legend of Zelda to be a helpful proxy. **In case you have never played The Legend of Zelda, it is a free-form adventure game where you fight bad guys in the pursuit of truth, rescue the princess, level up on your skills and become a master sword fighter. It's worth playing - but the gamecube/wii versions are probably the best. I have not enjoyed the newer switch editions.**

When you want to play the game, you turn it on and the entire landscape is simulated. Chickens and trees are "instantly" there. You are there. Other players are there. When you die in the game, you restart. You play the same game again and again.  You are simultaneously the player and the character. On a game like Legend of Zelda, your heart pumps when you are in the heat of a battle, you are actively thinking about the puzzles and trying to get ahead. For brief moments, you are the character, but hunger, distractions, and the fact that you can see/feel your actual body keep you fully aware of your player status.

This game we are playing is much better coded. We do not see/hear/remember/feel our actual player - just the character.

If you have spent any time delving into the newest virtual reality technology, then you may have noticed how good it's gotten - someday it may be indistinguishable from actual "reality." It's very possible that what we are currently experiencing is an ultimate version  of virtual reality. All simulated on a giant super - every game encoded to include you in the specific timeline, with the same people, same environment, same rules.

Maybe this whole game played out once before - the real time. And in that "original game" we were all here. It played from beginning to end - from the dawn of humanity to it's demise. Maybe we go back to play ourselves in the simulated version of that reality to "try it differently" or "see what would happen if..." Maybe that is "hell."

Or maybe it is something else entirely. Let's run with the assumption that we are living something akin to a computer generated simulation (and no, that doesn't make it any less real to us) and we are assuming we are reliving our same identity an infinite number of times. Why would we be doing this? 

**Just recently, I came across Freidrich Nietzsche's concept of Eternal Recurrence and it sparked my thoughts on this topic again. I was glad to see I wasn't the only one that had this idea, but scary to know that Nietzsche lost his marbles at such a young age...**

Why indeed! Throughout history, religions have talked about the battle between good and evil. Most of us have an internal sense of right/wrong - most likely a product of culture, but maybe not. There is definitely some part of us that is "US" versus just the animal body that lives and dies.

What if this is all a test. Bear with me. Maybe it's as the old religions say - a test of your worthiness. Are you good or are you bad?

How many of us have said - "well, I would have done that better if.... I had more money, had better parents, didn't have to xyz" or something similar? What if these endless simulations are a way to determine exactly what you would have done under different circumstances. Maybe it's less about right/wrong but more about finding out who you truly are.

Let's bring in some basic math.

If  x=200, then x * 50% =100,  x* 60%=120, x*30%=60 and so on and so on, right? Well, we can exchange x for any number (or set of numbers). Why not infinity, ∞?

So if x=∞ then ∞*50% is 50% of ∞.

If you lived an infinite number of simulated lives and 80% of the time you raped other people, then is it fair to say that you ARE a rapist?

What if you got married in 60% of your simulated lives. And you married the same person 75% of the time. Does that make you actual soul mates? What if you were happily married only 8% of the time?

What if you commit suicide in 20% of your lifetimes. Is that considered a significant trait? What is the cutoff? Which parameters are being calculated? It's likely that all things are recorded and calculated but which are most important to you? Maybe it's something banal like the fact that your favorite color is red in 86% of your infinite lifetimes.


Or maybe it's actually more serious.

Who are you really? I bet you think you know. Or at least you know who you are not? You may say: "I am not a rapist.  I don't abuse animals. I don't take advantage of or use people." That sort of stuff. But if that's truly who you are, then you better act like it. Because actions always speak louder than words, and it's fairly likely that it's being tabulated.

Maybe when you die (aka, simulation game over) you get to look at your stats. You can see where you stack up in your % of infinities. Maybe you rush back into the next game with gusto, determined to find your soul mate, to do the right thing this time, or to find out once and for all if you really are what the numbers say?

Why would we do this at all? I don't know. I have no idea what the ultimate purpose is, but you have to admit it's pretty strange that we exist at all. All of it is wild and crazy, yet it all works - like a large constructed multi-player game. Play on, player one. Go out and be the best version you can be.

The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

The new - updated - Bucket List - 10 years in the making

Way back in 2009, I wrote out my bucket list. There were 58 must-do's and 15 maybes.
Here is the original list - with finished items crossed out.
1. Finish the Tour du Mont Blanc
2. Visit the Green and Black sand beaches of Hawaii
3. Swim with Dolphins
4. Swim in a hot spring heated by volcanoes
5. Ride in a hot air balloon
6. Have so many berries that I have to give them away
7. See the Glaciers in Alaska
8. Leave a legacy of joy and contentment
9. Notarize my will
10. Never stop saying I love you (it's easy to forget)
11. See the pyramids and see the Nile
12. Forgive my mom
13. Pick an olive and eat it
14. Hug a super old tree at Yosemite and/or Redwood national park (then my husband can legitimately call me a tree hugger)
15. Explore the mammoth caves
16. Stop swearing and yelling
17. Marvel at the Grand Canyon (again)
18. Grow a peach tree
19. Teach an aerobics class
20. Ride on a gondola in Italy (sort of - we went to Italy and the gondola ride was a lame overpriced tourist trap so I am over it and it's off the list)
21. Rollerblade another marathon
22. Run (or walk) in a 5K
23. Ride a jet ski (by myself)
24. Canoe with my family in the boundary waters
25. See the Northern Lights
26. Ripcord through a jungle
27. Find out what really happened with my mom
28. SUP in the ocean (surf using paddles)
29. Snow shoe!
30. Do a real pushup
31. Learn more about history to have an appreciation for people that have gone before and the blessings of this age
32. Teach my children about God and how to be responsible, humble and caring people
33. Read some of the classics (war & peace, catcher in the rye, tale of two cities, etc)
34. Always have a garden
35. Be willing to go to the moon if moon traveling becomes available...and not be scared about it
36. Never become desensitized to human plight and pain and try my hardest to keep my children from becoming sensitized, lazy, selfish, rude, disrespectful, or having an attitude of entitlement
37.Ride a horse in the ocean
38. Learn to hula hoop
39. Eat Sushi
40. Eat Seaweed
41. Learn to bake bread...well
42. Go on a cruise
43. Meet a true clairvoyant
44. Ride on the autobahn (my husband can drive) and keep my eyes open!
45. Take my family to see the Mayan Ruins
46. Hike up another volcano
47. Go to Italy, and eat in rustic, old-home restaurants
48. Taste really expensive chocolate
49. Learn to rip stick (Tried religiously for a whole summer and could not get it right - removing it because I can't do it, but if I get the chance again I will certainly try.)
50. Watch kangaroos box
51. Snuggle up every cat I meet (and meet them often)
52. Learn to cook with fresh herbs and spices
53. Learn to cook and eat well
54. Learn to Irish Step Dance
55. Play bagpipes (there was an attempt and I own a chanter, but the results.... I am replacing this item with - find some really great bagpipe mixes to add to your playlist and listen to bagpipes more often, done and done!)
56. Learn to play the cello
57. Sail in a sailboat
58. Do a real pull-up (no assist)

The Maybe's
1. Skydiving
2. Reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro
3. Learn another language
4. Take some courses on the antiquities (So much good stuff available online!)
5. Learn to surf
6. Hang glide
7. Learn gymnastics (partially attempted)
8. Take martial arts classes
9. Scuba dive the great barrier reef
10. Take a pottery class
11. Try skijoring (ala canine) (I went dogsledding... so kind of close.)
12. Follow the Lois and Clark Trail
13. Raise chickens (for eggs)
14. Join a Crew team (rowing)
15. Learn to dance hip/hop

It amazes me that I finished so many of the things on this list, and that I still like the list! I hadn't thought about it in years. A decade, really!

In the spirit of planning ahead - here is my new, updated bucket list:

1. Successfully launch my kids into adulthood
2. Have so many berries and fruit that I have to give them away
3. Leave a legacy of joy and contentment for my family
4. Never stop saying I love you (it's easy to forget)
5. See the pyramids and see the Nile
6. Forgive my husband
7. Forgive myself
8. Pick an olive and eat it
9. Hug a super old tree at Yosemite and/or Redwood national park
10. Eat a Pawpaw
11. Learn to do trapeze - particularly the silks
12. Marvel at the Grand Canyon (again)
13. Grow chestnuts, plums, cherries, apples, pears, hackberries, walnuts, and every cold hardy berry - plus a large garden of tomatoes and other yummies
14. Teach an aerobics class
15. Be a better friend
16. Rollerblade another marathon
17. Patent one of my inventions
18. Ride a jet ski (by myself)
19. Canoe with my family in the boundary waters
20. See the Northern Lights
21. Eat nanking cherries, japanese milk pudding, and real japanese ramen!
22. Find out what really happened with my mom
23. Break the pattern of absentee grandparents, angry parents, and weak family bonds
24. Continue to be a presence in my children's lives and a good influence on them as they grow older
25. Do 10 pull ups again
26. Find a true friend
27. Increase my circle of interesting friends
28. Raise honey bees
29. Get hypnotized and find out what my subconscious has to say
30. Learn to control my lucid dreams
31. Be healthy and mobile my entire life!
32.Teach my children the Truth and how to be responsible, humble and caring people
33. Feel confident enough to speak in front of a crowd again
34. Feel comfortable at parties or with groups of people
35. Be willing to go to the moon if moon traveling becomes available...and not be scared about it
36. Never become desensitized to human plight and pain and try my hardest to keep my children from becoming sensitized, lazy, selfish, rude, disrespectful, or having an attitude of entitlement
37. Be financially independent
38. Live sustainably such that we are not dependent on the grid or food system
39. Contribute to curing/preventing Alzheimers, parkinsons, and/or cancer
40. Eat Seaweed
41. Learn to bake bread...well (16 years and counting on this attempt!)
42. Surf in the ocean
43. Meet a true clairvoyant
44. Finally trust another person - and not get shafted as a result
45. Improve rare edible plants such that they might become marketable
46. Hike up another volcano
47. Taste really expensive chocolate
48. Crash a wedding just for the cake (I'll leave a present!)
49. Raise chickens
50. Watch kangaroos box
51. Provide a place for cats to live free and be safe
52.Write a book about my adventures/lessons I've learned
53. Learn to cook and eat well
54. Learn to Irish Step Dance
55. Finish the Tour du Mont Blanc
56. Do something that improves beekeeping
57. Really love myself enough that it is actually enough
58. Sew a fur blanket
59. Be a really great grandma
60. Never stop learning
61. Wear cashmere pajamas

I'll check back in another decade - hopefully I can check a few of these babies off and will have more to add.

The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

Suffer from head aches? Maybe the headache hat can help?

All headaches are painful, but migraines can be particularly damaging. The pain comes on strong, lasts for hours (even days) and is difficult to treat. Two members of our family suffer regular migraine attacks. We have done all sorts of things to limit the severity: addressing/preventing triggers, using pre-emptive medicine, and giving them time to wait out the symptoms.

Now we have another tool to help.

The Headache Hat! By looking at the photo to the left, you can see exactly how it works. It wraps around your head (as snug as you want it) and blocks light from your eyes.

There are flexible ice packs built inside so if you put this in the refrigerator or freezer you can also benefit from the hat's cooling abilities.

My husband gave this hat a try and felt that the  ability to snug the hat tight on his head was very helpful to him during his migraine attacks. The cooling is also helpful, but we didn't have it frozen at the time of his attack.

My daughter needs to block out light and sound when she is suffering a migraine. This hat did both for her. We intend to take it with us when we are working at the farm this summer. They often suffer from heat exhaustion and the migraines are soon to follow. The cooling element will be much appreciated.

The headache hat is well made, fits into the freezer easily, is portable, and does the job. It might be worth adding to your strategies when dealing with headaches and migraines.

The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

eShakti FX Custom - NOW available on #Amazon

Women are finding some of the best clothing online. Unique, tailored, and shipped to your door! Personally, I've had a great experience ordering custom clothing from eShakti and now it's available on Amazon.

Have you ever found the perfect dress....well, almost perfect. Maybe if it had a boat neck instead of a collar?  Or what if it was just a little bit shorter? That's what you get with the eShakti FX Custom option. See the photo of the dress above - those are all modifications of the same dress. You choose your size (and eShakti is fantastic about sizing FOR WOMEN - with really detailed size charts) and then modify it the way you want. All while you are already shopping for your regular stuff on Amazon.

Check out the eShakti page and come back here to tell me which item you bought!

From now until 2/27/2019 - SAVE 30% when you use this promo code: 30FXONAMAZON

A Rant About Walmart - How it went from worst to first to third in our household

Love it or Hate it - Walmart is a fixture of our daily lives. Read on to hear how Walmart went from an infrequent stop, to our number one store, and back to the sidelines.
Once upon a time, I used to shop for groceries based on which store had the best produce department. Fresh fruits and vegetables are important to me, and they are expensive - even more expensive if they end up in the trash...

Then my husband lost his job and I looked for any way to cut costs - so I started using coupons and driving to multiple stores to get the "best deals." It was an educational experience!

During this time, I frequented 2 or 3 stores per week. I may have shopped at Walmart once every 3 or 4 months to buy paper towels, cat litter...stuff like that. But groceries were my main spend and Walmart was never part of the rotation.

Eventually, our local Walmarts became "super centers" and started carrying more food. Their produce was abysmal so I avoided shopping there. Then I started to notice that most "coupon items" were sold at Walmart for less than the regular grocery store. Time became a premium and I started buying more of my food from Walmart.

Then Walmart came out with the savings catcher app. This app scanned your receipt and then matched any advertised price automatically. What a time saver! I found it to be about 80% effective at catching price deals and so Walmart became my ONLY grocery stop.

The produce section was still lacking but did seem to be improving. We grow a lot of our own fruits/veg or pick at orchards over the summer/fall and load up our freezer with good stuff, so I thought it was an okay compromise.

But I could never get over the gross feelings I have whenever I'm inside a Walmart store. It's not the "capitalism." Target, Cub Foods, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi - they are all big capitalist giants. They have the same low wages, same tax breaks, same environmental destruction, same greedy CEOs.

No. It's the fact that everyone at Walmart appears to be depressed, ill, or deranged. Now, keep in mind - I live in an upscale area. I am a stay at home mom, so I shop during the day when only people without jobs go to the store. The stores are not packed. They are reasonably clean.

But the people still look ill. Maybe it's just what America is really like? It's hard to know because my neighbors, friends and acquaintances are mostly healthy, young professionals. Walmart is the opposite.

In case you're wondering.... I have also shopped at Walmart stores in disadvantaged areas. And I've had the interesting experience of going to Walmart at night. It's more intense, but it's just a brighter picture of the same. People in scooters. Carts loaded with garbage food. People in a zombie like daze.

Why? I don't know, but it bothers me every time I go to Walmart.

Since you've read the title of this article, you realize that I eventually stopped shopping at Walmart to often. The ick feeling is part of it, but I was clearly willing to put my own feelings (and health, to be honest) in order to save money. I am betting most people would have reacted the same.

Here's why I stopped shopping there. Maybe a year ago, Walmart started the policy of "checking your receipt/cart" every time you left the store. ANNOYING!!

I have never in my life stolen something from Walmart, and I hated being rallied up in a line to have our receipts checked. Every. Single. Time!

In all honesty, it made me want to steal from Walmart. They were accusing me anyway! And it would be so simple. Their stupid receipt checks did nothing to prevent it. This miffed me royally and planted a seed of real hatred.

The saving catcher kept me hooked. Then - they decided you had to use Walmart pay to get any rebates from the savings catcher app and that was the last straw. The thing is, I have the walmart app, they have my credit card saved. It's just pulling my phone out at the register instead of my credit card, but it was too much. It was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I already hated their food selection (and by food I mean, produce, dairy, the bakery, and meat). Their boxed foods are the same as anywhere else.

I started to realize just how damn loud it is in Walmart - there are big ass blower fans, music overhead, people, uggh. I also started seeing more of the in store shoppers - the walmart delivery people and they were clogging the aisles with their gigantic rolling carts. They were on timelines so they were bossy and rude - their goals clearly more important than any one else's. Plus it's dim and lit by overbearing fluorescent bulbs.

So I wasn't sad to say goodbye to Walmart. I may go there every once in a while to buy cat litter or underwear (yep, I'm cheap like that) but it's not "my grocery store" anymore. It's actually been a lot of fun and an eye opener. I am really loving the meat department and the fresh fruit areas in my local grocers. Awesome stuff!

As luck would have it, for the past month I went to walmart 3 times. Wow - you say. Well, during this time we did adopt 3 stray cats and everyone needs new underwear at Christmas, so.... But the ironic part of those visits is that I was not stopped to "check my receipt" even once. WHAT???!!! How exciting. Maybe enough people complained. Why didn't I complain? Because I complained to Walmart customer service once in the past and it was as horrible as waiting in the store customer service line. Took forever, nothing was accomplished.

So... there you have it. The round trip of how we barely shopped Walmart, to making it our main hang, then back at the end of the line.

In case you are in a place where you want to "save money" and start using coupons - just don't. I recognize that we all have to learn for ourselves, but it's just not worth the health costs to eat that junky stuff. All coupon items are overpriced and the coupon just makes it closer to a realistic price, but the food is generally really poor quality. Buy real food - and probably not from Walmart until they make further improvements in fresh food quality. Just my 2 cents.

Please consider supporting this Blog by CLICKING HERE whenever you shop Amazon. Costs you nothing and is wildly appreciated.
The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

The Benefits of a Mechanical Gate Opener In the Winter

The Benefits of a Mechanical Gate Opener In the Winter

The time you save in not having to exit your vehicle to open or close gates in the winter is only surpassed by being able to stay in a warm environment between farming chores. Below are a few direct benefits of installing a mechanical gate opener.

Fewer Needs to Get Out to Handle the Gate
The drive between pastures is one of the few times farmers and ranchers get to climb in the vehicle and warm up between chores. You will no longer have to stop and hop out to open and reclose the gate. It keeps you warmer and preserves the heat building up in your vehicle.

Reduced Chances of Slip-and-Fall Injuries at Gate Openings
Gate entrances seem the most likely area for water to begin pooling from melted snow and ice. It can become a literal skating rink when the temperatures drop. A mechanical gate opener allows you to pass through this area without incident.

Durable Mechanical Parts
Using automatic openers for gates that are poorly designed can lead to breakdowns when cold weather strikes. Mechanical openers have fewer parts and are not dependent on electricity to operate. The mechanical features will work whether it's raining, snowing, or sleeting. As long as you have a push bumper or flat surface, the gate will work beautifully.

Performs Well In Cold Weather
Installing a mechanically operated gate opener system is the best option to try in a colder climate. It can be difficult to keep a live wire out to the far reaches of your property that would provide juice to an electronic system. You can trust that your new mechanical opener will work every time.
Installing an mechanical gate opener is a decision you'll be happy you made once the winter temperatures begin to take hold. Find out how mechanical gate openers can benefit your farming or ranching operation.

Maximizing Profitability On Your Farm

Maximizing Profitability On Your Farm

Working on a farm means long days and a lot of obstacles to overcome every day. Any equipment you can invest in that would make your job easier is not only worth it, but it will also pay for itself by allowing you to be more productive. Buying helpful equipment for your farm can also help you to avoid the injuries that come from repetitive actions, which is also going to add to your productivity.

Gate Openers

Some of the products that are available to make your life easier on the farm can seem unnecessary, until you start really thinking about their value. An automatic farm gate opener at all of your gates is going to not only save you time, but it is also going to keep you out of the elements on those days where you could otherwise wind up getting sick and losing work time.

Surveillance Cameras

When you think of all of the time you have wasted driving around your farm to check on potential issues, then you can start to appreciate the value of surveillance cameras. Not only can surveillance cameras help you to protect your land and buildings, but it can potentially save you days of driving time every year. Instead of driving to the other side of the farm to check on something, you can just check the video.

Utility Vehicles

Most farm owners have a couple of pick-up trucks they use to run their farm and you can see those trucks constantly driving around the property all day long. The problem is that pick-up trucks use a lot of gas, require expensive maintenance and are usually not necessary. A four-wheel utility vehicle that has a small cargo carrying area could do the same job and cost considerably less to own and operate.

Every farm business owner wants to maximize their profitability, and there are plenty of good ways to do just that. When you focus on profitability and quality, you will be able to run a sustainable business.

3 Benefits of Skilled Home Care Services

3 Benefits of Skilled Home Care Services

After seniors go through an injury or a major health event, they often move to a retirement community. This is a logical option, as retirement communities can provide seniors with the skilled care they often need as they age. It’s not the only option, however, and for seniors who want to remain in their own homes, in-home caregivers can have many benefits.

Medical Support for Chronic Conditions

When seniors choose in-home care services, they can find a care provider with the specific training they need. For seniors with chronic health issues like Alzheimer’s, for example, there are caregivers trained to support seniors with cognitive decline. These caregivers know how to communicate with seniors with Alzheimer’s, stimulate their minds, and deal with the physical side effects of the condition.

Medical Support for Post-Injury Recovery

When seniors are recovering from injuries, on the other hand, caregivers can help to restore physical functioning. They may have training in physical therapy methods, which can help seniors recover lost muscle mass and strengthen bones. After an injury, caregivers can also provide seniors with adaptations for daily activities. By giving them the tools to perform the daily activities of living, caregivers help seniors stay independent for as long as possible.

Individualized Attention

Individualized attention is one of the main benefits of in-home care. While seniors who live in retirement communities receive high-quality care, they don’t receive the personalized attention offered by in-home healthcare staffing services. In-home caregivers spend lots of one-on-one time with seniors, which gives them the chance to monitor and assess senior health. This familiarity makes them more likely to notice health aberrations. Because of the time spent together, seniors and their caregivers often form emotional bonds. Regular socialization often helps to boost mental and emotional wellbeing in aging adults.

Best and Fastest way to pick up acorns, pecans, and other nuts!

2018 was a mast year for acorn production. It probably stems from the droughts we had in 2017 and 2018 - both winter, spring, and summer.

What it we have acorns all over our yard. Now, acorns are great fun. (click here to see how we made pancakes out of our northern red oak acorns) Acorns also feed wild turkeys, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and other wildlife.

As great as they are, they really mess up your lawn. They make the ground "bumpy," acidify the soil, and generally weaken the lawn. My children and I would sit on the ground and pick up acorns for hours. We could easily collect multiple 5 gallon buckets of acorns each year.

It was a frustrating process. Then I saw someone pick up pecans with a nut weasel and wondered if it could be used for acorns. The answer is YES.

We bought the medium sized nut weasel. We have rather large acorns - northern red oak and the weasel was able to quickly and easily pick up every single one. Now, it did have trouble if the acorn was buried deep in the grass, but rolling over a few times or kicking it out with your feet made that less of an issue.

Emptying the weasel was also super easy - you just pull the tines apart for a few seconds and all of the nuts fall out. If I had any complaints it would be this - it doesn't really pick up caps. It may get a few acorn caps but most of them stayed in the yard. Those are relatively easy to rake, but still....

It is still an amazing invention and my son and I marveled at it as we worked to clean up the acorns - in less than 1/4 of the time it would have taken us picking by hand.

I intended to buy this for my husband for Christmas, but since I happened to see it in the store just as acorns were upon us, I decided to get it now. It was definitely worth it!

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Type A deodorant Review - Do natural deodorants really work?

Is conventional deodorant safe to use? Does aluminum cause Alzheimer's disease? Do natural deodorants work? These are all questions I have asked. Lucky for you, I have also done a lot of testing on these theories. I once went almost a whole year without wearing conventional deodorant - you can read about the first 7 months here.

Around a year of "no deodorant" my husband frankly told me to start using it again. So do natural deodorants work? Yes and no. They can help a lot with odor, but they almost always do nothing for sweating. And they are not always the best at odor control either. I found that over time, my body almost became "resistant" to the natural products and would hold a certain level of smell. I would use clay masks under my arms (dead sea mud to be exact) to detox and remove the ingrained scent so I could start again with my natural deodorant regimen.

To be fair, when I was using conventional deodorant, I would often have times that it just wasn't enough and I'd have to switch to a "clinical" deodorant for a while. Might just be my body chemistry. Using the dead sea mud masks really did provide a reboot - a clean slate, if you will.

The other irritating part of natural deodorants is the delivery. When I made my own deodorants - or even when I bought them - they tended to be messier, less shelf stable, and/or less convenient.

So I went back to using regular deodorant. Secret is the brand I use most often. I've tried other brands, and for me they either smell too flowery or they just didn't' work.

Then I had the chance to review Type A deodorant. It claims to be "powered by natural ingredients" and be "aluminum free."

So why does any of that matter anyway? Well... there is good evidence that chemicals we put onto our skin can/does make it's way into our bloodstream.

There is also evidence that aluminum is associated with Alzheimer's disease. Before I get a bunch of comments telling me that recent news has suggested no clear link between aluminum and Alzheimer's - the actual data suggests a link. The news does not always sell the truth...

This does not mean aluminum causes the disease. It does mean that it is somehow involved. Like all human diseases, they are multifactorial and complex. But having metals in your body - and consequently in your blood vessels and organs is generally not a good thing.

So - most of us would like to limit our exposure to aluminum because why not try to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's any way we can? Personally, my father has Alzheimer's disease. It is a life robber. Plain and simple. It is horrible and there is no way to sugar coat it. Do I think aluminum caused his Alzheimer's? I think it's part of the story - but probably not because he used deodorant. He has Alzheimer's for a host of complex reasons.

My dad did have a high aluminum exposure but it was because he used a lot of over the counter heart burn medicines (antacids.) They are loaded with aluminum, and they lower your stomach acid which is actually a very bad idea. But I am getting off topic. I have a chart full of all the things that may/did contribute if anyone is interested...

Bottom line - we want more natural ingredients that are not going to cause us harm. And we want a deodorant that actually works. How does Type A stack up?

First the Good

  • Type A is probably the easiest/least messy natural deodorant I have ever used. It is super easy to apply and does not leave stains or crumble.  
  • It smells nice. I used the "minimalist" scent and was so happy to be free of the "lavender" scents that most natural deodorants use. 
  • It reduces odor. I wore it for a few days during my regular life. I went out in the sun, I went for a run, I did my usual stuff. I didn't have an odor at all. I even felt fresh in the morning before my daily shower. 
  • It may have better ingredients than traditional deodorants. (see the Bad section for more info)

Now the Bad

  • The tube shape might make it difficult to get the last bit of deodorant out. I am not near the end yet so I am uncertain how much will be wasted. 
  • I did not notice a reduction in "sweating." After picking grapes outdoors (76F) for about 1/2 hour, my shirt was soaked under my armpits. 
  • This deodorant contains a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients. I don't know that we should actually care that an ingredient is synthetic vs natural, but it can not be lumped in with "all natural" deodorants when it has both. 
  • It says it doesn't contain aluminum but that is untrue. It contains zeolite which is a natural aluminosilicate mineral (basically aluminum sand!) that is traditionally used as a desiccant/odor absorber in horse barns and chicken coops. Is it natural? Yes. Is it aluminum free, no. Does the aluminum separate from the silica and absorb into our skin? I don't know - possibly not. Is it less toxic than aluminum zirconium trichorohydrex used in conventional deodorants? Maybe? I don't know.
  • It contains a lot of "grain starches" like corn starch, arrowroot powder, and tapioca starch. These are often used in other natural deodorants, but with the use of so many other fats and synthetic ingredients, I would be concerned about these starches absorbing into the blood stream rather than sitting on the surface to absorb wetness. 
  • It contains titanium dioxide which was recently implicated in diabetes and damage to the pancreas.

I would really love to see studies done to see how much of this deodorant (and all deodorants!) actually cross the skin barrier. Clearly - if you have recently taken a hot bath/shower (opening pores and possible soap residue breaking the skin barrier) or shaved under your arms (broken skin) then the absorption rate is increased. I wonder how different ingredients within the deodorants effect  the skin barrier and increase/decrease absorption.

I currently use a deodorant that contains aluminum, so the aluminum containing zeolite in the type A deodorant is my lowest concern - though I do question the labeling that clearly says "aluminum free."  I have enjoyed the odor control and the easy applicator. I did not see a reduction in wetness - though my usual antiperspirant is not perfect here either.

If you wonder why I am concerned about the grain starches - then I suggest you search "persorption" of raw starch to see what happens when raw grains cross the intestinal barrier (aka "leaky gut") and how that can lead to autoimmune diseases - like IBS, multiple sclerosis, food allergies, and more. If there is a chance that any of the other ingredients make the skin barrier more permeable (as soap does....) then it would be a risk that these molecules could cross into the bloodstream (where they do not belong!) and could cause an immune reaction leading to long term problems. At first glance, I do not see anything that I know to increase skin permeability - but this is the stuff I think the FDA should be testing.

In the meantime, Type A does list and discuss every ingredient used at  None of my thoughts are meant to dissuade you from using or trying this new deodorant. I am using it. It works pretty well, smells nice, and is easy to use. I am just not convinced that it is better or worse than what is currently available though I do appreciate the convenience/smoothness of application. I also appreciate people trying to make something better.

Please join the discussion and leave a comment below. I would love to benefit from your knowledge/experience.

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The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.
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