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Home management tips

Renee Ellison's tools for effectively managing your home--including finance and domestic skills..

Why the KEY issue with the elderly is avoiding falls

Tuesday, 14. July 2015 by Renee Ellison

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With over ten thousand baby-boomers entering the retirement ranks per day, the care of THEIR elderly parents becomes their nearly full-time second job. This is an eyes-open bit of insight for all.  Take your confidence off from your elderly parents’ dubious bone-strengthening drugs (they don’t work anyway) and put your energy into ensuring that they AVOID the falls in the first place.  How?  Exercise your elderly parent; tighter muscles make for less falls.  And fall-proof the home.

Recent studies are telling us that one in three seniors, age 65 and older, fall each year.  70 percent of the trauma calls in the region where I live are for elderly people who have sustained a broken hip or head injury.  And that doesn’t even include the numbers of people who have fallen and, while not injured, can’t get up without help; our local district saw a 26 percent increase in those calls during the first quarter of 2015.

My 96-year old aunt has fallen perhaps ten times in her old age—most of that in the last six years—and each time the aftermath was a veritable nightmare.  The reason? besides the obvious results of 1) having physically harmed herself and 2) having entered the engulfing quagmire of expense and management of those time-consuming emergency hospital bills, is that, not only does the elderly parent have to cope with the injury but now, with even less personal resourcefulness, they have to cope with the greatly exacerbated decline in overall health because of the injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers seniors falling a public-health problem that is “largely preventable,” it says in its Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries program. An injury from a senior’s fall can have long-term effects, such as disability, dependence on others and reduced quality of life, the CDC said.  Loss of muscle tone and balance; vision problems; medication interactions; bad lighting; and hazards in the home top the list of causes of this problem.

Elderly persons who have suffered from a fall cease to exercise.  This means congestion may set in throughout the body, especially in the colon, due to poor circulation.  Digestion suffers.  Lungs and heart suffer.  Muscle-tone deteriorates severely and rapidly, making the person prone to more falls.  Thus, the health challenges are compounded.  Amy Allen, executive director of the Southwest Regional Emergency and Trauma Advisory Council, observed that “Seniors worry so much about falling, they restrict themselves from moving, which makes it worse and stops them from doing daily things, like going for the mail.”  [Source]

All of this translates to double the work for the caretaker—adding to the already overwhelming load of total care of another adult human being.  The “adult” part matters, because the person’s “will” is interposed in everything, unlike what a caretaker of a baby experiences.  This accelerates the caretaker’s burnout.  The conclusion?  Minimize the likelihood of falls happening in the first place.  Guard this preventative territory like a patrolling alley dog.

Fall-proof EVERYTHING, including the elderly person’s environment and routines.  No throw rugs, anywhere.  Cork on the bathroom floor, if you have to.  TWO grip bars in the bathtub.  A portable plastic seat set there, in the tub to pull forward, nearer the faucet when in use.  A long loose hose on the tub faucet.  (No water coming from above, which can disorient the elderly and cause them to lose their balance.)  How to bathe them?  Either you or they, scrub up the top of the body, WHILE they sit, rinse.  Scrub the lower half, while they sit, rinse.  To do the crotch area, have your parent rise only a few inches, so that if they fall their body weight goes right back onto the plastic seat.  Never allow them to stand fully upright where the weight changes forward, WHILE showering/bathing.

Wash hair, as a separate task, in the kitchen, later.  Lean their body up against the kitchen sink.  Install a tall faucet there, if you don’t have one.  This fully leaning position, anchoring their weight against the lower cupboard, holds them clear up to their waist.  Do all of this even WHILE THEY ARE “STRONG” and in relatively good vigor, but OLDER.  They will resist, but you insist smile

When walking them outdoors, assist them over all curbs, even if they are fully capable of managing them themselves; don’t leave it to chance.  Our 3D eyesight grows foggier and foggier as we age.

Furthermore, exercise them daily with whatever part of their body still moves.  When health is far gone, exercise their appendages while their back (thus backbone) is fully supported, lying flat on the bed.  But before that hour, walk them all you can, before the disabilities multiply.

If you’ll guard their fall potential, this will translate to an easier job for you.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Parental perspectives on the complexities of living with grown unmarried children

Monday, 18. May 2015 by Renee Ellison

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Living with grown children is not the same ball game as raising small children.  An entirely different set of “parenting” skills is needed to make this further chapter successful and happy for all involved.  Furthermore, it requires different parenting for different personalities.  You will live differently with the conscientious young adult than you do with the lazy one. 

Homeschooling families in this generation are doing something that the secular culture has largely abandoned for several generations now: godly grown children are voluntarily choosing to continue to live with their parents until marriage, and their parents are in agreement about this.  Many believing families are opting to do this for spiritual reasons, because they see this pattern in the Bible, with good results.  Abraham chose a mate for his grown son Isaac when Isaac was well advanced in years, deep into adulthood, still living at home.  The lives of Ruth and Esther are set in stark contrast to the loud wandering, worldly woman spoken of in Proverbs who is seldom at home.  When Dinah left home to see what the daughters of the land were doing in Shechem, she left the protection afforded by a godly home and got into terrible trouble. 

The advantages of this living arrangement with adult children are many, both relationally and financially.  This arrangement spares the single adult from the severe temptations of shack-up situations and possible mincing forays into homosexuality—or the appearance of evil through the set-up of supposedly “platonic” guy-girl roommate relationships, and from any number of additional devastatingly dysfunctional roommate situations whenever someone lives with anyone who is not part of one’s extended family. 

In addition, living with one’s parents until one is married provides an opportunity for the young adult to amass an economic nest egg that will make a huge financial difference for them.  Earning money while living under their parents’ roof with minimal expenses may even afford them the possibility of paying for a house or land with cash and never having to pay rent.  Having disciplined goals during these transition years affords the young adult the possibility of further unimaginable savings over a lifetime, and relieves a young marriage of many financial stresses.  (Many houses bought with mortgages end up costing three times as much over the lifetime of the mortgage.  This money is siphoned from the earnings of each person; it is given over to a bank instead of building his or her own estate.) 

However, as with any relational set-up, there are pitfalls and blind spots that must be avoided for this arrangement to work well.  For this living arrangement to be successful it must be done with mature relational savvy on the part of the parents, otherwise the experience can result in lifetime scarring, destroyed relationships, adult tensions galore, and lifelong regrets for all parties of those lifetime relationships.  [Note: because of the limitations of the English language, we will refer to the grown single child as “he”, but this applies just as much to a daughter as to a son, albeit in a slightly different manner, given the different biblical standards for men providing for themselves and their families.]

Motivational speakers for years now have identified what makes people continue to produce and live invigorated lives.  People tend to stay in marriages, businesses and living situations where they continue to grow.  An affirming positive loving atmosphere will keep a person in such a relationship.  If this climate is not present, the tendency (or at least the lure) is to jump ship.

The key shift in parents’ thinking with regard to sharing their home with grown children has to be the realization that they are launching their young adult’s life, doing everything possible to gladden and enrich that emerging life, rather than viewing him as an appendage and a support for their own lives.  In other words, the parents must learn to do life by themselves, while also finding ways to procure advantages for their son’s life.  This involves choosing to carry their own load, even though the adult son continues to live in their home.  Conversely, if parents are leaning upon their grown child, using him, micromanaging him, demanding of him, and/or shaming him into doing their bidding or adopting their perspectives on everything, they will find an unexpected kickback that they may regret as time passes.

Many adult children grow to be quite capable in a variety of areas and thus can potentially become a real boost to their parents’ lives.  This is fine, so long as it is volunteered by the emerging adult as he thinks of it, rather than his parents extracting it from him.  Otherwise, he may grow to feel “used.”  Many parents unknowingly take advantage of their grown children’s capabilities (without compensating them for them, i.e. liberally and gladly paying them or returning some trade in the rent agreement, etc.) for their own parental benefit, and this may become increasingly oppressive for the young adult.

If the parents are using their adult son for their own benefit, he may at first turn away from them inwardly, and as time progresses may turn away bitterly in actuality and finally may eventually bolt because the relationship has become irreparable.  Parents’ relational salvation with their grown children is to think long-term and big picture.  What do you want your grown child to think of you when you at last rest in your grave?  Does he perceive the relationship as enlarging and enriching for himself?  Does he flock to be with you?  If given a choice, is he drawn to you, or do you observe him avoiding you, living in tension because of you, skirting interfacing with you over any matter?  These are alarms and bells and whistles that will only intensify, if you do not reverse them.  You are fashioning your own reputation with him.  What is that reputation?  Are you, perhaps, winning the battle (his compliance for the moment) but losing the war of winning his lifetime permanent affection for you?  These are deep waters.

As with any adult living situation, clean lines must be drawn and understood by both sides.  Clean lines must be drawn regarding finances and regarding responsibilities.  Otherwise, the grown child will find himself buried in a jungle of implied expectations, both expressed and naggingly felt.  He may sink into depression and hopelessness, wanting to escape but not knowing how.  No adult can stand doing another adult’s bidding unendingly.  All such relationships end in destruction.  Expectations kill relationships, unless the expectations are clearly stated, are reciprocal, and are mutually advantageous.  Living in a continual win/win situation with your adult child will tie him in loving bonds with you for a lifetime.  Is home a place he loves to be?  Strive to see your life together through his eyes.

When living with a conscientious young adult instead of correcting him broadside, try some humor.  Also, strive to posit your opinions in questions instead of edicts, fashioning your sentences more like this:  “Might you find this way more advantageous to yourself?”  Tell them that you are available to pray with them, if they should want that at any time for direction, and to clarify certain ambiguities for them.  Brainstorm with them.  Get other mature adults to brainstorm with them.  Encourage them that in a multitude of counselors there is victory, as it says in Proverbs.  This has an entirely different feel than ordering them around as adults. 

All of this is advice for living with conscientious adult children.  If, conversely, you live with a lazy, irresponsible adult child, you must put the screws to them to enforce specific expectations, in order for him to have the privilege of continuing to benefit from the advantages of living at home.  Otherwise he must learn by having his cheek on the pavement of some street somewhere.  Draw the expectations firmly, and perhaps do so on paper, together, not signing anything as a formal contract, but providing “paper” objectivity upon what you both are coming to agree to together.  After that, the young adult, by then crossing those agreed upon ideas, willfully puts himself out of the home.  It was not you that did it, but he.  The aimless young adult must be made to draw up his own goals and ambitions.  He must be growing old skills and learning new skills by apprenticing with others further along in those fields or studying.  He must be drawing income from somewhere, or he can’t live at home.  This living situation is to advance him in life, not to coddle him by providing hours for more sports and video games and other entertainments.

For young unmarried gals it is best to define their life as a full complete single life now, and the probability of a full married life later.  They are to live equally well in both conditions, steadily making a difference in God’s kingdom.  Get them out of the “waiting game.”  Get them fulfilled now with both meaningful income-producing work and kingdom work.  No one does well with a sloppy, ill-defined, meaning to life.  Get them fulfilled working steadily year round with meaning; there should be no intermittent dragging months.  See to it that they wake up to a day with purpose, continually.

So, what do clean lines in living arrangements look like?
Separate your finances and financial obligations from his or hers.  Does your son/daughter pay rent?  Or, does he/she work for that rent for you by doing specifically X, Y, and Z, or by working for someone else to earn that rent?  This area alone will destroy a relationship if not clearly spelled out.  His/her obligation to you (as regards paying a fixed amount for rent) cannot be unending and open-ended; it has to be settled by fixed tasks or established payment amounts, where there is a measurable end to them and the young adult is freed from any further parental expectations.  Are the household’s meal preparation and cleanup responsibilities clearly delineated?  Who is responsible for what?  Do you give each other space, if so desired, by leaving the kitchen when he or she enters; or vice versa?  Are both of you working at what you would both have to do full-time if you were living in two separate households?  Meal planning and preparations are a given in every living situation, at least some of the time.

Does the emerging adult have some space all to himself?  Does he have the potential of privacy?  Does he clearly own his own things and have his own bank account?

Your grown child needs space that can be organized by his own design and kept neatly or in a mess, given his personality—just as married couples have with each other.  If all space is shared, the relationship will collapse.  Private property is one of the first gifts even God gives to His bride (children) by allotting land by tribe to the children of Israel.

Do you give your grown child his own time, and opportunity to do his own home-based business(es)  or to work for others without being clobbered by your own random, unexpected sudden requests, to get you out of a bind, that claim his time for your own ends?  Are you frequently invading his time?  Even if you see him doing nothing, that is his right if his bills are paid.  Further, have you determined to make it financially advantageous to him to live with you, or are you eager for his financial contribution only for your own sake?  A grown adult knows his parents’ motives.  He observes them when you are not on dress parade.

Often remind yourself that if he were married and out of your home, he would ipso facto be using his time as he sees fit and thinking his thoughts as he thinks them, just as you did when you reached adult autonomy.  Just as you do not have access to your married children 24/7, it is not your right to have such access to the unmarried, even though he is still in your own home.  Adulthood is adulthood, and that includes having a separate psyche—even a private diary and private letters, just as you have.  If you did not finish the job of raising him during his growing years when you were authorized by God to do it, (and who of us parents ever does finish it?) you have to make your peace with the fact that that your “formation” job assignment has ended.  Your grown son will never be perfect; he will never totally “arrive”—just as you and your spouse haven’t, even yet.  You have to shift gears, from constant correction to living with forgiveness and adapting to all the uncomfortable, unpolished behaviors of any adult human being.  Other factors (we learn from experiences, too) and influences from other people now will have their say, not the least of which is God’s input, Himself, directly into his adult soul. 

Make sure that your grown at-home son/daughter knows that you are building his kingdom and not your own, and you will find that his heart will be with you to the end.  If you do not do this kind of self-sacrifice and adaptation when he becomes an adult, he may flee at his earliest chance.  Home has to continually be the best place on earth or another will be found, at any cost, if even only in the section of the heart that privately “longs” for such a place, substituting someone else in his/her affections.  Build relational capital with your grown children for a lifetime, by never losing sight of the prospect of the last ten years of your own life.  What have you relationally earned from your son by being as supportive and loving as possible?  That may even involve joining the “zipped-lip” club that many seniors have found they had to join ahead of you.  You have a chance to create a heaven on earth for your offspring as long as you live. 

See our booklets/e-books Daughters in Waiting and Young Men Preparing for Marriage for further details.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Relating to a dysfunctional husband

Friday, 24. April 2015 by Renee Ellison

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When we express extreme anguish over a spouse’s disappointing or even bad behavior, the underling belief we have—which we don’t know that we have—is that our personal anguish will somehow touch the other person.  However, if the person lacks the ability to have empathy (a clinical condition; can’t conjure it up, can’t imagine it, lacks the ability to produce it) we have to look at that condition as if a piece of that other person’s DNA is missing, and change our own behaviors in relation to that immovable situation.  It is like dealing with any other handicap in any other person: the person can’t walk because they can’t.  They are in a wheelchair.  Likewise, we must view this emotional disorder as a mental wheelchair.

Our illusion is that if we could just explain it better, if he were to read the right material or get under the influence of the right person, this could be fixed.  Chances are that these hopes are ill-founded if it wasn’t fixed after reading the first book or having the first discussion.  Habit can clobber sane rationality/courage any day, if we one is dealing with a lifetime chronic situation.

Therefore, when we personally have anguish we need to come to see that we are wasting our own emotional capital, only ruining our own day.  It wears us out, but does nothing to the other person.  He may be having a fine day—oblivious to us.  When we figure out that this is in fact the dynamic we are living with, our wise, better course would be to conserve our own emotional energy via self-talk that goes something like this: “This isn’t fazing him a bit, so why should it faze me?” and get busy doing something very engaging that you love to do on you own.  Simply learn to unhook from the cause of the devastation.  Don’t GO there.  If HE is not feeling anything, why should YOU be?  If you remain a victim of chronic dashed expectations, you will forever be miserable.  If someone’s devious or underhanded behavior always takes our breath away, we will always be reeling.  If, on the other hand, we note the underhanded behavior and unhook, check-out, and expect it, then we can move past it and have a life of our own.

It might be quite life-giving to learn how to live in the moment better.  When things are going well, act like the big picture is good.  Pretend.  For your own sake, enjoy all of the gusto you can get out of the relationship while it is going well.  It would be similar to relating to someone who has periodic memory loss and doesn’t even know who you are.  You would simply learn to relate to him (or her) fully for those moments when his memory returns and he does know who you are.  Aim to obtain from the relationship your own momentary joys—and unhook from the rest.  Die to any and all expectations that it will ever be otherwise.  Live a life beside him for all of those moments when it is obvious that he is not in the relationship and doesn’t have a clue about how to get there.  Carve out of life your own quiet joys next to him.  This will revive your own emotional reserves and give you zest for living life wherever there is life—with other relationships and pursuits, for example.  And of course you always have a secret cathedraled life with God that you can retreat to for the most trustworthy, satisfying nurture a human being could ever want.  Go there and mental healing will ever flow.

Remember that the goal of this life is not personal happiness.  It is wanting to be conformed to the image of Christ, no matter what it takes.  It is submitting to whatever surgery is necessary to take on yet more of His nature.  We have this promise: “When we see Him, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).  Saddle up.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Water resourcefulness at home

Monday, 16. March 2015 by Todd Ellison

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Did you know, water was the one of the very first things the Almighty created?  Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  In the original Hebrew, heavens, literally, is “that which is water.”  Water represents life, and God is the author of life.  Water is the primary element astronomers are looking for as their craft probe for life on far-off planets and asteroids in outer space.  There is no life if there is no water.  (This is true spiritually, too.  If living water isn’t flowing into us on a regular basis, our spirits suffer, wither and eventually die.  The Savior cried out at one of the festival gatherings in Jerusalem, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”  The Apostle John on Patmos quoted him in Revelation as saying “To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  However, the focus of this post is on the practical aspect of being good stewards of H2O.)

If an adequate supply of good, clean water is a scarce and/or costly commodity where you live, there are a number of ways to reduce your consumption. Most of them go against the grain of the rich lifestyle of the typical American—in comparison with that of most of the people on Earth.  Nonetheless, you may want to try some of these tips, because (1) there may come a time when you must survive on a very small supply of water, (2) using these strategies can be an eye-opener into the state of your health, (3) you may save money that you can better use for other ends [our City just doubled the rates for its “customers”), (4) this will give you a bit of empathy for the billions in the world who do not have access to even the basics of potable water, and (5) doing this will increase your appreciation for the Heavenly Father’s gracious, ample and timely provision of our needs.

Use biodegradable laundry detergent, use less than you think you should, and send the used wash- and rinse-water onto your lawn, especially around your trees. If you have hard water, try using Rockin Green (Vitacost.com is a possible source; if you haven’t been a customer of theirs yet, please email us to recommend you to them, and we’ll each get a $10 credit toward a future order; this is a good way of thanking us for the advice we offer you on this website—try using Coupon Code Bamboo for an additional 10% off); they have a kind (Hard Rock Motley Clean) that works great with hard water—and you use less than a tablespoon of the powder in a full load of wash.  (Abesmarket.com is another source for Rockin Green.)  Then, when you know you’re not polluting your water supply or your plants, you can direct the wash- and -rinse water outdoors instead of adding it to the load of the sewer system.  Pull your washing machine out from the wall toward you enough for you to reach the black hose that makes a turn down into your sewer system, and attach a hose to it or simple aim it into some 3-gallon buckets when the cycle is dumping water.  You can use that water to wash and rinse your cars.  If you find your rinse water coming out with a lot of soapy bubbles, you may be using too much detergent.  The downside of that, in addition to the waste, is that you’re probably wearing soap next to your skin when you put on those clothes.  Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so that’s not a good idea.  (The best thing to wear next to your skin is unbleached, undyed natural organic linen, which has some of the highest healing frequencies of any fabric; you can order that, in yards of fabric or made up into items for you, from LifeGivingLinen.com.)  Also, in terms of laundry: not everything you wear needs to be washed after a single use.  It is not a crime to wear the same shirt and pants for several days if they’re not dirty or smelly!  You can probably wash your towels once a week; bed linens, even less often, unless someone’s been sick.

Likewise, after you’ve washed your dishes (using the plastic-tub method Renee recommends—one for soapy water and one for rinse water, if you have a double sink in your kitchen), pour out your gray water onto your lawn.  This, of course, is assuming you’re using biodegradable natural dish soap too.  A good thing about the tub method is, you know just how much water you’re consuming, and you’re not sending good hot water down the drain (that could have been used for further rinses and for other purposes after the rinsing, too).  Also, your sink will last longer and you will have less breakage if you are inserting a tub into your sink when it’s time to wash the dishes.

To further conserve water, plant trees—not just any kind of trees, but ones that are suited for your environment.  If you’re in a dry climate, avoid a tree that needs a lot of water.  Once you get the right trees situated around your house (on the southern and western sides of your house if you’re in the northern hemisphere, and away from underground pipes and septic systems (because the roots will seek water in them and will clog them) and not too close to your house (because they can damage it when branches break off or the tree falls).  Having the welcome shade of trees in the right place in the hot time of the year can actually increase the amount of moisture in the air around where you live.  With shade, you’ll need a lot less water to keep your grass green than if it’s baking at full exposure to the summer sun—especially if your grass is a drought-tolerant type such as Wildflower Farm’s Eco-Lawn Grass Seed.  And, when you do irrigation your lawn, do it in the dawn and dusk hours (not in the middle of the day when so much more will evaporate) and water less frequently but more deeply so the roots grown deep.

Also, surround your trees, plants and garden areas with a thick layer of organic mulch (we get wood chips free from the City after they prune trees around town).  This reduces evaporation of moisture, nourishes the soil, increases the capacity of the soil to retain moisture, and inhibits weed growth (or at least makes it easier to pull weeds, because their roots aren’t as deeply entrenched).  You’ll need to replenish the mulch annually or every two years, because it breaks down and makes rich loamy soil.

Catch your roof drain water in barrels for reuse in your yard.

Speaking of septic systems: guys can urinate into a jug.  (By the way this is Todd, Renee’s husband, writing the blog this time!)  Urine is sterile.  Choose a gallon jug that is see-through and that has a good tight-fitting lid, 2” in diameter.  If you empty out and rinse out the jug regularly, it won’t be smelly.  Set your personal jug in a discrete area of your bathroom.  Assuming that you’re living on property that has land, not an apartment in a concrete jungle, pour it out along the base of your trees—if you’re eating well, it probably contains good nutrients and minerals.  Plus, it may deter deer and other wildlife from encroaching on your yard and chewing your plants and trees.  Do the math, and you’ll realize how much water you’re saving.  Even the highest efficiency toilets use up to 1.28 gallons per flush; some of the older toilets use more than 3 GPF.  According to ConserveH2O.org, “More than 45% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 27% being used by toilets.”  A dozen flushes a day adds up to thousands of gallons per year per person and is far more than is necessary (if you’re a male).  Plus, you will be able to observe the state of your health by seeing the color of your urine.  It should be amber colored.  If it is dark, you probably aren’t drinking enough water.  The rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces of water every day.

As for the remainder of your use of toilet water, reduce the water volume in the toilet tank by setting weighted plastic bottles or a float booster in your toilet tank.  Eartheasy.com explains (step 6 of their water conservation tips) how to do it and how to make sure you have enough water flowing to do an effective flush.

Another way to greatly reduce your use of water in the bathroom—and also to cut down on heating the water—is to attach a flexible hose spray head to your shower head.  You hold it in one hand and only turn it on when you’re actually needing water.  Eartheasy.com states that “a four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.”  If you stand in a flat bucket, or plug the drain so you can scoop out the used water, you can flush the toilet with the water.  And, take a shower rather than a bath, except for occasions when you want to soak in Epsom salts or something like that; why sit in dirty water rather than have it do your ablution and run off?

Likewise, turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, as soon as you’ve wet your brush.  Also, dentists recommend dry brushing every so often, because it gives the brush a better grip on your gums and your teeth.

Do you see a theme in these suggestions?  You’re reducing the volume of water that is leaving your property through the sewer pipe.  And, in many cases, you are getting double use out of your water.

Have you noticed in various areas of life, that the Heavenly Father provides just what you need, when you’re in His will and are acting responsibly?  Good stewardship of His wondrous gift of water—distilled from the oceans and dropped as rain and snow on the land for our use bit by bit—is a means for us as believers to express our gratefulness for His daily provision.

Got you interested?  WaterUseItWisely.com has about 200 tips for saving water.

Do you have water-saving water-reusing tips to share?  Send them to us as a Comment!

Filed Under: Home management tips

Response to the current “Tiny House” discussion

Thursday, 19. February 2015 by Renee Ellison

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Everyone, simply everyone, has to conquer the housing issue in their life.  The sooner we homeschooling parents can ground our high schoolers with this immutable reality, the better.  Housing is like gravity: the need for it doesn’t go away even if we attempt to wish it away, or try to avoid facing it indefinitely.  Having an early strong financial goal of conquering this fixed need in our lives will help clobber the temptation to spend money on trivia (a tendency that can go on for several decades), or to waste money on rent, and will help to marshal our stray hours into a compelling purpose to get this “over with”.  Unbeknownst to most of the public discussion on this topic, it can be gotten “over with”—if we play our early years wisely.

Just the other day there was an article in World Net Daily that said, “How an emerging adult spends the first ten LABOR years of their lives will determine the rest of their lives.”  Conquering the housing/land problem early in life gives a person freedoms down the road that are unimaginable to him when he is still youngWhere we conquer obtaining this housing/land package is always important, but it’s not the most important thing initially; one can always swap/rent/improve/sell/trade up that starter position.  It is when one doesn’t work at building the starter nest-egg—that is what can sink someone into mortgage debt for the rest of life.  The root of the word mortgage is morgue—i.e. death.  A mortgage is an agreement with death.  The vast majority of our culture makes this covenant with death, which many often enter cavalierly as they eagerly sign their first mortgage, not realizing the full extent of what they are doing.

Now some thoughts regarding the current public discussion about tiny houses:
The sheer number of books and YouTube videos touting the glories of a tiny house indicate that the trend is mushrooming.  The Tiny House movement may be an over-reaction to our culture’s run-away materialism, and is certainly nothing new. The elderly have been downsizing for decades.  Let’s examine more closely what it belies.  Is it not evidence perhaps that the capacity to live is shrinking?  One simply doesn’t need more spacious housing if one’s productivity is slowing down, if one’s engagements are falling off, if one’s social life is drying up (visitors come less often), and/or if “taking dominion” over life’s possibilities and family building is not the goal.  Young adults could go about it the other way—building a large metal shed and then tucking a warm livable space into a corner of it—so that there is no limit on one’s endeavors.  In a warehouse, expansion possibilities exist from the get-go; there is no ceiling upon who one can become and what one can do.  Entrepreneurialism is fast becoming a smarter option than lifetime-debtor-slavery to colleges.  The excitement in living is to actually DO something.  To actually do anything, and to be home-centric in doing it—loving your own environment instead of living like a vagabond all over town—one needs space.

A tiny house works great for a single person who largely conducts business somewhere else and only needs a YMCA or youth hostel-type cot for the night.  The minute you put two people in such an arrangement, however—let alone one’s first squalling baby—all bets are off for its long range workability.  Tight living quarters will eventually (if not on the first day) create more stress for two humans—though flocks of animals seem to be able to handle it okay.

Therefore, might we be starting off the discussion about housing on the weaker end of the stick?  Let’s face it: a person can live in anythingIs not the more significant consideration the land on which the home rests?  This is something it seems we’ve forgotten, but something the pioneers heading west totally grasped.  We might need to re-discover this in our modern lives.  “If I can just get me a plot of land” was the insatiable appetite of the young in the early days of the development of any country.

One could build the most fabulous tiny house imaginable, but if the land issue wasn’t settled beforehand, perplexities will assertively present themselves the day after it is finished as to where to set it.  Here is the problem: if a person lives on someone else’s land (ostensibly for “free”) they’ll trade financial woes for relational woes.  Sure-shootin’.  They’ll walk around under constant guilt/anxiety about the hour when the relationship may go south—the love tires, grows weary, impatient, the landlords suddenly change, or the landlord’s plans change (e.g. he just lost HIS job, has to move to take care of HIS parents), and any number of unforeseeable variables.  Anxieties without number can begin to mount about all of the surrounding housing/living details: parked cars, the condition of the grounds immediately around the tiny house, the volume of the music, the use of drugs and alcohol, and whose responsibility it is to shovel the snow or repair the broken fence.  The responsibility fog/load gets murky in a hurry.  When one’s living situation hinges on the benevolence of someone else (one’s garage “free-land-lord”, or “free” driveway benefactor) one’s anxieties don’t go away.  Such a person trades mortgage anxieties for interpersonal anxieties and finds that he still is not free.

To be truly free, one could restructure the discussion to look for the land first.  Secure the plot, first, even if it is on the backside of a remote village.  And while beginning the search, look for one thing in particular—a good supply of good clean water.  Is its source secure?  Is the well or the supply infrastructure already secure?  Don’t settle for the hope of having water, or the maybe of having a future water infrastructure “coming to the area”.  Is the water polluted?  How polluted?  Before you plop down your first nickel, be sure of your water situation (and, additionally, make sure that the land is not built over a mine-shaft, a uranium deposit or an area where an oil rig may show up and start drilling).  In other words, don’t mince questions over what is underneath the land.  Nothing, however, is as important as the water issue.  Under an EMP attack, surely nothing else matters as much.  So disregard the gorgeous housing magazines and keep your head on.  You can’t drink a view.

Then build your tiny house—erect your tent—buy your RV; you can upgrade through the years.  By the way, in most cases, the only difference between an RV and your tiny house is looks, mobility (a tiny house is not intended for frequent movement, whereas an RV could move to a different slot each night) and the depth of your passion to control the configuration of the layout.  Die to your perfectionisms and you can save yourself a chapter of having to become a construction manager—a career/field most people know nothing about, will spend inordinate hours brooding over, and still wind up with mistakes and oops common to newbies in any field—to say nothing of having to wear a hammer on your belt for double the time you had planned upon.

The truly winning strategy to be financially free for a lifetime, in terms of your housing?  Start with where—and then, downstream, think through your what.  For more on this topic, read our 10 Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary People Who Got Free of House Debt and Sure Financial Steps for Beginners.

Picture source (and for more information): Cozy Tiny House.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Entrepreneurialism vs. entitlement

Wednesday, 11. February 2015 by Renee Ellison

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Our society has raised a generation of entitlement thinkers.  Children want something for nothing, and they grow into adults who want something for nothing.  In the American ghetto, sadly, we now have three generations who have sat around their family dinner table talking about their welfare checks.  Meanwhile, quietly, immigrants both now and from yesteryear rolled up their sleeves and got to work and worked themselves out of the American ghetto in one generation.  The immigrants slept on the floor in the back of their shops and now own the buildings that house those same shops…while their American counterparts continued a life of poverty and grew their entitlement mentality.

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a British psychologist who worked in the ghettos of the U.K., says that often “poverty is what we carry around between our two ears.”  It breeds itself in our thought life.  See his eye-opening book: Life at the Bottom.

As a nation, we are “hand-out-foolish.”  Think of how our country could be improved if we required commensurate work for every welfare check we handed out.  We could say as a nation, “Yes, you can have money: there will always be money for the individual who will give us work in exchange.”  How ‘bout that for a policy?!

Recipients of government benefits could improve our country’s roads, spotlessly clean bathrooms in all of our government buildings, plant trees, pick up trash along roads, pick weeds, do maintenance repairs on old equipment, etc, etc.

Here is the problem.  Entitlement programs work until you run out of taxpayers.  Then you have a disaster on your hands.

A few years ago, outraged college students took over their college president’s office because they wanted future students of The Cooper Union to continue receiving a free education.  The impasse lasted 65 days.  The institution was over-extended and in debt by $17 million through a series of poor decisions.  The ideology was unsustainable in the real world.  Free means someone hidden is footing the bill.  Nothing is ever free.  The president and the professors should have walked off their jobs, turned the lights out, and left the students with the bills, but they didn’t, because their own entitlement mentality got the best of them (the president thought there was nothing unconscionable about receiving a salary of nearly $800,000 and getting free use of an elegant townhome in New York).  Their fragile inflated salaries, fabricated out of cotton candy dynamics, were at stake.  While the fountain of illusion still flowed they wanted to be there to fill up their jugs.  And so the impasse remained an impasse.

By the way, US college student loan debt has surpassed a trillion dollars.  To put that into graspable terms: if a business started at the time of the birth of Christ, and was open every day since, and accrued debt at the rate of one million dollars per day, it would be 700 years from now before that business would have a debt of one trillion dollars.

Whatever happened to the biblical mandate, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”?  Squeeze our current ideology, thoroughly wring it out for all its worth, and eventually we’ll be plunged back into the 19th century.  Someone has to work to make the raw materials, ship the raw materials, make them into salable products, retail them, etc.  If we lie down on the job anywhere along the line (as we’ve now done in our society) we’ll derail for good.

The root of this entitlement problem is that most youth (and much of the adult general population) of today have never run a business.  Start with entrepreneurial training of your children and you can turn this ship around, at least for your family.  It begins with the lemonade stand.  Teach your children that they never get to keep the whole dollar.  They have to work to get the dollar to begin with, but then they have to pay for their supplies before they walk home with profits.  Tell them before they set up the stand that you will be asking for money out of their profits to replenish your supplies—that they will be paying you for the paper cups, the sugar, and the lemons.  Teach them what economies are all about by encouraging them to have realistic experiences with small businesses of their own.  Then compliment them, inspire them, give them enlarging tips and opportunities, and you’ll have done your part to grow some business muscle in our nation.

Entitlement or entrepreneurialism?  Take your pick and live with your outcomes.  For a further impassioned discussion of this matter listen to Renee’s half-hour radio program on Sunday, 2/15/15 at 10:00 RMST on Messianic Lamb Radio or return to this site to hear the archived program at any time afterwards.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Tips for improving the functionality of your home

Sunday, 25. January 2015 by Renee Ellison

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Here are tips for tweaking your home accessories to enhance your ability to work and teach more easily.  Make your home and its objects serve you, rather than you serving them.

Lap boards:
It’s handy to have a few stiff lap boards (12x12”) to use underneath each child’s work, while sitting on the couch with mama.  We just jerk the covers of old large children’s books from the thrift store to use for these stiff boards.  Reinforce the corners with a piece of duct tape to keep them from fraying.

Slant boards for kids:
Setting these on the study table lifts the child’s work up at a slant which makes it easier to read.

Card table and booster seat:
With a smaller child, use a booster seat and a grownup’s card table.  Mama scoots the light card table up to the child as tightly as it needs to be for the child’s easy arm movement.  This is far easier than attempting to move the already seated child up to the tablet.  Mama sits at the card table with her child for good tight focused learning.

Because a homeschooling mom is often working in the kitchen at the same time that she is schooling—double-whamming her time—let’s look at two ideas for the kitchen, too.

Kitchen trash can-ease:
Have two open trash cans in the kitchen, making it easy to toss trash in quickly without having to constantly open lower cupboard doors or mess with removing or tilting trash can lids.  The ideal size is 15x14x8.5”.  Why is that ideal?  Because standard grocery store checkout bags fit in these containers, saving you from having to purchase bags, and they are light enough for the children to carry to empty often (this teaches them responsibility at an early age) and to notice when it needs emptying, because it’s not hidden.

Set these two receptacles side by side on the edge between the kitchen and the adjacent work/dining/study room.  One of these cans is used primarily for kitchen garbage, the other for homeschooling paper trash and craft trash.  The secret bonus?  Both are available for either use, at all times.

“Easy-on-your-back” work surfaces:
Create three work levels in your kitchen.  One level is the height of a 5-gallon plastic bucket (actually use a 5-gallon bucket for that level, with its lid on; it will be 17” high).  Use this level to set your trashcan upon when in use to peel carrots or potatoes so that the peels fall right into the trash can; this eliminates the step of scooping peelings from the sink and it ensures that the peelings make it into the trash because it is right underneath you (impossible to miss).

The next level is achieved by using a little cart with wheels, ideally 26” high.  Place your blender upon this level.  This enables you to look down into your blender when you’re stuffing it with produce, and it allows your arm to fully extend downward when you’re hand-mixing a bowl of batter, for example—far easier and more restful on your arm than stirring with your arm bent at higher levels.

Your final work surface height is your normal kitchen counter, measuring something like 35”.  You’ll love transferring from surface to surface, depending upon the need at hand.

Any improvement that saves wear and tear on mama is worth it—especially when it uses something you already have or that you can find inexpensively, like these suggestions.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Constructing your home’s “Wall of Education”

Friday, 02. January 2015 by Renee Ellison

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You’ve heard of the halls of education?  Well, here now, we’ll be constructing the wall of education smile : a wall dedicated only to home schooling materials.  Nothing else is allowed to even be set there.

Assemble it simply with long boards and cinderblocks.  Create a headspace of about 12 inches between shelves and build it only about 3 to 3.5 feet high.  This whole structure is totally portable; you can move it whenever you have to.

Now this is what you put in, on and above it:


In it:
Set each of your Sterlite™ box totes into a cubby hole assigned to each child with his name labeled on that shelf.  He is always to return his box exactly there.  Nothing else is to be kept in these cubby holes or totes—only immediate academic materials and their current reading book and bible.  Underneath each tote, slid directly under the tote spine-side facing out.  (This tilts their totes slightly upward and inward—an added plus.  In these notebooks will go all artwork and writings.  No free floating papers in their totes!

On it:
• The clean long surface on the top of the bookcase which ends up being about waist height—will now be filled in with this stuff:
• A box of the EXTRA paces, that they aren’t currently working on—all labeled according to subject and grade levels with taller stiffer paper between each section.
• A three-hole punch
• A box of scratch paper
• Spare pencils, colored pencils, scissors, tape and markers.
• And multiple approved recreational reading books, with bookends (covered bricks hold them nicely).

Above it:
• A large flat paper map of the world
• A large clock
• A large wall non-gloss calendar that can be easily written on
• A schooling chart (made of 1/2 inch graph paper) with all of the children’s names down the left side and all the topics across the top—a red marker tied to a long string and nailed next to it to mark off their work as they do it each day.  This frees mom up from keeping track of it all.  All she has to do is look at the large chart and presto she knows what each child has done and not done.
Zoom-Type• Little yellow art book (ask me about that)

(optional—but a really good idea, as described in an earlier post—a visible progress board (just a section of that wall…no actual board) dedicated to Mom and/or Dad’s progress on their big projects.  You put up Post-it notes directly on the wall of what is left to do—one item per Post-it note—written in large print with a marker—(no pen or pencil—can’t see such writing a foot away)—when you get an idea, or remember another next step that you’d forgotten, you write it down and post it up there—all future steps are written out up there—then as each step is accomplished it is taken off the wall and put at the bottom of the wall—so that you can see the stack grow at the bottom of all you accomplished.  This is a simple, marvelous, easy tracking system.)

Nearby:
A piano keyboard set nearby that has headsets—sparing the mama and papa from hearing beginning practicing by the younger set.  A practice chart directly above it with all the children’s names on it, and what they are to practice next.

Voilá—more academic organization than you ever dreamed—now in place—you’ve got your “horse to ride” sitting right in the stall—and YOU DID IT!

Filed Under: Home management tips

15 power tips for organizing your home

Friday, 26. December 2014 by Renee Ellison

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Organizing your home deeply and thoroughly has some hidden pluses for your emotions. Decluttering and arranging helps clarify you.  As you do it, you discover where your subliminal goals are headed: “There’s no time for [this] or [that]”, or “I’ve lost interest in this or that”.  The action of organizing takes people who are struggling with depression, out of that depression in a hurry.  Gaining order in your home makes you feel on top of things (instead of under them), and moves your life forward, positioning your past where it should be—in your past—defined and drastically pared down.  Further, you just plain feel happier sitting down in the midst of a very organized home, tickled every time you open a drawer or a cupboard.  An organized environment is invigorating.  Your entire family feels its effects.

To accomplish this, a person must say no to other activities for a brief while to provide more time to do it.  We all make time only by prioritizing time.  Action clobbers negative emotions.  Motion creates e-motion.  Here’s how to start that motion:

1.  To conquer that overwhelmed feeling, just move in that direction.  Take a baby step.  Sort and organize some little corner, or some little box of something, and you’ll find you take off like a rocket.  Unfortunately, that overwhelmed feeling may remain an obstacle each time you start.  Overcome it by applying the same strategy tomorrow: just “go”, move, vamoose, and soon you’ll have a trail of finished organization—in your wake—behind you.  Even 15 minutes of “organization attack” a day will work wonders in your home.

2.  Visual clarity is the goal of all organizing.  You must be able to see everything at a moment’s glance.  No more rummaging for anything.  For example, according to this line of thinking, you don’t want to stack t-shirts, you want to roll them so that you see the spine of all the colors at once.  You don’t want to put cans of food behind other cans of food, you want to make risers for cans so that you see all three rows at once.  You don’t want to stuff scarves or belts into a drawer, you want to perhaps clip them on a hanger so that you remove one hanger and see them all at once, or roll them.

3.  Files are most often just stand up trash.  Purge your files.  Label well the ones that survive.

4.  Label all boxers and containers on the end that you see first, as you approach.  Label everything.  When labeling glass jars, get a large roll of white electrician’s tape to use as the base of all of your labels.  Put a piece of this down first, on your glass.  Then attach your lettered label on top, making it slightly shorter than the white electrician’s tape, or write right on the electrician’s tape with a black marker.  Cover it with a shorter piece of scotch tape, too, to keep your writing from smudging off.  Then whenever you want to change the label you pull off the electrician’s tape and it all comes right off easily—no time wasted picking and poking off an old paper label.  For cardboard boxes you can attach 2 strips of electrician’s tape about five and 1/2 inches apart. Then scotch tape your 3X5 card label on top of that; that way when you go to pull off your label it doesn’t pull off a patch of cardboard box with it.  The scotch tape that you have on both ends of your card is only attached to the top of the electrician’s tape.  Or just use 3X5 cards and don’t care if they pull off a patch of cardboard smile .

5.  Overcome reaching obstacles.  If you have to move things to get at things, put things that are seldom needed in those areas, or re-hang a door (of a room, fridge, or cupboard) to open in the opposite direction if that would make access more convenient.

6.  We use 20 percent of our stuff 80 percent of the time.  Therefore, put hot things in hot spots.  This one tip alone will revolutionize your home.  Store your most used stuff efficiently, within optimal reach.

7.  Think about your containers.  Corral your stuff into pleasant looking containers.  Records boxes (no larger than one cubic foot) are the best.  They are inexpensive at only $2.00 a box—cheaper than most plastic containers by far.  The lids are super easy to take off and on.  And the uniformity of how they look all stacked up or spread throughout the house makes you feel neat and organized.  This is far better than an assortment of random cardboard grocery store boxes with four-flap lids; those look messy and are a pain to open and close.  Then proceed to little containers within containers—all labeled.  Little containers in all drawers and cupboards will organize things beautifully.  Under the bathroom sink, use the space on both sides of the drain pipe by using narrow containers lifted up higher than your front containers.  To achieve this, put your “to-be-used-containers” on top of other “not-to-be-used” containers turned upside down, as stands for the top container.  You can also use bricks or narrow cardboard boxes or old plastic storage containers for these unseen risers.

8.  Obtain more instant space.  You can purchase plastic bed risers to put under the legs of each bed, thereby obtaining instant increased space to organize into, there, as well as install a ceiling shelf around the top of a room in your house or down a hallway—these fit neatly over your door jambs and provide enough space to tuck scores of additional records boxes up there.  Use shelf boards that are 12 inches deep.

8.  Put like things together.

9.  Purge books that you will never read again or that are easily obtained from libraries.  Purge old college textbooks and notes.  Purge jars and unneeded dishware.

10.  Use only plastic hangers in your closets, for a uniform neat look.  Pitch the wire ones.  Put containers in the bottom and top of your closet so that you can see everything at a glance.  Obtain a little two-step folding ladder to use to retrieve all your high-up storage.

11.  Re-think your outfits.  Don’t have 13 outfits that all say the same thing.  Make your outfits different enough to merit keeping those clothes.  Think only 8 (maximum) nice (well thought-through from head to toe) outfits for “public”; having 8 (instead of 7) puts you ahead one day each week in your rotation so that no one ever sees the same outfit for 8 weeks (two months) if you attend the same gathering/meeting every week.  (Perspective: when George Mueller clothed 10,000 orphans he had only three outfits for each child: their Sabbath outfit, one to wear, and one to wash during the week.)

12.  In with the new; out with the old. When one new thing enters the home, one old thing has to go—whether it be a purse, a magazine, shoes, a serving dish, etc.

13.  Mat both the outside and inside of both your front and back doors.  The more dirt that is trapped in these mats, the less dirt there will be on the floor.

14.  Use command hooks anywhere you need to hang things for easy retrieval—i.e. extension cords, bag of clothes pins, etc.  These are super easy to apply.

15.  Pack your cupboards with more food staples—food that is stable, that is good for you, and that you like to eat.  Food is only going to get more expensive and more difficult to find.

In conclusion, remember that the goal of organization is visual clarity.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Finding the best mattress for your health

Sunday, 21. December 2014 by Renee Ellison

Has your mattress lost its zing?  Is one of you slumping toward the center of your bed because of the weight of the other one in bed at night?  Are your arms falling asleep or tingling in the night?  Is your mattress reflecting heat back at you all night long?  Are allergens and chemicals in your mattress giving your immune system fits?  Do you feel the effects of metal in your mattress and box spring?

When you lie on memory foam (e.g., ComforPedic® by Beautyrest®) is it comfortable but toxic smelling?  Studies are revealing health problems that seem to be coming from metal and petrochemicals in bed mattresses.  One such report is an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola.  Perhaps you yourself have experienced increasing problems sleeping on the traditional mattress with its coil springs, fire-retardant chemicals, and petrochemical-produced gels and foams.  If that’s where you are, we have saved you mega-hours of research, if you want to a solution that will have no side-effects.

Bottom line: SleepEZ.com is a third-generation family business in Phoenix that produces one of the best mattresses in the marketplace today.  From our considerable research, we think they offer the best value for the money, too.  Plus, by spending your money with this company you are directly supporting families that operate a U.S. factory.

Here are the key findings from our mattress research:
Choose organic/natural latex from a company that will answer your every question with promptness, honesty and clarity.  There are scores of competitors out there, and there are many variables.  Is it necessary for it to be Certified Organic; will it suffice to know that the latex is natural, grown and produced by a source that does not include the use of pesticides and petrochemicals?  What are the differences between memory foam and latex foam, and how could the two be combined (as some companies claim to do—apparently falsely so)?  Is the company marketing aggressively?  You’ll know: you’ve been doing Internet searches and suddenly your screen is blotted with recurrent excess ads from an aggressive company.  Is the company making claims that are getting it in trouble with the law, or that lie to you (claiming to be the only seller of a certain type of mattress), or charge too much, etc.? 

What is the flame-retardant the company uses (to meet federal safety requirements)?  (The MSDS for Kevlar, for instance, states that fibrils of the material, if inhaled will cause lung damage; moreover, it would release some toxic gases if it burned.)  Is the sales/marketing department separate from the people who make the mattresses?  Are they rude to you, unresponsive, and unpleasant to deal with after you’ve made the sale?  Are glues used in the manufacture of the mattress?  (Avoid those, too.)  Do you want the Dunlop processed latex or the Talalay method of manufacturing the foam?

We feel confident that we have at last obtained the best solution for the bed that is best for our health.  Our choice is confirmed by scores of testimonials at themattressunderground.com.  The moderator of that site noted that he believes SleepEZ “compete[s] well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, and service.”

One of the many things we like about the SleepEZ mattresses is that they are modular.  You build your own—and you can order a queen or king bed mattress with separate side-by-side segments, enabling you to have a firmer combination on one side and softer on the other, plus the ease of moving the smaller sections as opposed to hefting one heavy mattress.  You might like to get the top layer as one piece; you could always cut it apart with industrial scissors or an electric knife, later, if you want to.

Shawn, the President of SleepEZ, personally answers phone calls, and talks knowingly about every aspect of the selection.  (Read what customers are saying about him at http://www.sleepez.com/testimonals.htm.)  He asks 3 questions about each of you—weight, height and sleeping pattern (side, back, front sleeper)—and then designs the layers to fit that.  From our many phone conversations with him, each of which he answered patiently, helpfully, and with integrity, we discovered there would be little benefit in having four 3’ thick layers rather than three.  He explained that you wouldn’t actually feel down to that fourth layer unless you weigh 300 pounds or more.  People pick the four-layer mattress more for the visual appeal—a more commanding presence in the room.  The same effect could be gained by lifting your bed by putting its legs on inexpensive plastic bed risers.

These foams are made from trees, not from petrochemicals, and are not glued (which could introduce toxic chemicals); instead, the core substance was washed and rinsed several times, and then the the latex was baked and frozen.  In these beds there are absolutely no allergens—no VOC’s—and the bed feels super comfortable.  Further, if you choose a variety of firmness levels for the layers (soft, medium and hard) you can keep rearranging the hardness of the three layers even after the mattress is in your bedroom.

Knowing what we do about fabric frequencies (as noted at LifeGivingLinen.com), we like the option of an all-organic-cotton cover for the mattress and for the wooden frame beneath it, rather than mixing cotton and wool which would cause the signature frequencies of the materials (plant kingdom and animal kingdom) to cancel each other out.  Instead of a cotton/wool blend, a better option in our opinion is their cotton/rayon cover (all in the plant kingdom; something general research has not caught up with yet; a bonus insight smile ).

In summary, uncovering and settling the bed problem is a great way of improving your health odds.

In exchange for our extensive research on this topic, which saves you time, if you go with SleepEZ, do us a favor and say that Renee Ellison referred you and they will give us a wee cut for bulk orders.  It costs the very same to you, whether you mention our name or not.  SleepEZ will treat you very well; their customer service is extraordinary. Other mattress companies we dealt with were downright irritating.

Our own results of sleeping on a Sleep EZ Talalay 9” foam latex mattress?
Thanks to SleepEZ, we have had the best night’s sleep in a long time.  AND we had fun in setting it up.  The day our mattress and foundation arrived, the two of us had a blast assembling it.  It was so good to see what is actually inside the bed we’re sleeping on.  No doubt it would be fun to watch a video of a couple unpacking and setting up their bed—lying on each level of mattress softness as they laid it down, and oohing and aahing about how nice it is, how soft, how it doesn’t smell, how ingenious its design is, how it breathes, how flexible it is in terms of adjusting the level of firmness and softness, etc.  We doubt that anyone sets up one of these beds in silence!

The SleepEZ organic bed is amazing—dreamlike—everything we ever wanted in a bed—superb in every way.  We sleep soundly, and don’t awake with a metallic taste in our mouths as was the case when sleeping on a prior purchase of a new coil-spring mattress.  The foundation, too, is made in the United States, and is equally ingenious in its design and in the ease of its assembly, using no tools.  You simply can’t go wrong with these mattresses—and this company!

Filed Under: Home management tips