Casita Repairs — & Epic Fail!

Several months ago we had taken the Casita to a local tire shop to have them check the bearings.  They apparently forced too much grease in and blew out the seals on the back.  We ended up with grease squirts in our wheel well, and our brake controller started showing wildly random, nonsensical readings.

Ron took the truck in for service and had them check it to make sure that wasn’t the problem.  They told him the truck’s brakes were fine.

Long story short… we’re having a guy look at the electric brakes on the trailer Wednesday, and are pretty sure they’ll have to be replaced.  And that’s something we need to have done before our next trip.

Secondly, we have to park the Casita under trees, so we have a problem with mildew growing on the roof.  Before our last trip, Ron was scrubbing the roof and decided that a foam mildew remover would make the job easier.  What we didn’t count on was the foam running down the sides of the trailer and leaving chalky streaks in the Poliglow.  It did.  It totally ruined the finish.

So I got the old Poliglow stripped off the top half of the trailer before it turned cold.  But the weather hasn’t been warm enough to reapply it until now.  Now that it is warm enough, we are also getting rain.  And I can’t apply the new coats of Poliglow when there is a chance of rain.

So we will probably head to Texas with a matte finish trailer instead of a shiny white egg unless we get a break in the weather really soon.

My cayenne infused oil made a gorgeous pinkish red salve.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work!  :)

My cayenne infused oil made a gorgeous pinkish red salve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work! 🙂

The epic fail story?

I’ve rarely used shea butter before.  When I did, it was always way down the list of ingredients in a lotion.  Since I had read that shea butter was superb for eczema treatment, I ordered a pound of it for my homemade creams and lotions.

Last night I made two big batches of shea butter cream and lotion — then slathered myself with that wonderfully rich, creamy goodness before going to bed.

Rich, silky, deeply moisturizing cream -- that I'm violently allergic to!

Rich, silky, deeply moisturizing cream — that I’m violently allergic to!

I woke up itching — bigtime!  I had a weepy red rash all over my body!  It never occured to me that I might be allergic to shea butter, but I am.  Violently allergic to it!

So tonight I’ll scrape my creations out of the jars so I can reuse them.  Then I’ll make another batch.  This time it will be unscented, and with no shea butter!

Projects Between Trips — Home Remedies for Arthritis & Eczema

My homemade eczema treatment cream

My homemade eczema treatment cream

As always, I must have projects to keep me entertained and happy during the down time between trips.

This year I decided I would experiment with making my own home remedies for conditions that I’ve never found a satisfactory treatment for elsewhere.

Eczema, for instance.   The thick, nasty ointments and creams the doctors prescribe are downright disgusting.  You have to be really miserable to slather yourself with that stuff.  Alternatively, you can slather with cortisone-based cream.  A side effect is that cortisone makes me grow a moustache.  That’s almost worse than the skin problems!

Infusing cayenne and ginger oils for an arthritis cream

Infusing cayenne and ginger oils for an arthritis cream

So I did a little (okay, a lot) of research and found a recipe for an eczema cream I liked.  I tweaked it a little bit.  And I am absolutely delighted with the result.  It contains beeswax. coconut oil, safflower oil, aloe vera gel, Vitamin E and honey.  It was scented with rosemary and tea tree oil.  But I thought it smelled nasty, so I added some sweet orange essential oil.  Now it smells wonderful.

The honey was an odd addition, I thought.  But it must be the magic ingredient that makes this cream really special.  It is completely non-greasy and feels wonderful on the skin.  And the soothing protection lingers for hours.

I’ll make this again, but will wait until my shea butter order arrives, as I think it will make it even more healing.

Another project is finding a pleasant, effective treatment for osteoarthritis back pain.  Cayenne (capsicum, capsaicin) is widely used in OTC arthritis creams.  Ginger is warming and anti-inflammatory, so I think it will  boost the effect of the cayenne.

In researching home remedies, you run into so much garbage and ignorance, it is very difficult to sift fact from myth.  But I ran across an Israeli study that said that frankincense rubbed topically over joints for 7 days was an effective arthritis pain treatment.  I also ran across a Japanese study that said that orange oil rubbed into arthritic knees had proven beneficial to elderly Japanese patients.

I splurged on cute Japanese dishes -- in hopes they will help me limit my food portions!

I splurged on cute Japanese dishes — in hopes they will help me limit my food portions!

So, combining all of that information, I decided I would make a cream infused with cayenne and ginger oils, and add frankincense and orange oil to scent it with.  If nothing else, I love the smell of frankincense and sweet orange, so it ought to smell good!

I have to infuse the cayenne and ginger oils for 10 days first.  I’ll pour the oils into a clean jar then, let them settle, then decant them for use in my arthritis cream.  I am so excited to see if they really do help!

The oils will be combined with beeswax, almond oil, grapeseed oil and aloe vera gel, so they should not be irritating to the skin in the proportions I’m using.

A final project is trying to lose the massive amount of weight I’ve put on this past year due to the double whammy of quitting smoking and steroid COPD treatments.  So I bought myself a little Japanese dish set that will be so much fun to use — and will hopefully help me limit my food portions.

After Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, of course!  🙂


Busy Day Today

Sulfur soap, Christmas shoe boxes, and food for church Thanksgiving baskets

Had a busy day today–for me, anyway!

Saw the dentist, and got great news from him.  He told me to keep on whatever I am doing because my teeth looked great.   That was a major relief because my gums were not doing too well until I bought a Waterpic and started using it every day.

Then we went to dinner, then shopping for Operation Christmas Child and the church’s Thanksgiving baskets for needy families.

I also made some sulfur soap–melt and pour castile base with sublimed sulfur  and LOTS of coconut oil added, along with a little stearic acid to keep it from melting so fast.  I use the sulfur soap to help soothe my eczema during the winter months, and the added coconut oil keeps it from drying my skin out.

And I continued working on another cross bookmark from Lene Bjorn’s Tatted Bookmarks book, although I still have a bit to do on it.  I did enjoy having the tatting along to occupy me while I waited to see the dentist.  Love the fact that it’s such a portable craft.  And I must admit that I do love it when people comment on how beautiful the work is.  🙂

Tomorrow I’ll get start cleaning and packing the Aliner for our trip south on Friday.  We must get Sunny to the groomer, too, before we leave.


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