An Eclectic, Electric Christmas

Tonight my house looks like a Christmas store exploded inside of it. After I packed away fall d├Ęcor, Greg helped me pull down box after box of Christmas decorations from storage. This weekend I’ll enjoy puttering around my house, creating vignettes, decorating the tree and every tabletop and shelf, while Christmas music plays in the background. 

I like to mix things up every year, changing out vignettes and adding interesting pieces. Primarily I create with items that I already have on hand, mixing vintage with cute Kirkland’s finds, pairing something seasonal with an everyday piece, and plopping little artificial trees everywhere. 

Tonight as I was rummaging through boxes of Christmas decorations, I decided to start by creating a couple of fresh looks in the bedroom. Inspiration popped an idea into my head. I chose to go with it and see what developed. 

The small wood and rattan side table came from the Arkansas house. It will most likely get a coat of chalk paint after Christmas, however tonight it became my first decorated piece. A vintage wire basket holds cloth balls on the bottom shelf. On the top shelf rests an old phone from the Noel Telephone Company that Bob Moore converted into a lamp years ago. When the mouthpiece is picked up, the bulb lights up. A tiny amber vase holds a spray of berries and rusty stars. Candle holders complete the table. 

Across the room, I let my inner artist have fun, pulling together an assortment of vintage and new pieces to create a very eclectic look. Leta Moore made the orange, green and tan tree. I think perhaps it was intended to be a fall tree. However, when I stood looking at the bare dresser top, that tree came to mind, inspiring the rest of the vignette. 

The china doll has appeared in several vignettes the last couple of years. Her orange and green dress made her an ideal pairing with the fabric tree. The linen placemat came from Target. And the Joy sign and antlers candle holder were Kirkland purchases. 

Inspiration then threw out a wild idea, and my eclectic decorating became electric. My daughter Adriel gave me a string of edison light bulbs. This bulb has significance for me, and plays a role in next year’s adventures. I had been saving the lights to use after Christmas. Now I could clearly see, in my mind, the bulbs strung along the dresser top, becoming a unique set of Christmas lights. 

I am always happy to indulge inspiration. The lights came out of the box and I played with arranging them around the vignette. 

I had a fun evening, being creative and capturing the Christmas spirit. There is much more to do this weekend. I look forward to seeing where inspiration leads me next. 

Winning Against Seasonal Allergies

It is December 1, and I am ready to announce a victory. Every year, from September through the end of November, I fight seasonal allergies. Fall is much worse for me than spring. My sinuses and ears clog up. I have drainage that turns into congestion in my chest, creating a persistent cough and a scratchy throat. And my eyes get so irritated that by Thanksgiving, I often can’t wear my contact lenses and have to use eyedrops to clear them up. 

All my adult life, I have been miserable this time of year, until a hard freeze kills off whatever it is that attacks me. I’ve consumed countless over the counter drugs such as Mucinex and Benadryl and I’ve had to carry bags of cough drops in my purse, to help ward off coughing fits. 

Keeping score looked like this:

Fall Allergies – 37    Cindy – 0

Until this year. 

I am so excited to report that this fall, I have not experienced seasonal allergies. I’ve not had congestion or a cough, watery, irritated eyes, sinus trouble, headaches, nor have I lost my voice. 

What shifted for me was two fold. 

First, I changed my diet. By eliminating wheat and grains, dairy, eggs, canola oil, soy, corn and MSG, I took away the food source for the strep virus I have carried in my body since childhood. The foods listed above feed the virus, which tends to invade the sinuses, ears and respiratory system, creating inflammation. When fall allergens attacked my body, my weakened immune system couldn’t handle the overload. I got sick. Every time. 

And secondly, switching to a plant based diet not only fought the strep virus, but strengthened my immune system. Foods like wild blueberries, oranges, celery juice, cranberries and sweet potatoes provide powerful antiviral protection. As September approached, I made sure I ate at least two of these foods a day. My body is detoxing and clearing from the viruses. As it clears, my body has become less reactive to pollens, mold and ragweed, eliminating my symptoms.  

I increased my body’s ability to heal and resist allergens by adding the supplements turmeric, elderberry and Ester C, a potent vitamin C compound. Raw, locally produced honey has been another excellent source of protection. I take a tablespoon once or twice a day. 

In the evenings, I often finish my day with a cup of hot nettle leaf tea, a soothing drink with powerful anti inflammatory properties. 

After so many years of losing these seasonal battles, it feels so incredibly good to know that I have finally won a round, without the use of drugs. Food was my medicine. And I am the victor. 

Fall Allergies – 37     Cindy – 1 … and counting