What Can be Saved From Black Mold?

   If you are reading this then you are going through a terrible nightmare and I am sorry. I know all about this terrible thing. My husband and I found out there was black mold in a rental we were in and we too had to figure out what could be saved and what couldn’t.

   Let’s first go over what black mold is. According to hgtv.com the simplest way to explain it:

Black-Mold

   “Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans. “

   Either way you look at it, black mold is nothing you really want to mess with. It also can be dangerous to your health causing upper respiratory infections, making asthma worse, constant colds and flus, and to the point of sepsis shock. How do I know? Because my husband almost died from his exposure and I was hospitalized with pneumonia. We got to the point that we were classified as having mold poisoning which is the highest level of exposure you can have.

   If you are having physical symptoms of mold poisoning, make sure you get the proper medical help you need and find a safe way to detox the mold out of your system preferably under a professional’s supervision. And don’t expect to be healed from it right away either. It took awhile to have it build up in your system and it will take some time to get it out.

   But now back to what can be saved. The biggest thing about getting out of a mold situation is to not get back in it which means dealing with your stuff. From our experience what could be saved was anything metal, hard plastic, hard porcelain, and glass. Which means:

  • Dishes
  • Pans
  • Pots
  • Some utensils
  • Silver ware
  • Fine China

   Why the short list? Because black mold is LOVES porous things like:

  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Things with motors
  • Soft Plastics
  • Cloth
  • Polyester like in pillows and comforters
  • Pleather
  • Leather
  • Microfiber
  • Micro Suede
  • Suede
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Hardwood
  • Lament

   So  how many things do you have like this in your house? Pretty much everything is the answer. Now, my husband and I tried to save our clothes but we ended up having to throw them away too since it just wouldn’t wash out. So I am sorry to say that pretty everything but that list I mentioned above. We lost everything in the long run and suffered through heartache after heartache as we toiled to save our items and they just ended up in the trash can.

   What do I suggest? Follow my list and trash the rest. It is not worth keeping things that will just contaminate the new place you live in because it will. The item will keep emitting spores and will fill your home with spores until they find a new source to start growing again. Can you see the problem? If you keep something from the mold house then you can just have the problem keep following you.

   I know it will be hard and it flat out sucks because you will have to throw out your whole life and start over. We don’t have anything from when we were first married, we don’t even anything from when our daughter was a baby, and we lost our entire library of books just to name a few heartache things that were lost. Every mom wonders if their daughter will wear their wedding dress, but I will never know I don’t have mine any more. It is going to be painful to go through this, but know that you have someone on your side who understands the pain and frustration you are going through.

Unless someone has gone through this kind of situation, they will never understand how you feel and many will think you are over reacting. I assure you that you are not. It is for the best for your family now instead of this happening again in the future.

If you think you need help processing, finding a counselor isn’t a bad idea. It took my husband and I a year after we were away from the situation to finally admit that going for some help to process the whole thing would be good. We tried it on our own as a strong couple and we needed some extra help. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, and, when it comes to replacing your stuff, you will need to ask for some. You will never know how much you really have until you lose it all.

But I would check with your insurance company. They might be able to help but ours didn’t. With a rental situation, it’s hard to pin point who was the renter that caused it and the insurance company said that it was preexisting so they wouldn’t do anything. Also check with your health department and see if you are lucky enough to live in an area with rights for renters (if you are renting) when it comes to black mold. I live in California and they have no such laws. So our landlord had no obligation to help us and we couldn’t find an attorney who would take the case.

All and all the situation stinks and all you can do is rely on family and friends to help you out. My husband’s work was amazingly generous with donations to replace what we had lost and I pray you are just as blessed. One thing is for sure. You will learn who your real friends are in a situation like this.

   So as we finish up, I am sorry I don’t have much better news, but it is the truth. If you want to be rid of the mold in the future only keep things that are metal, glass, hard plastic, and hard porcelain.

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Where is She Going With This?

   Is it just me or does everyone around you seem like they have their life in order? Like the blessings just keep falling on them even though according to your tally sheet they shouldn’t? I know that is me right now and I am not even too proud to say I’m​ jealous of it. I know I shouldn’t be but there is that sting of seeing someone not live for God and have everything they want while my husband and I work hard and struggle to get back to where we were before the horrific year of 2016 happened. We live pay check to pay check and others seem to have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. I know exactly what they can do with it, but no one ever seems to offer.

   I happen to know quite a few people who could completely change our financial picture and they wouldn’t even notice the money was gone. It would mean everything to us but they just might have to actually write it down in an accountant book. But no one offers. No says “hey, I know you guys have really tried your best to get back what you lost. What is the amount you need to pay off the debt you have now due to your huge loss last year?”

   Now granted that people have offered us things and time which I am EXTREMELY thankful for because it would have put us farther in debt of we had to purchase those things too. One thing I do know is that if one more person says “oh, I’ll pray that the money issues work out for you” I am going to scream. Maybe you are the person God wants to use to bless us and you are refusing to do what He asks?

   Now this isn’t a plea for money (even though my dream is to receive a donation for our debt but let’s get real) but rather a post to open your eyes to those around you. I know that if I had the money to spend and knew the family was truly under a hard time and not habit then I would write them a check to help if not wipe out their debt. I would want to share the love and compassion in the aspect that so far hasn’t been extended to us. Maybe that’s why God keeps not blessing us right now in being able to pay off debt and rather just keeps laying down more issues in our lap? Our A/C died day two of the giant heat wave hitting the west coast so that’s really enjoyable at the moment with a toddler.

   Once again my husband and I are living separately with me at my wonderful wonderful parents and he’s home and getting rides from a wonderful wonderful friend to work so I can have our one car. It’s just another summer of hard life.

  So what is my point? Am I a victim? No since I can’t stand that mentality. What I am saying is that I am an example. There are others around you who could really use that spare cash burning a hole in your pocket. That is what Christians are supposed to do with loving their neighbor is help them out however they need and, if you can help someone, you should. You not only will be helping a family who will be thankful forever but you will be helping yourself in knowing you are showing what the hand and feet of Jesus look like.

  All in all be generous. Love your fellow brothers or sisters in Christ. You will actually reap the benefit more then they will. God bless 🙂

Old Habits Come in “Handy”

   Hello everyone! I hope you are all well. I have to say that my morning didn’t start off like I had planned to spend the day. I had planned to wake up, drive hubby to work (we only have one car), come home, have college mentor call, spend time with my mother in law, go get hubby, drop off child with other grandma, go to hubby’s appointment and then spend the rest of the day relaxing at home with him. Well now my day is going – take hubby to work, sit at gym for two hours, figure out something else to do for two hours, go get him and then my day will go as planned.

   Why might you ask? Because I have zero voice. I can barley talk above a whisper if that. Yeah, talk about a set back. But the funny part is that I am using a skill that I haven’t used for some time. The skill is my sign language I originally went to college for. I mean I am rusty as heck but it’s coming back rather quickly. My hubby though is even rustier so finger spelling pretty much how we are talking right now. It’s rather amusing actually.

   But there is one thing that it showed me, It showed me how much I do love ASL. I love the flow and beauty of it. It’s fun to insult people too without their knowledge but you really should never do that. I know a language that many people don’t and I love it. I am only one class shy of the AA at my junior college so I should go back and finish it. I didn’t take it because I transferred to a CSUS and I didn’t want to take the class twice. Now I wish I did. Oh well, when I get a chance with getting my teacher’s credentials I’ll have to go back and take that last class. I think it would look good with it so that I can be teacher with a charter school and be able to work with Deaf kids and families. That would be so amazing, It wouldn’t be the interpreter job I originally wanted but it is a pretty close second.

   So if you have a skill that you thought has gone stale, maybe it is time to bring it back out. Maybe you can play an instrument? Why not tickle the ivories or strum the strings? Can you draw or paint? Pull out the canvas or paper and do a beautiful work of art. How about that novel you said you would publish someday? With Kindle and Create Space you can for free. Whatever it is, do it. It’s never too late to follow a dream you think has died.

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What Bloggers Should Mention About Etsy

If you are like me, you want to find a way to earn some extra cash. Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) can be tricky when it comes to making money since you are probably a SAHM because you don’t want to pay for child care. There are all sorts of Pinterest post about side hustling and the biggest one they push is Etsy.

Now, I had a shop and I love making and creating but when it comes to needing to make some money it’s not always the best answer. Here are three reasons why.

 You need money to get started

This was something at first wasn’t a huge deal until I tried to branch out and add things to my shop to keep up with the trends. So if you are short on cash, you might not want to do Etsy unless you have a stock pile of stuff somewhere. And even though you have spent all this money, you have no idea how long (if ever) it will take to make it back.

You need time

 Now if you happen to have a crap ton of products in your closet or something then you might not have this issue. But I realized that there was an issue here. The majority of my products were crocheted and it takes me 6 hours to make a simple baby blanket. It costs me $15 in supplies and I charge $30 for it. So in total, I make $2.50/hour. Can you see where it is a little tough at times? I mean I love crocheting so I didn’t mind except when I didn’t get any orders and that leads to the last point.

It takes a lot of time promoting the shop

And I mean A LOT of time. You have to do Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to get the word out for free and then Etsy promotion that you can pay for. But then again, if you want promotion on the social sites then you have to pay for those too which means more money that you probably don’t have. And you have to post all the time to make sure you are getting full exposure so it was a full time job to just get the exposure out and even then I wasn’t getting the buyers. So if you have a full time job, it would rather tricky to do all the posting.

Now I don’t want you to think that I hate Etsy or anything because I don’t. I love my shop but I just had a tough time keeping up with the already established shops. And I didn’t have the time with raising my daughter and life to do it “right”.

So, before you open a shop, I would suggest you to really think about if you have the time to do the shop for the little reward you probably will get. I would suggest you go and do craft fairs instead. I know they only really come around during Christmas time but the buyers are there I you will have better luck.

Happy crafting! 🙂

A Honest Review Sirena Vacuum vs. Rainbow Vacuum

Are you in the market for a new vacuum? Does the vacuum you choose really mater? For some people, if it just sucks up dirt then any vacuum works, but if you are the type who is actually looking to help with the deep cleanliness of your home and the purity of your air then you know that the right vacuum is everything. My family suffers from horrible allergies and I have asthma so trying to keep our home as a safe zone is very important.

That is when I remembered the water filtration idea in a vacuum over a dust canister. The idea is that the dust and dirt get stuck in the water basin and doesn’t get filtered back into the air. So the dirt is actually gone and the air that is pushed back out is cleaned and actually purified.

*Disclaimer – I have not been paid by either of these companies for this review. It is 100% my honest opinion.*

So I decided that was the type of vacuum I wanted, and the only brand I knew of was the Rainbow since I grew up with one. It was my first choice, but there was one thing that made us look at other options. After doing some more shopping we found the Sirena. I have used both vacuums and will break this review down in four categories: Price, Assembly, Operation, and Cleaning Ability.

PRICE

Rainbow – To say it in short, this vacuum is NOT affordable. It runs with a $3,000 price tag and was the ultimate reason we went shopping else where.

Sirena – Not too bad. It runs for just under $1,000 from where we bought it. Still isn’t “cheap” but compared to the Rainbow it’s much more affordable to people.

Sirena wins hands down.

ASSEMBLY

Rainbow – Super easy. It has this really awesome thing where the tub and hose are grounded so there is only one of each to deal with. You pull the unit out of the box, click the tube together, fill the water basin, plug in the hose, and you are ready to vacuum. You can pick both wet and dry things with the same setup.

Sirena – Not easy. It took me and a friend an hour to figure it out. All you have to go off of is the picture of the box because the instructions are not clear. The Sirena also has an electric hose and a water hose and a tube for each which means more parts. It also means that you can’t go over any water with the electric setup because you will short it out. So that is a bummer when it comes to the Sirena.

Rainbow wins this round.

OPERATION

Rainbow – The design of the unit is a little easier to use since it flat. I’ll explain. So when you take the unit off the water basin it is upright in the same position that it is in when it is on the water basin. So it’s easy to take on and off the basin. The power button is easy to see and clicks so you know for sure it is on or off.

Sirena – The design is something I am not a fan of when it comes the Sirena. It is designed at a diagonal so you might be able to see more of the water basin when it is in use, unlike the Rainbow, but it makes it hard because the unit has to be practically laid down when you take it off the basin. Also mine was really tricky to get it to release off the water basin.

So I have to give this one to Rainbow.

CLEANING ABILITY

This is where it doesn’t matter and is a tie. The Rainbow has a vibrating head and so does the Sirena so both use vibration and suction to get the dirt out. They both go down to the pad and get the deep down dirt that other vacuums don’t, the more you use both the better your carpet looks. The cleaning attachments look identical and work identical. And they are both air purifiers.

The one thing is that the Sirena came in our pack with a couple extra attachments that don’t come with the Rainbow and cost a lot more. So, if we bought the Rainbow, the extras would have run us about $500 more.

So with cleaning ability it is a tie, but, the fact I can clean more right off the bat with what came with my Sirena, I have to give an extra bonus point to Sirena.

Total Score: Rainbow – 3   Sirena – 3

Ha! It’s a tie! So it just depends on what you want to spend. If you have a great paying job, then go ahead and go for the Rainbow since there is a little bit more ease with operating it, but, if you are like me and my family, the price is what saved it for the Sirena. I still have a great vacuum that will just have a little bit more personality. All in all, my house is getting clean and that is what my number one priority is.

 

 

There’s No Pleasing Christians Sometimes

Hello! I hope your day is going well for you. My day is going pretty good. Just getting a chance to sit down and do some writing about what’s going on with two movies right now and to point out that Christians are the HARDEST people to please. I mean think about it. There are two movies out (or almost out) right now: The Shack and Beauty and the Beast. Both of which have Christians up in arms.

Why? Well, for one, there is this gay scene in Beauty and the Beast I guess and The Shack is being call not well sounded theologically . Both I have to say I am shaking my head and rolling my eyes at.

I have read the book for The Shack and seen the movie. I have been hoping they would make the book into a movie for years. It’s a story that could help so many unbelievers see God in a whole new way, but they might not read a book. So when it was announced that movie was coming out, I was over joyed. Then the poop hit the fan about it.

Suddenly, Christians are boycotting their own genre in a movie because it might not 100% match what their pastor says. Let’s clear something up. All those people saying tend to have a Baptist or Southern Baptist background where God is kept in this little box and He is only able to be one way and that’s it. I went to Baptist churches for years and was so stifled by the legalism there it took me years of going to a healthy and thriving church to heal.

Now, I know I just pissed off a lot of people but I have to speak the truth. When I was in the Baptist church sect, my walk with Christ stopped. I might know a lot of things about the Bible now but there was a void missing when it comes to my relationship with God. I saw Him as something to fear and not loved by. Jesus loved me but God didn’t. I was actually very similar to the main character in The Shack.

I thought God was only out to get me and the Jesus was the only thing keeping Him back from destroying us all. And the Holy Spirit? What Holy Spirit. The time I heard about Him was when someone was getting baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So with this movie, yes people who are in that kind of background will find nothing but issues with the movie.

But, if you believe in having an Abba relationship with God and your know that the Trinity is one person and Jesus isn’t separate from the Father the Holy Spirit isn’t just out there wandering around, then you will see the gold that is in this movie. You will see that God is almighty and He loves you just as much as Jesus because they are one in the same. You can’t have one without the other.

Ok… so why is God and woman? I want to debunk this question now and forever. The reason God is a woman is because the movie is all about relationship and God says clearly it the book and the movie the reason He appears as woman is, due to Mac’s abuse history from his father, Mac would not have receptive to God if He appeared as a fatherly figure. That’s it. Period.

Now, if you have God in this little box then that seems like blasphemy and I very much would agree with you. But in this case it makes sense. God has appeared to me in different forms throughout my life, and they have been different every time. He is the almighty God and, if He knows that a motherly figure is what you need right now, then that is how He will present Himself as. I love how no one mentions the fact that He changes into a fatherly character later – just a side note.

But, what about the He came to save everyone part? God made and loves ALL of us. Yes, Romans talks about the elect but Jesus didn’t just come to save good people. Read the Gospels, there are tons of examples of people that who wouldn’t have been judged as the right people to be saved, but Jesus welcomes them in like He does with all of His children.

God gave us free will, like in the garden with Adam and Eve, we, even after we have been saved, can walk away from Him. I did not say lose our salvation. I said walk away, and with a legalistic background, why wouldn’t you walk away? It’s hard living under legalism and you will never add up enough under that mindset. But there is freedom with Jesus, and this movie really points out that, even though we don’t think someone should be able to be saved, God still has a plan for them and He wants they redeemed.

I am glad that there is freedom in Christ because we all deserve hell. There is no denying that. So if you don’t think that there is freewill, why were you so much better at the time of your creation? And don’t you say ‘because hells needs to be filled somehow so that is why there is the elect’. Worst defense ever! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. the whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. That’s John 3:16!  Case closed. So for people getting upset because God loves everyone, seems like a poor excuse not to go see the movie.

Now another movie that is about to come out also has Christians upset and that is Beauty and the Beast. I want to first say that I NEVER saw this movie appropriate for anyone under thirteen. It would be WAY too scary for my daughter. Second, it’s a secular movie! If you don’t like it, don’t see, but don’t say that I am a horrible Christian if I do. Honestly, I think Christians are are showing horrible face concerning it because of the gay scene. Why? Let me explain.

IT’S NOT THE FIRST GAY CHARACTER IN A DISNEY MOVIE!!!! That felt good to finally get off my chest. No, it’s not, but for some reason now people are getting all upset about it. Do you have any of these movies in your house?

  • Cinderella
  • Pocahontas
  • Tangled
  • Anything from Sophia the First
  • The original Beauty and the Beast
  • The Lion King
  • Bambi
  • Lilo and Stich
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Frozen

These are just a few and every single one of these movies have a gay character in them, and many have multiple. But what makes this movie so different? Because there is a “moment” in it and it’s people.

First, it’s PG so the farthest they can go is a kiss. Second, it’s not a movie for kids anyway. Have you seen the preview and how dark it is? If you take four year old Lacy to see it, it wouldn’t be the gay scene that would be making me raise an eyebrow. This movie has a deeper story, scarier effects and, fine, a gay scene. Not for kids! I see it as Beauty and the Beast for adults.

Second, how are you ever going to show the love of Christ to someone if you never go to their level? Now, once again, coming from a legalistic background, you are taught to never go down to someone’s level because they will drag you down too. Not all bad, but there is a reason why there aren’t very many thriving legalistic churches and that is because they don’t out and harvest. Church is for “sick people” people who lost and need Jesus. IT is not just for preppy Christians to meet, say they made quota and go home.

You don’t have to see the movie, but somehow telling the LGBTQ community that God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them is vital. They are just lost people trying to figure life out on their own. That is it. So if we boycott and throw a fit, then where is the love?

Now, I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but I will say that I love the people. I don’t think that the movie needed these things add in particular because it had too much gayness in it back in 1991. The character is question, Lefou played by Josh Gad, was gay in the first place. But back then they were just called effeminate. I challenge you to watch the animated one. It’s beyond obvious that Lefou is in love with Gaston. So to say that this is the “first Disney gay character” is bull poop. There have been many and it’s just because the blinders are being taken off that people are noticing.

If you are going to take this kind of stand against gays then you need to throw out EVERY movie that has a gay character in it. I think you will find that there aren’t many left after you do. But you need to stick to the stand you make because that is important too.

So, now we have looked at the two hot buttons for Christians and I have to ask, where do you stand?  I hope that you will give The Shack a chance. I get why you might not see Beauty and the Beast, but don’t forget that the community is full of living breathing people who need the love of Jesus brought to them. Hey! Take them to see The Shack and have it soften the soil to talk about Jesus and how much He loves them.

For many that crosses too many lines and it makes me sad. I wish that Christians would stop nit picking at things and just get the love of Jesus out there. You can either bring Jesus to people with a movie that you believe is only sort of right or you can waste your salvation by sitting at home being “right” and doing nothing. I would rather bring people to Christ.

And with the Disney movie, it’s your choice, but don’t forget the love. The best way to shut someone’s heart up is if they don’t feel like they are loved, belong, or believed in. Show the LGBTQ community that Jesus loves them and reach out. It just might be the thing someone needs the most.

Love you and God bless.

Standing Up On the Inside

I just read a really great devotion from Joyce Meyer in her book Trusting God Day by Day. In it was a saying of standing up on the inside. We are in a very interesting time in world history with America’s presidential election and everything still going on the middle east. There are many people standing up literally for what they think is right even though most of them are just throwing a tantrum. It’s not truly protesting or standing up for anything. But I won’t get into that at the moment.

What I just want to say is that standing up for things is important but sometimes it is best to just stand up on the inside. To still have your convictions but to use them at the appropriate time. Everything in good time right? That goes for standing up for something too. There is so much I want to stand up for and scream at the top of my lungs to get what I want but I can’t always do that. I have to be patient and wait on God to give me the moment to do so.

But one thing is for sure, I will always be a Patriot, Christian, and supporter of freedom. That I will always stand up for whether it be on the inside or the outside.