Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Journey in Search of Entertainment - Confessions of a Videophile

Confession time. I’m a Videophile. An Extreme Videophile. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m on an FBI Watch List or need to enter a 12 step program or have an intervention. It does mean that as soon as I walk in the door at home, even before taking off my coat, I turn on the television. And normally, except for my husband’s cocked eyebrow and eye rolling, it’s not a problem. It wasn’t, that is, until I moved my boat into a marina that didn’t have cable. That’s where my Search for Video/Entertainment journey began.

I have two residences – one is a Ta Chiao CT-56 sailboat in Fort Lauderdale, the other is a Sea Ray Sundancer 300 motorboat just south of Boston. Fort Lauderdale’s easy. The marina provides basic cable and, for a reasonable upcharge, you can add High Speed Internet and the cable channels you actually want to watch. The northern marinas, however, don’t provide this service. They do provide WiFi, but if you’ve ever tried to stream video across a shared, public WiFi, you understand the issue. If you haven’t, it’s really simple. There’s a limited amount of bandwidth and video takes A LOT of bandwidth. When a group of people try to stream all at once, services start buffering or shut down all together. Not a good situation when you’re trying to follow who you think will have to Pack [Their] Knives and Go on Top Chef. Ironically, this isn’t difficult on High Speed (wired) Internet, which I have with a full cable package. If I had one, I wouldn’t absolutely have to have the other. Oh well…  Anyway, here’s my journey.

Satellite TV
Years past, I’ve subscribed to both Directv® and Dish®. Each have their pros and cons, and I would have accepted either. However, the representatives I spoke with resolutely refused to let me sign up without a two year contract. Previously, Dish® allowed me to go month-to-month, I just had to pay extra (~$20/month). And if I didn’t return the equipment when I was done, I would be charged $300 for the dish. Fair enough. But no more. I explained that if I found a job close to home, I wouldn’t need satellite services anymore, but it didn’t matter. So they were out.

Ematic HDTV Digital Indoor TV Antenna Image 1 of 4
Terrible, right? Three, maybe four, grainy, boring channels, possibly not in your language. But not really. For less than $25, I obtained an HDTV antenna, which pulls in 48 channels. This worked passably well in one marina, not so much in another. The latter failed because it’s a bumpier ride (lots of wind and wave action), and the antenna can’t stay on the signal. Plus, there are only so many catheter commercials and episodes of Law and Order and Criminal Minds that I care to watch. As a result, it’s still in place; mostly as a backup. And I still enjoy Night Court from time to time. While I don’t partake myself, it’s also the way to receive local news and programming.

Image result for Netflix

Hard to believe, but Netflix provides the best buffering on a WiFi signal of any other service I’ve found. If the WiFi is truly terrible, even Netflix can fail, but overall it hangs in there. The biggest downfalls that I see in this service are that aside from their original programming, the offerings are typically older. This doesn’t bother me very much as it allowed me to binge watch Murder She Wrote and Columbo, but it’s frustrating when you would like to watch Top Chef or Chopped. Although I was pleasantly surprised to see The Angry Birds Movie. Of course, it’s not shocking that this movie was easily acquired. And no, I do not like Stranger Things. There. I said it. And I stand by it. Yuck.

As good as Netflix is, I still wanted better streaming. Some of the channels provide the ability to watch current programming IF you have an active subscription to a video service. Remember the CT-56 in South Florida? I can utilize my XFinity account from that. Not the online XFinity; that’s only available for an upcharge, if it’s in my area, blah di blah di blah. Translation, not worth my time. However, I can go directly to Lifetime or Bravo and watch Project Runway and/or Top Chef. Even VH1 for America’s Next Top Model, even though I’m not feeling it with the loss of Tyra Banks. Still hanging in there, at least, for now…

URANT Wireless Wifi Repeater Long Range Extender Amplifier 2.4GHz Network Adapter Wireless-N Mini AP Access Point Dongle IEEE802.11N/G/B Mini AP Router Signal Booster(300M-New Chip)
Enough of the aside; back to better streaming. Did some research and found lots of solutions for lots of money. Being cheap, I stopped by Walmart, found a WiFi Signal Booster for $12, and plugged it in. After figuring out the horribly written instructions that hadn’t been updated from the last model, I got it working on the marina WiFi. And, even in the midst of the New England winter, the clouds parted, the sun began to shine and birds sang at the top of their little voices. I had a WiFi signal I could stream from. Hallelujah. Time for the next big step.

As a horror/action movie aficionado, I really enjoy Danny Trejo. When I first saw his commercial for SlingTV (You think I’m evil? I’ll tell you what’s evil—Cable television), I was intrigued. I’m not thrilled with cable television, but I don’t think it’s evil, I just don’t have access to it. So I checked out SlingTV. When I went to their website, there was an offer of a free Roku if I signed up for a monthly subscription ($19). Being a lover of free things, I figured Why not? I signed up. While waiting, I tried the PC application, which consistently ran for about 10 minutes and then froze. Not holding out much hope, I was still excited to receive the Roku.
Image result for SlingTV

After setting up the Roku, I found that some channels are better than others at streaming off the boosted WiFi and the DVR like capabilities should be avoided at all costs. Even pausing causes a program to permanently lock at the pause point. So I treat it like regular cable and all is well. I also find that the live streaming works better than the on demand options. The final result is that I can now watch Top Chef without resorting to nefarious means. Like sneaking into neighbors’ houses when they’re away just to watch Bravo.

Amazon Prime Video
The final option is that I have an Amazon Prime subscription and can tap into strange videos if the other sources are completely exhausted. The performance is catch as, catch can, but after one miserable download, they contacted me with a refund. The email began with We noticed you had trouble viewing your recent video download… Okay, so I was a little creeped out that Amazon was watching me that closely, but it’s a fact of life that Big Brother is Watching and at least I received a refund.

Living the dream – one cheesy horror movie at a time…

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Better Health Through Gadgets and Diet

My life is good and what some people dream of. I live on a boat, my job is challenging, but not too much and pays well, and I’m married to my soulmate. I should be singing Disney songs and dancing with bluebirds every day.


I’m human and I want more. It’s true. My lifelong goal – I don’t say ‘dream’ because Doug says dreams are not real; goals can be accomplished – is to make enough money writing that I don’t have to go into a sterile office every day. I don’t need crazy success like J. K. Rowlings or Stephen King, but enough to write, sail, chase my husband around on the beach, repeat, would be great. And I’ve been working for over twenty years to make this happen. Recently, I took a break from my corporate job and focused on writing, writing, teaching writing, and more writing to make this happen.

Zippo. Nada. Zilch.

No, wait. It wasn’t that NOTHING happened; it’s just that I spent a lot of money, time and effort and received very little in return. And I got depressed. Really depressed. Not quite ‘throw myself off a building’ depressed, but enough so that I cared more about eating and drinking than I did about accomplishing anything. Or looking halfway decent. So, I ate and I drank and I played computer games. And gained weight. A LOT of weight.

I want to be clear about this. I’m not talking about ten extra pounds, eating disorder kind of weight, I’m talking about couch potato, not exercising, eating bad foods, becoming unhealthy kind of weight. My husband became concerned, but he didn’t understand why I was so depressed. This means he dismissed it and focused just on the symptoms, not the root cause. Bless his heart. He said some accurate, but somewhat cruel things, recommended all kinds of diets and supplements that I rejected, but still loves me and doesn’t give me too much of a hard time. I knew turning this around had to be my decision and happen on my time.

Compact Elliptical Trainer
A few weeks ago, I hit rock bottom and realized I had to do something. I hadn’t written anything in a while, so I started slow with blogging (ergo, this post!), tweeting and various other social media outlets that didn’t involve games. And I tackled my health. Since I’m a lover of gadgets, I went shopping!

Compact Elliptical Trainer: living in a tiny space means everything you obtain has to be scaled down. I really like this little trainer. It has a very small footprint and I can hop up and down on it while I binge watch Columbo on Netflix. I add in some dumbbells and I get a full body work out without having to leave my boat. Even work up a sweat sometime.

Exercise Ball - 65 cm

Exercise ball (at work instead of a chair): Claims are that it helps your posture and you burn an extra 350 calories (2 chocolate chip cookies) a day while using it. It was mentioned that it’s fun to bounce on it as well. However, no one told me that it would wreak havoc with my motion sickness. Yes, this lady sailor nearly lost her lunch after an hour on a bouncy ball…

FitBit Flex
FitBit Flex: Simple idea - if you know that you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, you’ll do something to alleviate it. I wanted to see it before investing, so I traveled to Bed, Bath & Beyond to see one in the flesh. The first one didn't have it in stock (Flex 2 is coming out end of October - inventory is down), which means the sales clerks tried to sell me a different model, which they also didn't have in stock. At which point, they ignored me and began talking amidst themselves. In a huff, I traveled to ANOTHER BB&B and purchased the item. So far, so good… I’m walking more and feeling better. However, the slim band on my wrist is stoking my competitive nature. Every day I want to better the activity from the day before. At the rate I’m going, one day I’ll take my walk at lunch and wind up in Bangor.

Tea: Studies have proven over and over that green tea improves weight loss, particularly if you drink 4-5 cups a day. Also added rooibos tea, which is supposed to improve digestion and overall health. Not sure if the actual ingredients are doing anything, but since I now have to go to the bathroom every ten minutes, it’s definitely upping my exercise quantity. Which feeds the FitBit. See what’s happening here?

Food: Dietitians everywhere will scream to the high heavens about this, but I eat one big meal a day. Anything I want. The rest of the day is grazing on fruit, vegetables and popcorn. Don't tell my husband, but I'm having a weird love affair with an old dude with glasses and a polka dot bow tie.

Results: I feel better and I’ve lost 10 pounds in two weeks. And I have a cool buzzy blinky thing on my wrist that I was able to buy 12 brightly colored bands for.

Living the dream – one step at a time…

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's a Solitary Not Single Lady to Do in Boston?

Turns out, quite a lot.

As an independent consultant, I have to go where the work takes me. Right now, my primary boat and home is in Fort Lauderdale, while I'm working on a long term contract in Boston. Actually, Quincy, but Boston helps you know the general area. And it sounds a little more poncy to say "Bahston" than it does to say "Quinzy". If you're from around here, you know what I mean... But they're both beautiful and I'm proud to live in either.

Anyway, being separated from my lovely husband and my beautiful yacht makes me sad, bordering on depression. And I really hate being either sad or depressed. So I fight it by keeping busy.

It's fun to catch up with friends, but that only takes up part of the time. After all, they have lives. Cool, fun, interesting lives. Like my friend that flies in her spare time. No, not airplanes. Trapeze!
Terribly impressed with her and her abilities, but I'm a little more sedate. And fearful. Seriously. I'd fall on my head way too many times.

Enter Meetup! Type in your interests and et voila! As many meetups as you can schedule within whatever radius you choose. Since I'm interested in writing, I decided to join a book club. The best way I learn is by examining the work of people I admire. I figure this way, I can be introduced to trending books, meet people with like interests and get out of the boat every now and then. In Fort Lauderdale, I tried a cerebral book club that selected Pulitzer Prize winners, controversial and socially significant books.

Truly hated it.

Here in Boston, I followed my true love - horror. So I joined Boston Horror Readers and became a Horror Fiend. What fun! And by the second meeting, it turned out that the organizer was moving and nominated myself and another fiend to be co-organizers.


But it's still great fun. This month, we're reading The Imago Sequence and Other Stories. Hey, there may not be a Pulitzer Prize winner in there, but they're somewhat controversial and, if an ancient evil tries to eat you, that would be quite socially significant, at least for you...
Meanwhile, I also discovered Boston Horror Society. Yeah, yeah...  There's a theme. But I was able to watch Vertigo and The Creature from the Black Lagoon presented by The Cooldige at the Greenway. For Free! Great people, great entertainment and this weekend, we're going to Count Orlok's Nightware Gallery in Salem.

And yes, I'm still writing and I still miss my husband, but these movies, books and galleries won't enjoy themselves!

Living the dream - alone but not lonely...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pump Repair - A Seriously Disgusting Aspect of Being a Liveaboard

Since you've been avidly reading my blog, you know I bought a 30' Sea Ray motorboat and am living on it in lieu of paying exorbitant rent in the Great Boston Area.  All is coming together nicely and I love, love, LOVE my two minute commute.  I'm actually living like a human being instead of an animal, especially after replacing the aerator in the head (bathroom) in order to make use of the hand held shower. This was, of course, after I got the new hot water heater installed.  Later, in the middle of washing dishes, the water slowed to a trickle and then just died.

Naturally, the location of the water pump was not part of my discovery period.  Since I could hear it run, when it ran, I knew it was on the port (left) side, close to the stern/aft (rear).  Exploration begins. Checked the lazarettes (storage areas) in the cockpit, but only found hoses. Then remembered a panel under the berth (bed) in the cuddy with about a hundred screws holding it down. Luckily, my husband had bought a drill when he visited and I was able to remove the screws fairly quickly. It took longer to pull out the junk that I had decided to store in the place (including a new toilet waiting to be installed) and find a place for all the cushions.

Well. I found the pump and the water tank. Yay! However...

When I bought the boat, the boatyard had left the doors open and the cabin was full of water in various storage areas.  The pump compartment was no exception. Trust me. That area is not supposed to be full of gross, sludgy water. Especially since the wires to the pump were submerged in it.

And, when I inspected the wires, I found the same level of abysmal hookup that I had encountered when I fixed the bilge pump. Even if you're not an electrician, you should know the following realities:

  1.  Butt connectors should NEVER leave exposed wire (the insulation is what the heat shrink portion bites onto, leaving no bare wire subject to corrosion), 
  2. Although tempting, never, ever, EVER twist two wires together and insulate them with electrical tape
  3. Wire nuts are not meant to be used in a marine environment - THEY ARE NOT WATERPROOF! And humidity is water. Even if they're in a place where water is not typically found, it happens.  Don't use them!
Unfortunately, all three of these no-no's were used to hook up the pump. And the compartment was flooded, submerging the wires. Bad, very, very bad.  So I cut out the offending wiring and replaced it with professional level connections. And the pump ran!

For about a day...  And then it died while I was washing dishes.

Back to the cuddy, pull out all the junk, including the toilet and the cushions (luckily I hadn't screwed down the panel) and checked the wiring. It was good. Beat on the pump with a hammer. And it started! for about an hour. Died once again as I was rinsing dishes. Back to the cuddy.

The clear mushroom looking thing is a filter. From over a decade of being a liveaboard, I know that ~80% of all issues can be tracked back to filters. Removed the filter and - oh gross! This is the single worst filter I've ever encountered. And yes, I think those little squirmy things are maggots. GROSS!!!

I scrubbed it off, soaked it in hydrogen peroxide (the bleach was in a lazarette covered with cushions and a toilet) and reinstalled it. And the pump ran! Yay! For about an hour. No dishes this time; the filter was so gross I may never eat again.

This time, air was leaking into the pipes and causing air bubbles. After several trips to West Marine and Home Depot (three different types/sizes of plumbing connections), I replaced the semi-rigid pipe with flexible hose and fewer connections. And the pump ran! Yay! For about a day. And then, while washing dishes, it died.

Nothing revived it this time. No wiggling wires, no shaking out air bubbles, filter is clean. Notice the wiring is cleaner as well as the compartment is now dry.

Sooo... I bought a new water pump which will arrive in a couple of weeks. On our other boat, we went through a lot of ShurFlo pumps, which use as their quality control an admonition to buy the extended warranty and just replace them WHEN they fail. That's not an acceptable solution at the best of times, an absolutely horrible solution when blue water cruising. Sooo...  Enter a new type of pump that's a fraction of the cost, a Diaphragm Pump from Five Oceans. Wish me luck!

 And, I think I'm giving up on washing dishes.  The Inn at Bay Pointe delivers :) And this lovely restaurant ensures Lost at Sea is my new favorite rum punch and not my situation, pumps aside.

Living the Dream - in spite of bad pumps :)
Fried Plantains Filled with Pulled Pork and a Habanero BBQ Sauce
served with Lost at Sea (AMAZING  rum drink)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend in Boston, 2016

Forecast for Memorial Day Weekend was warm and sunny. And Saturday was actually HOT and sunny. 95 degrees. For Northerners and even this transplanted Floridian, it could be compared to at least one level of hell. Especially as I don't have air conditioning. 30' Sea Ray, remember? Some of them have air conditioners, this one does not. And yes, that's how I survive in Florida, just like people in the North survive the winters with furnaces. Technology. Gotta love it...

Anyway, today, Sunday, I woke up to low 50's. Forty degree shift in one 24 hour period.  Yup. That's New England.  Not a problem. I closed all the windows, made a cup of coffee and started breakfast.


The power went out. Checked the breakers - installed a new hot water heater, running the stove, could've exceeded power input. Nope. Breakers fine. Put on my neon green, velour track suit and head outside. Main breaker is fine, shore power cord secure, remembered that boat next to me had a problem with the pedestal. About to swap my cable to the other pedestal when, much like moles, people begin to pop out of the other boats. All missing power. Trundling a cart along is a gentleman who has a boat at the end of the dock. He offers to check his power and give a thumbs up if he's live.

At the end of the dock, he shouts back. "Yep, I've got power and so does my neighbor. You should check your BREA-KER (enunciated carefully so I understand) - it's a SWITCH inside the pedestal. Also, your power cord may have come loose."

Duh. Electrical engineer, remember?  Not worth the effort, so I assure him I had checked all these things. He bustles down the dock and opens my pedestal to check the BREA-KER and the shore power connection, all the while pointing out each one so that in the future I can do this myself. Or ask him or my husband if I'm not up to it.


Meanwhile, it filters through the marina that power is out all over Quincy Point, including our marina. So, Mr. Breaker had power?  He may know what a breaker is, but I suspect he doesn't know the difference between 110 A/C and 12 V D/C. Maybe I should check it for him...

Finally, power returns and I finish cooking my interrupted steak and eggs. Yummy! Crosses my mind that I do have an alcohol option on the stove. Should really check that out to stave off starvation and hypothermia.

Short aside: The stove is pretty cool. It has a ceramic cover to expand the counter space when it's not being used. Open it up and there are two burners inside, electrical coils with alcohol ports in the center. I did have to discover that there's an interlock switch on the rear to ensure that if the cover is closed, the power is cut to the burners. You don't have to be an Electrical Engineer to live on a boat, but it certainly doesn't hurt.


Living the Dream even when it's cold and gray and dreary...

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Boat, New Home, New Friends, Old Job

Since it's been over a year from the last post, I figure it's time. Not sure an annual blog would be that popular, so I'll try to do better...

After taking the Triumph from Boston to Fort Lauderdale a year and a half ago, my favorite company to work for made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I packed up the stuff necessary to live comfortably (who knew I had / needed that many purses???) and headed back to Boston.

A gracious friend gave me a place to crash until I sorted out my temporary permanent place, unfortunately he lives on the North Shore and I work on the South Shore. BRUTAL commute, but it's just for a short time and there's a lot of choices. Extended Stay, Short Term Lease, maybe even a roommate situation off or Craigslist. How hard can it be to find a place to stay???

Pretty frickin' hard...

Not only is it expensive, but I'm just too ornery to deal with the rules. When I brought up my husband coming to visit, one potential roommate nearly had a stroke. A friend offered "My girlfriend had the same problem - we just sneaked up to her room when no one was around. Oh, and you probably can't have food in your room. Sneak it in too..."

Seriously???  I wasn't good at that in college and I haven't gotten any better...

Back to the commute - I can make this work! Nope.  School bus turned sideways in the tunnel, garbage truck caught fire in another tunnel, one too many three hour commutes and I'm back to checking out alternatives.

Hmmm...  I live on a boat in Fort Lauderale, I lived on several different boats in Boston Harbor, maybe I should get another boat.

Off to Mendon and Certified Sales. There were a few other boats, but that's a story for another post. The pictures posted of Hypnautic on their website looked like a marine version of the house from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was great because no one else bought it or even wanted it.  I bought it, brought it to Quincy and now I have a summer home. After buying the boat, paying for the Marina and taking care of minimal utilities, I'll pay less than I would have for half the time in an extended stay apartment setup.

The boat, a Sea Ray Sundancer 300, will be renamed Lady's Choice and improvements continue, but for now I'm four blocks from work and happy as a clam in, well, water.

Continuing to Live the Dream

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Home Remedies and Natural Cures - Healthy or Hogwash?

Before I begin, I have to make a confession.

I hate doctors, hospitals, surgery, prescriptions and even lab tests.  My own personal opinion is that the health care industry is primarily driven by the health insurance industry, to the detriment of individuals' quality of life.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe health care practitioners are bad people and that they don't care about their patients.  Sadly, I feel that they are being boxed into tighter and tighter constraints due to unrealistic requirements and fear of lawsuits and liabilities.

Additionally, living on a boat makes me want to avoid being tied to a specific health care network.  When cruising the islands, you don't want to have to look for a Mayo or Cleveland Clinic for every little thing.

When you combine this with my dislike of seeking professional care, I tend to do a lot of research and try natural remedies before heading to Urgent Care.  And what do you know?  There's quite a few natural cures that actually work!  Even better and faster than prescription drugs, the latter of which may have severe side effects.  Below, I've listed my favorites that I've sworn by for decades.

Since I have to put a disclaimer, here it is.

  1. I am not a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, practitioner's assistant or any other health professional.
  2. USE COMMON SENSE when trying these remedies.  If you're allergic to one of these items, don't use it.
  3. DO NOT think that if two tablespoons is good, a cup is 8 times better.
  4. Try a remedy.  If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. 
  5. Don't put off going to the doctor if you experience severe discomfort, especially anything that lasts for longer than a few days.

Anyway, here they are...


  1. Malady: Digestive discomfort, even as severe as colitis.  Remedy:  Aloe Vera juice.  Not the gross pulpy stuff you'd get by blending up the plant, but the filtered, tasteless juice you can buy at Whole Foods or other grocer.  There's even a brand with a happy road runner on the label.  Two ounces in the morning, two at lunch, mixed with juice, if you'd like.  Should see relief in a few days.  
  2. Malady: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).  Remedy: Cranberry capsules.  I used to contract a lot of UTI's; so many that I've had to be dilated (VERY painful) to reduce scar tissue.  After reading that cranberries kept the bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls and not having much luck with cranberry juice (too diluted), I bought cranberry capsules.  These are just capsules of crushed up cranberries.  At the first symptom of a UTI, I take a handful of capsules, probably about twelve.  This is repeated every couple of hours along with a glassfuls of water.  Since I've been attacking the attacks with this, I haven't had a UTI last more than about three hours.  Keep in mind that since the dose is extreme, make sure there are no other additives to the capsules such as calcium or other minerals.
  3. Malady: Acid Reflux.  Remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  I know, I know, it's counter intuitive.  But think about it this way.  The primary duty of our stomach is to digest food.  How does it do this?  By producing acid.  What do the acid reflux drugs do?  They neutralize acid.  When the acid level goes down, what does the stomach do?  Produce acid.  The idea behind the apple cider vinegar is to rebalance the stomach acid.  I personally know of a person who suffered so badly from acid reflux that they couldn't sleep at night due to the coughing.  The prescription drugs weren't working and sleep was impossible.  After taking two ounces of ACV in the morning and two at midday for about a week, the coughing went away completely and the person was able to stop taking the prescription drugs.  Why apple cider vinegar specifically?  I dunno...  Please see the disclaimer.  I'm an engineer, not a doctor, Captain...  If you don't want to take the vinegar straight, mix it with apple cider - it just tastes a little more tart.
  4. Malady: Gall bladder pain.  Remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar.  Redundant?  Possibly.  But this stuff is great.  Same treatment as for Acid Reflux until the pain subsides.  I've had severe gall bladder pain that subsided in a couple of hours after taking the ACV.  DO NOT drink mass quantities - you will get sick... 
  5. Malady: Burns.  Remedy: Olive Oil.  I learned this trick from a guy who worked in a pizza parlor.  Pour the oil (must be olive oil, not vegetable, canola, butter or any other kind.  Why?  I dunno...) over the affected area and keep applying until the heat goes away.  I've seen it remove the pain and keep a burn from blistering even if the burn came from a glowing ember (from a barbecue grill) or grabbing a hot pan.  This works even better than Aloe.  Sorry, but it does.   
  6. Malady: Pollen Allergies.  Remedy: Local Raw Honey.  A tablespoon in the morning will relieve symptoms in a few days.  If you can't get true local honey, try to get some from the area that's similar to what is causing your woes.  A few years ago, the pollen count in Boston was so high that my black car was coated with a fine layer of yellow every morning.  I wanted to pull my eyes out of their sockets and wash them, they itched so badly.  I went to a farmers' market and found a vendor selling golden rod honey from upstate New York.  Sorry, all you Red Sox fans, but I was desperate.  The honey was almost gritty, it had so much pollen in it.  Tasted great.  After three days, the itching had completely subsided.  And, how horrible is it to start your day with a tablespoon of honey???
  7. Malady: Vaginal Yeast Infection.  Remedy: Plain Yogurt with Active Bacteria Cultures.  Gross topic, I agree, but anyone who's ever contracted one of these knows how awful it can be.  And the various treatments have never worked well for me.  Just take a big scoop and slather it on the affected area.  Stuff it right up there.  Relief is almost immediate, especially if it's cool from the refrigerator, and it knocks the infection in the head right away.  This is where common sense comes in.  Apply it before you take your shower, wipe away excess, whatever, but don't go wandering around with it dripping.  More confession time - one time I was in agony and the store didn't have plain.  Strawberry worked just as well, but I'd advise getting the cheap brands without whole fruit...

These are my top favorites.  There are probably more and, as I think of them, I'll add them in.  Good luck and good health!