Wednesday, October 26, 2011

on a small but cheerful note (good things still happen)

Anyone else depressed by all the miserable reports on the news tonight?

An asylum seeker poisoning himself and dying after what appears to be dastardly treatment at the hands of the Australian Government. Four hundred dead (and counting) in the earthquake in Turkey. Tony Abbott acting like a turkey. Major flooding in Bangkok and Dublin. Financial doom and gloom.

One way or another, it's all pretty grim.

So here's a cheerful little story, with a happy ending, to lift the pall of sadness.

Frank was rather distressed to discover that a tree he had chopped down the day before, had taken down a magpie nest with it. By the time he returned to clean up yesterday, and discovered the nest with chick insitu, the poor little thing was a little worse for wear - Frank thought it was dead. (This is not the cheerful part of the story)

After a little poking and prodding, and gentle removal from under the fallen foliage, it became evident the chick was, in fact, intact. It had survived its fall unscathed, although it was a little dehydrated and famished. (Things are looking up now)

Frank is a very caring person, and has a special connection with animals. If you want to see him cry, tell him about an injured beastie. (Actually don't, because that would ruin the cheeriness of my happy tale) Anyway, he rang the RSPCA to find out if there was anything they could do to assist a poor orphaned magpie. "Find a tree nearby and transfer the nest into a suitable forked branch. Hopefully the parents will find it and Bob's your uncle."

Perfect. Frank is a tree man. Climbing trees is his thing. So up he went and secured the nest safely before returning to work on the ground. Except he decided the maggie was hungry, so he dug up a few worms and found a slug or two, climbed back up the tree and fed the bird, who fell hungrily upon the food and perked up immediately. (Happy, happy) Since no magpie parents rushed to the immediate aid of their re-instated offspring, Frank ended up climbing the tree four times with his tasty morsels. (Awww - I told you he has a special connection with animals)

Frank came home and told me the story, and I was all 'how sweet... but what if magpie mummy and daddy don't find their little birdie?' Don't worry - he had it covered. Today he popped back to the site. And. There were mum and dad magpie, warbling happily and feeding their youngster.

Ah. What a great little story hey? So when the day is dark and the news grim, remember the magpie who lost its home before being restored to a tree and reunited with its parents. That'll make you smile.

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Saturday, October 08, 2011

anecdotal, but completely reliable (or 'the wonders of coconut oil')

I have gout. At least that's what I diagnosed myself with last October when I woke in the middle of the night with a desperately throbbing big toe joint. It hurt for a couple of weeks, then settled down before flaring up every so often (often being too often and particularly when wearing certain shoes).

When I went to the naturopath about a few other issues, I mentioned my self diagnosis. "Oh yes," she said, "your iridology photo does indicate a tendency towards acidity. Avoid wheat, dairy, tomatoes, oranges, alcohol and meat and your body should produce less acid." Actually, she didn't really say the first bit - my iridology shot was rather unenlightening, with only a slight discolouration here and there that may or may not indicate anything significant, and I occasionally follow the diet.

The naturopath also pointed me towards celery seed extract as a way of helping ward off various aches and pains, but after I bought the bottle (at great expense), the pain in my toe settled down of its own accord and the capsules sit in my cupboard still.

Unrelated to all this, I have been reading and hearing about the benefits of eating coconut oil. It's a wonder product, that's for sure. I started carefully swallowing down a spoonful morning and night (the careful swallowing is important, because when it melts and runs down your throat the wrong way there will be a burned larynx and much coughing), because I read it could bring down blood pressure and I was convinced mine was up again. (Is there a slight 'self diagnosis' theme here?)

After several weeks of the coconut oil I realised I had not felt even a twinge from my big toe in ages. And my excessive PMS symptoms had all but disappeared as well. And then the coconut oil didn't taste so good and I got busy and was nearly out of it, and (the long and the short of it) stopped taking it. Gradually, over the course of two weeks, the big toe joint pain came back until it hurt every day. And the aches and pains in my arms, which I hadn't even realised were gone, returned with a vengeance (the self diagnosis on those aches is 'knitting induced RSI').

Now this is anecdotal I know, but I quickly got myself to the local health food shop (where, handily, my naturopath now works) and picked up another jar of coconut oil. This one is packed on the farm in Thailand using brown glass to prevent deterioration of the oil. It tastes beautiful and fresh and... one week later my gout pain is settling, the aches and pains in my arms are easing, and I had barely a hint of PMS.

So go google and check out the scientific evidence on coconut oil if you like, but I'm telling you with real life experience - that stuff works!

(I have no idea what's happening with the BP though)

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