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Mold / Mildew

 

I’ve been offline for a bit. Internet access has been sketchy, but I had to post this:

I’ve seen miracles.

Pretends to be wood. Chemicals & what-not jammed together to make you think it’s furniture or subflooring or cabinets or what-have-you. A drop of water, and it turns to mush. Irritating. Not the worst of it, though.

I wrote a post a while back called Gifts, Monsters, and Blessings about some of my experiences with a toxic house, which we escaped, and have significantly healed from. Hindsight’s supposed to be 20/20. We’ll see. We all walk learning.

I bumped into a blogpost online from a lady who got formaldehyde poisoning from the formalin in a hair product. Reminded me of a book I read once, Your Health & Your House by Nina Anderson and Albert Benoist. P 47-54 describe problems that can come up with formaldehyde-laden products, and another lady’s experiences w/ formaldehyde poisoning. Hers was from the particleboard subfloor in her home. She had her carpets cleaned, and the moisture released the formailn. Her symptoms looked like a milder version of my own– more like what Hubby & the kids experienced. The picture fits better than the ex-meth house picture. There was a known meth user in that house, and it was a “party house”, covered up nicely by the landlady before we moved in and found out the history on it, but I’m thinkin’ maybe formaldehyde fits better with our experiences there.

We steam-cleaned the floors, trying to get “something” out of the carpets. They felt all crunchy & springy– not like normal carpet fibers. It only seemed to get worse. Whenever we’d take a shower or run the dishwasher, the air seemed to cloud up, and the respiratory & skin & joint issues were more pronounced. It was definitely more intense near floor level. When the hot water heater flooded the garage, a big cloud of it hit me in the face, and I got 16 cavities all in one month immediately after that.

I did a bit more research, and found that formaldehyde or formalin breaks down bone tissue. Hmm… pitted bones that could be felt through the skin, holes in teeth that had been perfectly healthy for 5 years prior to this experience. I’m thinkin’ this may be a new avenue of healing for me. Thought I’d write it out to give other folks a heads-up. I’m on a warpath against formaldehyde in my world.

For me, in my world, avoiding formaldehyde entirely may become more realistic than for most, but I figure I’ll let you know what I’m doing.

1. We don’t buy new clothing except for socks & undies, and wash those 3 times in hot, soapy water before wearing.

2. No particle board furniture in the house.

3. Running charcoal / carbon filters (the kind that get formaldehyde out of the air best)

4. LOTS of spider plants (several species are good at getting formaldehyde out of the air. Spiderplants are one of ’em)

5. Keeping the humidity in the house low (there’s still some particleboard in most construction. Unless you own your own home, and can do what you want for yourself, it’s likely that the subfloor will contain formaldehyde)

6. Moving toward an AWESOME BLESSING! We’ve been given (YES, GIVEN!!!) LAND!!!! TODAH, YHWH!!! (thank God) Wanting to keep our location offline under my hat, but also wanted to share that bit of news w/ all of you who have known our hopes & dreams that all center on having our own “bit of Earth” to care-take.

7. Planning a home that will not include formaldehyde 😀

A huge thank you to all of you who have been praying for us!

 

If you suspect that you may have experienced something similar, I’m happy to share w/ you various tools in my basket that have been an enormous help.

 

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)  so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

Chapter for my book? Feedback, please 🙂

Sorry ’bout the font changes– I’m having trouble w/ switching between programs… will work on that. LMK which fonts work best for you, and I’ll see what I can do.

There are a million reasons we clean our homes– sanity being among the biggest motivators for me.  With all of my twiddle-be-buttons running around being normal, healthy, active children, it takes an army to keep up… which is why I employ them to whatever extent they’re developmentally able LOL! Things haven’t changed so very much in several thousand years. We need homes that are free of human waste and mildew / mold. The only real difference now is in finding homes free of man-made toxins as well… hmmm… or does that fall into the “human waste” category? There are some basic, Natural Laws about how to keep a home clean that we’ve “progressed beyond” in our modern, convenient society… or have we? There’s an odd form of ignorance that seems prevalent in moist climates, imagining that it’s OK to live with mold in a home. Health researchers tell us that mold and mildew are absolutely harmful to us, and that we should avoid breathing air that is contaminated by the spores indoors. Housing industries, on the other hand, tell us that those same spores are “only harmful to sensitive people” and are therefore not anything that a homeowner should worry about (especially if the homeowner is “just renting it out anyway”… as though renters were lower life forms, unworthy of healthy living circumstances.)  Just maybe some of the health researchers might have our health in mind more often than those who profit by ill-maintained housing.

A few months back, my joints started acting up again, I started getting headaches and difficulty breathing– something I hadn’t experienced to this extent for several years. About a week after the onset of symptoms, we found the cause. Our dishwasher had leaked, and mold had been growing through 3 layers of flooring in the kitchen. Awesome Hubby fixed it all up, and my joints, breathing, and head are all happy and functional again. Is it only an “emergent” situation with someone who is “sensitive,” though?

There’s an ancient law that deals with this–

Leviticus 14:36“The priest shall then command that they empty the house before the priest goes in to look at the mark, so that everything in the house need not become unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to look at the house. 37“So he shall look at the mark, and if the mark on the walls of the house has greenish or reddish depressions and appears deeper than the surface, 38then the priest shall come out of the house, to the doorway, and quarantine the house for seven days. 39“The priest shall return on the seventh day and make an inspection. If the mark has indeed spread in the walls of the house, 40then the priest shall order them to tear out the stones with the mark in them and throw them away at an unclean place outside the city. 41“He shall have the house scraped all around inside, and they shall dump the plaster that they scrape off at an unclean place outside the city. 42“Then they shall take other stones and replace thosestones, and he shall take other plaster and replaster the house.

43“If, however, the mark breaks out again in the house after he has torn out the stones and scraped the house, and after it has been replastered, 44then the priest shall come in and make an inspection. If he sees that the mark has indeed spread in the house, it is a malignant mark in the house; it is unclean. 45“He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall take them outside the city to an unclean place. 46“Moreover, whoever goes into the house during the time that he has quarantined it, becomes unclean until evening. 47“Likewise, whoever lies down in the house shall wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house shall wash his clothes.

48“If, on the other hand, the priest comes in and makes an inspection and the mark has not indeed spread in the house after the house has been replastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean because the mark has not reappeared.



Thet-Hey-Resh:

Basket (surrounding, holding, containing), Man Standing in Awe (“Wow, LOOK!”), and a Man’s Head (Authority, First). 
The Surroundings being LOOKed at with Authority.
There are so many places in Scripture that call to mind pictures of cleanness and inspection related to ceremony and health, and areas where they overlap…. I’m thinkin’ the Health Department and CDC ain’t got nothin’ on Torah!

The ancient laws didn’t only protect the people against mold and mildew in their homes. They protected them against other forms of contamination that might not be visible as well. From the annual purging of yeast from the home at Passover (a GREAT idea for keeping a healthy balance of gut flora), to Ancient Paths for finding out if there’s radon gas or other contaminants in your house by taking a week off out-doors, there are beautiful, low-cost traditions for guarding our health!

Meth addiction is a hideous monster, and it doesn’t only affect addicts & their families… but there’s an ‘up-side’ to everything… 🙂
I’ve gotten sick in at least 2 homes that have been ruined due to either drug manufacture or usage: one in an on-campus apartment building when I was in college, and another in the house we rented a year ago. That last one nearly killed me before I figured out that it was the house, and had already started making the rest of our family sick, too. SO happy to be out… SO ready to see the epidemic halted!
While  we were living there, we had everything from nausea & vomiting to nerve disorders, paralysis, severe pain, rashes, difficulty breathing, irritation of mucus membranes… the symptoms came on so slowly for the rest of my family that I didn’t correlate my own severe symptoms with the house until theirs became more pronounced.
We moved out, and all of a sudden the health-nut stuff that had “barely held us together” while we lived there began healing us substantially. The kids are doing great now, and Hubby only has difficulty when he’s exposed to something we haven’t thrown away from that house. It has sensitized us to things, though. Man-made chemicals just aren’t good for anybody…
Three-fourths of everything we own had to go. It’s funny, though– the only “stuff” I really miss are my books and photos. The rest, I could care less.
That “Up-Side” I promised you:
It’s empowering to know that we can recover from such a horrible environmental attack, and freeing to have so much less “stuff” to deal with. I’ve become significantly more aware of what I really value in life… a lot of folks never do grasp that gift.
I have confidence in “Natural Miracles” that I may not have acquired in any other way. Sometimes blessings are the gifts we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy… we just have to choose to receive the blessing.

Sukkot is a Scriptural holiday to remind the Hebrew people of their time in the wilderness– so that they wouldn’t grow proud and forget the Power that had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Every year at this time, we sleep out in a Sukkah. We “go camping” with the Designer  :-)   It’s humbling to look up at the stars, and to realize how frail life is, and to recognize the gift of it as a family. By Jewish Law, only the men are required to keep this good work(post from another site), and we’re not Jewish, but we love joining Hubby whenever we can… for more than just the starlight.

A couple of years ago, we lived in a toxic house and didn’t know it for a while– we decided not to celebrate Sukkot that year because we figured I was too sick. While this may have been fine for me, we didn’t bother considering that maybe there was a Bigger Reason for Hubby to keep this Natural Law. We wound up staying in that house for another  6 months ’till Passover… another story. At any rate, if we had slept outside (like we wound up doing 6 months later, by  “coincidence”) we would’ve known that it was the house making me sick, and not me dying of Lupus. We would’ve known to get out at any cost: our lives depended on it. As it happened, we had to watch the rest of the family begin to develop my symptoms before we figured it out. We’re well now– biked 25 miles the other day, babies-and-all!  By all logic (without hindsight) we were perfectly sane in foregoing the Feast of Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles / Feast of Booths– especially since we’re not Jewish, and according to Jewish law, are not required to participate… but that’s another story.  We’ve been finding more and more that we need these Natural Laws in Scripture– the more we study, the more we see the impact they have in the real world, here-and-now… most of it up-close-and-personal.

That word for “booths” is in Genesis / Bereshiyt 33:17

17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

The word “shelters”, also translated “tabernacles” or “booths” is the word “Sukkah” (singular of “Sukkot”, or “Succoth”). Strong’s # 5521. It corresponds to the AHLB # 1333J.

Here’s the Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:

Sin-Vav-Kaph

Samech: Ring of Thorns– as the shepherd would make to protect his sheep in the wilderness. Without a lumber yard to pick up construction materials, he would build it out of rocks or whatever he could find lying around, and then line the top of the ring/ shelter with thorny brush to ward off wild animals.

Vav: Tent Peg– Securing, Nailing Down

Kaph: Open Hand– Giving and Receiving

You can see the “Hedge of Protection, secured by hand” as the Sukkah.

It is defined, “Booth: A dwelling place. Branch: as used for making booths.” It is translated elsewhere as “tabernacle”.

For us, in our life’s adventures, we’ve found that this ridiculously frail-looking structure, this “booth” is the most secure place to be at the Appointed Time every year.  It’s the Ring of Thorns given by the Shepherd to secure us by the Divine Hand.

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

I’m also no rabbi, so please don’t take my experiences and path as your Rx for Kosher living 🙂

As always, for more info on the pictographs, see:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ancienthebreworg