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64° air temp. Much colder water temp.
Game time!
Bouncing off some energy at Jumping Junction.

It’s that time of year, cold & flu season. We’ve been pretty healthy this winter, just an occasional sniffle here and there. But Lil Mister came down with a cold this week and it’s starting to cycle through the rest of the kids.

I’ve used natural/traditional medicine for the past three decades. Spanning herbs, homeopathics, essential oils and good old fashioned remedies like chicken soup for a cold.

I’m not afraid of germs and viruses, typically, being firmly in the camp of “exposure is good for them/us” so I thought I’d share some of my go-tos for my family’s respiratory issues.

*Insert Disclaimer here*

The opinions & information contained in this post are for educational and informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice.

~Totally not a doctor

First and foremost, I let fevers run their course. I believe a healthy fever is your body’s best defense. I stay diligent and observant over my littles. I rarely use a thermometer, opting for touch to let me know how they’re doing. If I’m getting concerned I’ll take their temp. I keep them hydrated with clear liquids like water, herbal teas, diluted fruit juice. I keep them covered and warm but not over heated. I’ve been known to employ wet socks treatment for a high fever that’s making me (and them) feel uncomfortable. An ice pack can offer them local comfort while allowing their body to work.

Most Alaskans have Vitamin D deficiency. And Vit D supplementation has been linked to reduced incidence and severity of colds & flu. We regularly consume Vitamin D3 + Vitamin C during the winter months. I have these on auto-ship so we stay stocked up. If one of my littles has the sniffles I add elderberry gummies or syrup. I offer the bigger kids zinc lozenges and oil of oregano.

For sore throats I usually send them to gargle with warm salt water or oil of oregano, depending on age. Rub diluted peppermint & lavender oils on their neck area. Warm liquids like herbal teas or lemon honey water usually offer them some comfort. Plus I keep a variety of lozenges, suckers and cough drops in our “medicine cabinet”.

I have a few EO diffusers in the house but for the youngest I use a little travel model and EOs like peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender.

Mini diffuser

Dry winter air is exacerbated in our climate by heating with wood stoves. Our air inside our home can get so dry it causes nose bleeds. Using a vaporizer next to their beds help moisturize the air. Plus we keep a large crock on the wood stove filled with water to evaporate into the air. I like to keep Thieves oil or On Guard blend in this water pot. The kids also like vapor steam bath or shower bombs.

Current household humidity.

Another important tool for dry sinuses is nasal saline spray. The non-medicated type. If you’re a hardy soul you could use a netipot. That’s a hard sell for my kids but nasal spray is doable.

I like to serve warming soups when they’re sick or sometimes even clear broths if they can’t stomach much food. Also offering fresh fruits and easy to digest foods. Water bottles with a slice of lemon are kept topped off.

Most importantly I encourage them to rest. Even if that means propping them up on the couch in front of the TV and putting on a kid movie. With their water bottle, a waste basket nearby and a box of tissues with lotion. Or letting them sleep in my bedroom with the blackout shades. And of course, staying home when we’re sick.

Now, to keep me onsies as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Taking my supplements, staying hydrated, rinsing my sinuses… Avoiding alcohol, getting rest, eating well… Not much else I can do but pray!

You Bake! Lil Mister's cookie designs.
A full auto nerf gun. Oh boy!

Cletus decided we needed to make these adorable little gnome garland strands. We ended up with 10 of the turquoise and 11 of the pink/black ones. Two kids made themselves a gnome. And we made three oddball gnomes for variety.

Getting started.
Making my first little gnome hat.

The hats are made by looping yarn around a paper towel tube that’s been cut down into 3/4″ rings, give or take.

The first finished gnome.

The beards are pom-poms glued into the hats. And a wooden bead for a nose.

I’ve never seen so many gnomes.

Cletus’ gnomes
My gnomes.
Cletus’ snow gnome, or just “S’nome”
My high hat gnomes.

They were a fun craft, lots of yarn cutting and pom-pom making silliness.

#crafts #gnomes #notbored #fiberart

Being goofy trying on Dad’s extreme cold weather gear.

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity. I’m not sure if I’m coming or going but it’s been great. The tail end of the previous week I spent time out hunting for moose, with no luck yet. Saturday we headed into town, the kids and I that is, to see Niki who’s home for a quick visit. And Sukkot is happening too.

We have enjoyed the time with our dear friends and have tried to do most all of the things we used to do when she lived here full time: foraging, bonfires on the beach (it’s not fish camp but it’s close!), Solstice Sisters Dinner, MNO, and just visiting while the kids all play.

True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart.

Author Unknown

All in all it’s been great for us. I know Niki has been going non-stop and these kind of trips aren’t really relaxing! But it’s been wonderful having her back, even for a short while. And having my Solstice Sisters all together again has been magical.

She’s been out on the road for two years. That separation has taught me to be thankful for all of our times together and share the gratitude I feel with others. Life is too short to do otherwise. Tell someone special in your life that you appreciate them today and why. You never know what your impact your words can have for good!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Melody Beattie

She heads out to Wasilla today, we said our goodbyes last night. Until next time!!! 💕❤️💕

#thankfulforfriends #blessed #solsticesisters #grateful