I always try to have a clean house but my efforts always fall far short of perfection. Michael and Mother help me when they can, but certain things are hard for them.
I noticed the last time I vacuumed that it wasn't picking up very well. I remember calling my neighbor Vinny a year or so ago and asking him if he could fix our vacuum, which seemed to be non-usable. He is a handyman and a super nice guy. He came down and looked at the vacuum, which is a "bagless" model, and said "Dee, if you don't clean it out, it won't pick up." He proceeded to clean out about 10 lbs. of dog hair, dust, etc. out of it. I felt like an idiot. So this morning I got the bright idea of cleaning it out again.
Let me just say this: it was a teachable 15 minutes or so. I have small hands, which helped me get it clean. A knitting needle also helped. When it was all done, I had enough hair to put together another Lola.
This was after last night's somewhat humiliating call, again, with Vinny. I told him my window unit air conditioner in my room wasn't working and asked him if he could come take a look. He said yes, but asked if I had cleaned the filter recently.
Filter? That thing has a filter?
I said um.... NOPE. Let me call you back.
The filter on the air conditioner was disgusting. Took me ten minutes and some hard scrubbing to get it clean.
I called Vinny back and thanked him, again. Told him not to bother coming over.
The house we live in has one heating system for the entire house, but there were two different air conditioners, one for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. I don't know why it was set up that way. Perhaps, that was done because the house is almost 2700 square feet and it was just cheaper or more efficient. Who knows. The upstairs air conditioner died about 2 1/2 years ago and I just decided to use window units in the bedrooms, until I could save up for a new central air conditioner. It has not been fun, the past two summers, but we tend to stay downstairs during the hottest part of the afternoon.
Of course, Michael spends most summer days at the pool, either lifeguarding or just hanging out.
This summer will be pretty different because I will be working from home. I have two part-time work-from-home jobs, which is a blessing right now. I can check on Mother many times a day, this way. Financially, they don't pay as well, but we are getting by and that's all that matters. My expenses are lower. I eat lunch at home. Instead of getting a full tank of gas every week I am getting one every 6 weeks or so, which is great. We are also eating dinner out far less because I feel like cooking more. In fact, we rarely eat dinner out now, except for the Friday sandwiches.
I am trying to greatly up my consumption of magnesium. I've read a number of articles that point out that most of us don't get enough magnesium in our diets, like this one. So I have been keeping a journal and trying to keep track of all the magnesium-rich foods I eat and how much of the RDA they are giving me. A typical list [which is not everything I eat all day, but a lot of what I eat] looks like this:
Black beans 30%
This is a partial list of all the great things magnesium does for our bodies:
- Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (more important than Calcium in many cases)
- Increases bioavailability of calcium
- Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
- Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
- Promotes restful sleep
- Helps prevent congestive heart failure
- Eases muscle cramps and spasms
- Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- Decreases insulin resistance
- Can prevent atherosclerosis and stroke
- End cluster and migraine headaches
- Enhances circulation
- Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Treats asthma and emphysema
- Helps make proteins
- Encourages proper elimination
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Proper Vitamin D absorption
- protection from radiation
- To aid weight loss
- Lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children
- in proper digestion of carbohydrates
- emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancer
Unlike in the past when I have tried to eat more healthfully, keeping my magnesium levels up has to be a lifestyle change, a permanent change. I am learning to embrace the spinach, black beans, etc. Fresh spinach sauteed in a little olive oil, fresh garlic, and balsamic vinegar is SO yummy. I have some almost every night now.
I even added Epsom salts [a great source] to all the plants in my gardens. One of my cousins said it would do great things for my plants. Hopefully so -- they are already seeming more hardy and lush, after just a few days..
The magnesium in our soils is often depleted, and even fresh produce can be deficient in it, unfortunately..
I am trying to up the magnesium through food instead of supplements because the supplements tend to bring on hot flashes, which I don't need. Interestingly, since I've been eating a more magnesium-rich diet, the hot flashes have decreased a lot, which is great.
Of course, the highs for the next few days are going to be close to 90, so I will be doing a LOT of sweating anyway..
Below, the cute birdbath my brother gave Mom for Mother's Day. I put it together yesterday and set it up with no help. Hopefully all the birds in the yard will be cleaner now.