Tangent: My favorite new life-helps

2014 has brought some new items into my life that are excellent!  Because I don't do Facebook or personal blogging right now, I'm bursting at the seems to tell the world about my great finds.  So, I'll just hijack my book blog for a moment to showcase my newest, random life-helps:

 I've tried two other brands of waterproof mattress covers.  They are loud, unbreathing and don't hold up well after multiple washings.  Wet-Stop mattress covers are actually comfortable, quiet, and extremely well suited to many washings!  Every kid bed in the house is now covered with one!

 A $7 can opener.  Revolutionary.  You never realize how well something is supposed to work until you have an item that does it well.  My old, rusty can opener required mega force and precision to function.  This 4-in-1 item is rocking my world.
 If you have nice camera gear, protect your investment!  I am in love with the Ape Case brand of cases!  We have a smaller holster for grab & go situations but the medium case in the picture is what we use for traveling and holding our extra lenses, external flash and various other items.  The bright yellow interior is so great for seeing what's inside and the whole case is built tough!  Finally, something to withstand my rambunctious family!

 Okay, so a Celtic album is hardly a "life help" but I was delighted to listen to this particular collection of excellent music.  Of course, the title of The Brendan Voyage won me over immediately but I'm always a sucker for Irish sounds. (I have to say that this pairs nicely of course with the book: Saint Brendan and the Voyage Before Columbus and that March is pretty much the unofficial "Irish Appreciation Month" around here.)

 Don't knock these wool nursing pads 'til you try 'em.  I took the leap after reading great reviews from some other mamas.  And they are huge (my husband said "What are these tortilla thingies?" when they came in the mail —which actually prevents the "bullseye" look on your chest with normal pads!). So these are expensive. But they are hands-down the best new-baby item I've purchased in years!  I would fast for a week if I had to just to afford these!  I bought two pairs and that's all you need.  They are so soft, so comforting. The natural lanolin in the nursing pads helps ward off infections and the entire thing is designed to keep your breast warm (which actually helps avoid clogged ducts too)… so when it gets wet, it's not the cold, clammy wet from disposable or cotton pads, but a warm wet.  I wash them with very hot water… no need to get a special wool cleanser… just hot water to rinse out dried up milk and then air dry in a warm place.  So, so great...

 Bovine gelatin. Seriously.  I have 90 year old-lady knee joints.  They have been aching for almost a year now.  It hurts to genuflect, to keep my knees bent for long, to bend over, to sit on the toilet.  I have avoided the doctor because I don't like doctors and didn't want to pay tons for co-pays and MRIs and yadda, yadda, yadda.  So my sister told me about this stuff because she had a similar knee pain and all HER doctor visits didn't yield any good news except that "it's reversible." So here I am, 4 days after taking this stuff 2-3 times a day and the pain in my knees is significantly reduced so far!  It's unbelievable to be able to kneel down in Mass without being in agony.  I don't know how long this will last or if I can get totally pain free this way… after about a month, I'll taper down my serving to one a day and see how that goes. Then maybe I'll be able to stop completely.  All I know is that I'm grateful for a simple, natural and— comparatively speaking— cheap alternative to Big-Pharma.


So there you are!  I feel better now that I've shared the good news.  :-)

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