Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

I’m Going to Let You in a Little Secret…


…and it isn’t particularly ground-breaking or radical. It’s part of what I call “How I survive the cold months” or “Please don’t hack on me.” It’s a corollary to, “Precisely how many layers of clothing can I get on my body and still be cold?”  We’ll get into that last one later, but rest assured, this is a battle that I’m already waging, even though it’s only October and it that shall not be named is (hopefully) still a ways off.

It that shall not be named?  By motherly decree, I have forbidden that anyone in the house speak the “s” word until November.  By crazy blog-writer decree I have also forbidden it spoken on the blog.  Shhhh….  Nope, don’t say it.

Runny noses and coughs have started popping up among my kin.  There are a few sore throats, but no glassy eyes or faraway stares.  At this point, baring any other symptoms appearing I’m figuring it’s just your average cold which means I begin pulling out a few trusted friends – elderberry, honey, lemon, chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, and thyme.  Admittedly, none of these things fit quite so neatly in a medicine chest as the stuff you can buy down at the drug store or your favorite big box store.  They won’t give you one pill a day relief from your symptoms and some of them will probably make you sweat.  My husband had a few choice words one time with me over the sweating part.  I believe he may have called me the “w” word with all of my steaming cups of herbal liquid (plus some ginger, lemon, and cayenne).  In my defense, everyone else at work was down for a week or more  whereas he was out for two days.

My personal motto is that if you’re sick with the usual winter ailments, some rest and plenty of liquids is always a safe bet. So is listening to your gut and knowing when to get outside, professional help.  My other, completely non-professional, non-qualified, random person on the internet, but I rule the house thing?  That stuff you can get in the boxes in the aisles of the stores is verboten except in extreme or special cases.

  • Your body gave you that fever for a reason and as long as it’s not too high and hasn’t gone on for too long, we’ll let it run its course while also keeping an eye on it periodically.  How high is too high and how long is too long?  That depends upon the age of the person in question.  Ask your doctor for guidance regarding your own family members.  We also consider other factors like a child’s behavior and overall appearance.  The clinic we go to has a doctor on call for nights and weekends, but many clinics and insurance companies have a “nurse on call” line.  Familiarize yourself with this number and when in doubt, seek medical advice.
  • Your body gave you that cough for a reason.  Let’s not just head out at the first sign and find a cough suppressant.  If you’re 6 and under, then you’re most definitely out of luck.  Older than that?  Yeah, sorry, but you’re still out of luck.  Lingering cough?  Time to head to the doctor, but I’m still not buying you that magic syrup at the big box store unless she says otherwise.

Coming up tomorrow? The things you can have in my humble, and completely not crazy, home. (No, really, I promise I’m not crazy.)


3 thoughts on “I’m Going to Let You in a Little Secret…

  1. Hate to admit it but we actually turned the heat on over the weekend — only to 68 degrees so far. I’m sitting here in a turtleneck top under a turtleneck wool sweater and also wearing fingerless wool gloves. But I am with you, the word won’t be mentioned. Too much work to do to get the garden ready for bed!

    • Everyone else in the house is perfectly comfortable – even when I used to have it set down at 64 degrees in order to keep the cost of running the old furnace down they were all toasty warm. They’d be looking for shorts while I’d be piling on blankets. When we got the grant for the new furnace and weatherization, the costs associated with heating (and cooling) the house went down so I’ve adjusted things slightly. The thermostat is now set at 69 degrees during the day and 66 at night (instead of 64 in the day and 62 at night). For the record, I’m still cold and I still think I need a fleece blanket in every room of the house. I’d have to turn it up to 71 before I feel comfortable.

      So…we’ll shiver together!

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