Live Through Us at The Burrow


July 2014

Never Felt So Good

Long story short, I have anemia, and had a problem with extra heart beats called ventricular ectopies.  Please read this post for all of those details.  So, the iron pills tried to kill me, sending me to the hospital (more details in that post), and I was prescribed slow release pills.  I took them at night and then at day as well.  I was bed ridden for several days to a week because of them.  After much research, I realized it was the iron pills, not the anemia.  I felt like someone was sitting on my chest.  I woke up in the middle of the night with a racing heart rate and gasping for breath.  My limbs tingled all over like little spiders. 

I quit the pills.

A multivitamin goes well with me.  My blood count was only 11.39, so I’m not deathly anemic (truly bad anemia is 9 or less).  I’m not even anemic at all to some people.  Apparently I absorb iron really well.  (All of those side effect of tarry stools and GI trouble are because you don’t absorb the iron.  I had none of those side effects.  I did, however, have the symptoms of too much iron in my system.)  The ectopies have quit completely as far as I know, so there’s no telling what’s really going on.  My mind is much more at ease now without skipped heart beats.  Seriously, they really messed with my head.

I couldn’t take it any more, and after being off the pills for two days, I went for a run.  I also started back on my diet (I did gain 2 pounds laying around and eating for over a week).  Completely expecting to only go half as long, I started slow and told myself it was perfectly OK to not go all the way, and to stop as soon as I felt the need.  It felt GREAT! 

Those tunes you’ve heard too many times and can’t wait to change?  Never sounded better.  That warm up walk that you dread because the high hasn’t kicked in, you’re not going fast enough, and you have to stretch?  Never felt better!  My feet were so springy and didn’t even get tired until 15 minutes in.  I went the whole 24 minutes and never…felt…so…good!  And today?  I ran 30.  (I did get tired around 27 and probably should have stopped, but 30 is my goal, so I kept going) 

I’ve met my goal!!  30 minutes without pause!!  The heart palps aren’t here, and will hopefully remain that way.  After a week or so of running without palps, I’ll try a cup of tea and see what happens-wish me luck!

So happy to be better!!

I’ve been sick-sorry

I’ve been sick.  Sorry.  It started with skipped heart beats about 2 months ago.  I was told to ignore them.  I saw the nurse practitioner instead of the doctor and she had me wear a Holter monitor.  They found ventricular ectopsies (I think that’s spelled right), and that I was anemic.  I started taking iron supplements and got chest pains, chest pressure, trouble breathing, and severe dizziness and confusion.  One agonizing ambulance trip later (they blew out two veins trying to run an IV, and more veins at the hospital later), I was told I’m not anemic and to stop taking the iron supplements, take a multivitamin instead.  I see the NP (I’m not going back to that doctor again.  He ignores my complaints and tries to kill me) who prescribes me a slow releasing iron pill.  Again, I had pushed myself too hard (you know those people that tell you if you don’t do something you’re lazy, and to push through the pain?  They do NOT need to be in my life!), forcing my heart to work too hard.  I was put on bed rest and told not to plan on going to school this semester.  Oh joy.

I suffered through days of agony.  I thought I was dying constantly, literally.  I was told to talk myself through the chest pressure and pain “This too shall pass”, and just suffered through it all.  At this time, I have been able to get up and do some chores.  I’m not pushing myself.  For example, I’m pretty confused right now, so this post is probably a plethora of grammatical errors and nonsensical sentence fragments, but I don’t really care.  When I start to get tired or even think I’m going to have chest pressure, I quit and lay down.  The diet is off, and exercise is out of the question!  So, I write this to tell you I don’t know when I will start posting again, and I apologize for the gap.  As soon as I can, I will again! 🙂

Homemade teeth whitener

How many of you have seen tons of those “Whiten your teeth the way this mom did!”  And then they want you to sell your computer’s soul for the so-called simple info?  Well, here’s a simple mixture to use.  I use this periodically,  Sometimes when I’m in the mood, and sometimes when I think I need it.  Two ingredients, that’s it.

  • baking soda
  • hydrogen peroxide

See, just two, that’s it.  Put a spoonful of soda in a small bowl or ramekin (I use little ramekins).

baking soda

Pour a small bit of peroxide on the soda.  Mix it together, adding more peroxide as needed until the mixture is smooth, but not runny.  You know, like toothpaste.


Dip your brush in and brush your teeth.  DO NOT SWALLOW!!!

This mixture will dry up in a few days, so use it until it’s gone or dries up (you can add more peroxide if you want to be sure you use up every last little speck of soda…you know…like me).  Then wait a while, like over a week, and you can make it again.  This is NOT a twice a day, everyday toothpaste.  I use it every now and then or whenever it looks like my teeth need it.  If you have a tray, you can try it in that.


DISCLAIMER:  I am not a dentist.  Consult your dentist before using this or any whitening formula.

Homemade Facial Toner

  • 20oz bottle
  • rubbing alcohol
  • untreated water (or distilled)
  • tea tree oil

I used a coke bottle and rinsed it out real well.  Fill it a little less than half way (40%) with rubbing (isopropanol) alcohol, and the rest of the way with untreated water.  We have well water, but if you are unable to find untreated water, distilled will work fine.  Add about 5 drops of tea tree oil to the bottle and shake it up to mix it.

homemade toner

When you actually use the toner, invert the bottle and right it one time in order to mix it before use.  Do not shake.  The oil rises to the top, and you will not get a good mix if you do not invert it.  Shaking creates bubbles and its own set of problems.  Apply with a cotton ball after cleansing your face.

Vegetable Mess


This is one of those recipes that is completely up to the chef and family as to what they like.  For example, in this written version, there are carrots.  My husband hates carrots, but replace them with 1 green pepper, and you have a winner for him.  You can also change the cheese to be any type of variety that your family likes, what you have on hand, or what you think will compliment it better.  I used Mexican blend because it is what I had on hand.  Feel free to experiment and enjoy new and different combinations!

  • 2c flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 good sized yellow (summer) squash
  • 1 good sized zucchini
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2c red onion
  • 1c corn
  • 1c spaghetti sauce
  • chopped garlic
  • milk
  • corn oil
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend

Helpful NOTES:  The red onions were NOT hot in this recipe.  Leftovers tasted good or even better, possibly due to mingling in the fridge.  Of course, salt, pepper, and garlic are all to taste-we like garlic, so if you do not, you might want to try reducing our amount.  I used frozen zucchini, so fresh is not required and does really well.  If you’re one of those that really needs precision and exact measurements of everything, I’m really, really sorry.

Start by chopping up all the veg.  (My carrots did really well this year-yay!!)


Saute in oil, adding salt and pepper and 1t chopped garlic.  Cook and stir until your desired doneness.  Add the spaghetti sauce and heat through.


While that’s cooking, mix the flour with the baking powder and 1/2t salt.  Add enough milk to make a sticky dough.  Heat enough oil in a pan and add a 1/2t of garlic.  Spread it around and plop in some dough, flattening it with the spatula.  Think of this as a vegetarian yorkshire pudding.  You want it about an inch thick.  It’s going on the bottom and will absorb veggie juice-delish!  Those dark specks are garlic…yum!


I had to cook three different pieces of the dough in order to make the right sizes and such.  Flip and fry the other side too.  It doesn’t have to be completely done, just mostly.  It’s getting baked later.  Place these pieces in the bottom of your dish to form a single layer.  You want a taller dish with a thicker bottom layer of bread.


Dump in the veggie mix


Place the cheese on top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Trying to find solitude

So I wanted to write, right? (pun intended-sorry) But I can’t because life turned a different corner than I desired.  In order to write, I have to have guaranteed time to myself.  Solitude.  I tried.  I told everyone “2 hours a day!”  I held them to it.  Now, I want to say it was their fault, but it could have been mine.  In all honesty, I don’t want to be mad at anyone, so I just encircle it with the broadened excuse of being a contributing family member with responsibilities. 

So, I thought I would go to the library to write, right? (this time it wasn’t intended)  Nope.  The closest library is 30 minutes away and would take $6 in gas every day that I went.  I can’t afford that.  I would SO be found anywhere on the property (although the woods are giving me an idea), and staying up late resorts in sleeping in too late, and I won’t make myself get up early enough.  Besides, getting up early means you have to quit before you may want to.  I may be on an amazing role and have to stop, losing all thoughts completely.

This is why I’ve had this book in my head for 10 years.  Seriously.  10 years.  I started when I was a new mother in Knoxville.  Then this happened, then that.  It got forgotten.  As soon as I was able to work on it again-BAM!  Life said no.  It’s been rather cruel actually.  It’s like I’m given this amazing story for the world to read, and not only am I not being able to write it, I’m being taunted by the taste of it.  I get amazing ideas only to have them leave my mind the second I hear “Mom” or “Dear”.  I’ll be writing only to have the same thing happen the SECOND I get back into the groove enough to know what I’m doing.  (Writers know what I mean.  It takes a few minutes to figure out what you were working on, etc.)

So, I was reading Shelby’s blog again, and became inspired…again.  (Her blog is so awesome.)  And now I realize what my next step is.  I have to list all my characters and find the end before I can write the middle.  I’m awesome at beginnings.  No really, awesome.  And there was this stubborn arrogance within me that refused to accept the fact that I needed an outline or character analyses or anything of that nature.  This was my adventure.  I was going to live it inside my head and write down what happened. 

That’s just stupid.  Why would I be so stubborn?  The more I read about authors I liked, the more I realized what I wasn’t doing right.  So, as soon as I can, I’m going to start with the end.  Literally.  I have to write out the characters that the reader won’t even know about until the ending.  It’s actually starting to feel easier now.


Now, for those who don’t want to hear complaining, or think this is just TMI, skip the following.  But for those of you who are truly wondering how on earth I can’t find the time, please read:

My husband is legally blind.  This means I am on call, 24/7 if he needs me for anything.  We can’t afford to leave the house more than once (or twice if emergency) a week because we can’t afford the gas.  I can’t send my child to school because there is only one he can go to, and it won’t give him textbooks, failing him instead.  Seriously, I’m not making that up.  We are remote in where we live, making many other things difficult.  Now, shouldn’t that give me all the time in the world, being remote and without an “employer”?  I have to fix breakfast for everyone most mornings, and sometimes other meals as well.  (We never buy anything premade or go out to eat because we can’t afford it.)  I spend several hours (sometimes MANY hours) homeschooling my child every day.  Then I spend time doing housework for a family that stays home ALL DAY EVERY DAY.  This is far more housework than most mothers with schoolaged children have.  By then I need a moment to relax my mind before I do whatever else needs doing. By the time I have a moment of freetime, I don’t know what to do with it.  Literally.  I just stand/sit there going “What am I supposed to be doing?  I don’t know what to do?”  ALL home moms know this feeling!! 

To get around this, I am going back to school this fall so that I can get a good job, so we can move, so my child can go back to school.  Which means I’ll be working full time and not be able to write any more then, than I can now.  See the cruelty of this?  This means I have to homeschool all summer long because I can’t on the days I’m in class. 

So why am I writing this instead of what I want to?  Therapy for one.  For another, I have to leave in 40 minutes to take my dog to the vet 40 minutes away to discuss whether or not to put her down because she’s incontinent and we can’t afford the medicine.  You try writing with that over you head!

*PS-We found a cheap medicine we can afford and are hoping it works*


There!  I’m done complaining.  Wow!  That’s been building up.  I feel better now!  Thanks for listening Smile.  No more complaining, promise.

So, there you have it.  Lesson to learn from this?  My stubbornness has easily set me back a year, maybe more.  Don’t be stubborn.  Even the best authors (no, I don’t consider myself among that group) need outlines, character analyses, story arcs, etc.  Use them. 

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