Caravan Sonnet

6/19/18

A Walk Through Historic Cologne // Germany

Happy Tuesday friends! I hope that your week has started off well! Back in April I shared that on our 5th day of our Rhine River cruise we had the amazing opportunity to spend the morning cruising the Middle Rhine River. (You can read about the first part of our scenic cruising HERE and the second part HERE!) 
The 5th day of our cruise turned out to be one of my favorites. The morning cruising the Rhine was a beautiful experience and definitely one of our favorite parts of the trip (even if we did freeze! hahaha!) and then the afternoon and early evening were spent exploring the beautiful city of Cologne, Germany.
After a yummy lunch we headed into our afternoon tours that strolled through Old town Cologne before we went and spent time at the Kolner Dom, Germany's largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I will be dedicating an entire post to the Cathedral (it was simply amazing!) but today I wanted to share pictures from our walk through historic Cologne.
Cologne (or Koln in German), which is located northwest of Bonn, is the largest city in the German federal state of the North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of Europe's most major metropolitan areas and most cultural cities (with over 30 museums!) and is the fourth most populated city (following Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich). 
Side note- aren't these colorful houses absolutely adorable? I took so many pictures of them because I just loved the color against the church!
Founded in the 1st century AD, Cologne functioned as the capital of the Roman province and was the headquarters of the Roman military until 462. Cologne thrived during the Middle Ages as one of the most critical and important trade routes- serving as a conduit between the east and west in Europe. 
Although the city had gone through several different occupations by the French and the British in the decades prior to World War II, the city gained unfortunate notoriety in World War II as one of the most heavily bombed cities during the war. 
During World War II the Royal Air Force dropped more than 34,711 tons of bombs on Cologne alone. This number is absolutely staggering if you consider the amount that this is and the fact that it was all leveled in this one area.
This intense bombing reduced the Cologne population by nearly 95% during World War II... mainly due to the evacuation as it destroyed the entire city. To give a glimpse of what things looked like I have included a few pictures below that I found while researching about Cologne:
These pictures above are not my property- they were found on the internet. 
Due to the severity of the destruction there is a unique landscape that has emerged in Cologne. The intention during the rebuilding phase was to save and restore as many historic buildings as possible and in doing so there is an eclectic mix of the days gone by amidst the new.  
The rich history of Cologne added to the depth of what we were seeing.  
In many ways, this time through Historic Cologne reminded me of our time in Colmar, France
There is a beauty that can only come from having endured so much destruction and living to tell the story. I was quieted by this and the way that so much history had survived despite the harsh encounters and decimation. 
There is a beauty that comes from everything when you face difficulties and still manage to persevere. Perhaps that is one of the greatest lessons that I took away from our entire trip. 
I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of a walk through Historic Cologne! In my next post I can't wait to share more about the Cologne Cathedral and its unique survival during the bombing of World War II. The Cathedral was absolutely magnificent! If you are interested in reading more about our Basel to Amsterdam cruise on Viking, you can click on the links below: 

6/17/18

Daddy's Day 2018

To the amazing man who took this picture seven years ago and right afterwards said, "Come home...please come home so we can help you get your life back and beat whatever health problem you are fighting" (long before we knew it was Lyme, Skin Cancer and multiple other health issues) and who has prayed thousands of prayers for me and over me, who has wiped away tears, given countless hugs, embraced me completely, who has sat at 45 hospital visits with me, taken me to thousands of doctors appointments and kept me smiling each time, who has brought laughter to my hurting heart, who sacrifices in hundreds of ways everyday, who has helped me start running again (physically and figuratively) and who has lived the definition of what it means to be a  "dad" in every important sense of the word...I love you and am so blessed to call you "daddy". Happy Father's Day my precious hero today and everyday.

6/14/18

Helpful and Affordable Lyme Disease Supplements: Silver

Today I am so excited to share with y'all about a helpful and affordable Lyme supplement that I have found to be key in my healing journey- which is Silver. Silver is a natural remedy with historical references as far back as 1000BC. At this time the Persian King Cyrus used silver to help treat the drinking water (most likely assuming to kill the bacteria that was in it). In World War I there are references that silver was used to treat wounds and since the 1920s silver has been approved by the FDA to use for a variety of infections. 

In Lyme world it seems that it common to hear about the use of silver in treatment. Silver is known to be an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and an anti-viral product so it hits the Lyme on a multitude of levels. 

One book on the topic of Silver and Lyme Disease is: The Micro-Silver Bullet: A Scientifically Documented Answer to the Three Largest Epidemics in the World: Lyme Disease, Aids Virus, Yeast Infection, and the Common Cold (you can find it by clicking HERE). It's an older book (from 1997), but is one of the only books that delves into the scientific properties of Lyme and the use of silver. Dr. Farber (the author of the book) goes into specific clinical research and how the silver kills the bacterial spirochete of Lyme. It's an interesting and fascinating read if you are wanting to delve more into research as you discuss with your doctor about this. 

 There are lots of different theories and ideas about the type of silver to use, and the best recommendation is to always consult with your physician before starting this, or any treatment! Due to my specific issues with Lyme there are many times that a variety of different companies have the same product but I have to use a quality rich supplement from a specific company due to manufacturing. I hope that these help! Here in no particular order are two silver products that I used to use or still use everyday:
1. Silver Biotics
Silver Biotics was the first silver product that I added into my health regime back before I had the official diagnosis of Lyme. At the beginning of my Lyme journey I started getting infection after infection (due to the weakened immune system) and a natural doctor at the time recommended it. They specifically recommended this brand and while I tried other brands, this specific one has done wonders for my health. 

Over the years I have tried to locate this specific product at a variety of health stores. I have found it at many, but the price has always been the cheapest on Amazon. You can find it for less than $43 on Amazon by clicking HERE
Results RNA ACS 200 Extra Strength Collodial Silver, or ACS Silver as I have nicknamed it, was first introduced to me while I was out at the Whitaker Wellness Institute in 2013. While it was necessary to part ways with Whitaker's (due to the severity of my case and their inability to handle my complex case, and a severe difference over how to treat Advanced Late Stage Lyme, I remain forever grateful for the part in my journey that they did have, for the way that they saved my life, and the referral to see an oncologist.) 

This was one product from that time that I kept and have continued using over the years. I researched so much about it and have definitely felt that it has contributed to my success of beating Lyme. Here is what Results RNA says about the product: 

  • Kills pathogens 1,000,000 times more effectively than competing brands based on independent laboratory research
  • ACS 200 Extra Strength achieves 99.9999% (complete) kill against Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella henselae and co-infection microorganisms Powassan virus, MRSA and more without harming healthy flora or damaging human tissue. 
  • Effective against an enormous array of disease causing organisms; including bacteria, spirochetes, virus, fungus, parasites & more without harming healthy flora or damaging human tissue.
  • Provides 200 ppm of uniquely energized silver molecules, suspended in "wetter water," enabling rapid absorption and utilization by all biological systems. (source

A note of caution- I think the company recommends 12 sprays of silver twice a day for the intense treatment and 6 sprays twice a day for maintanence and it is a TON if you are in a fragile state... the herxing is intense. Definitely consult with your physician for yourself about the amount to take before starting. My medical team has me on a specific amount that has worked well for my body! 

Also- Results RNA has several other things that some Lymies find helpful if you want to explore more about their products! 

If you are looking to purchase, the cheapest I have found it on is Amazon. You can find it for less than $35 on Amazon by clicking HERE

I hope that this helps those of you who are researching more information about silver! Let me know if you have any questions!

Looking for additional Lyme Resources? You can find my post, Ten Helpful and Affordable Supplements for Lyme Disease Patients for Healing Your Gut by clicking HERE and find my post 10 Helpful and Affordable Lyme Disease Supplements for Healing Your Adrenal Glands by clicking HERE. 

For all of the specific Lyme Resources you can find them on The Lyme Diaries page HERE

You can also find links to all of my Lyme Disease Books Listed Below:

Please note as a disclaimer that the information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

6/13/18

Instagram Sale!

Head on over to the December Caravan instagram community for a special Wednesday Sale! You can connect with the December Caravan community by clicking HERE

Interested in just checking out the shop? Lots of new goodies have been added in the last few weeks with lots more to come! You can go directly to the shop by clicking HERE

See you on over at the IG page!

6/12/18

Happy 32nd Birthday Hoopster!

My gorgeous "baby" sister (whom I affectionately refer to as "hoopster" -because she played basketball... and who calls me "pom pom" -because I was a cheerleader and yes, we have code names. Blame it on a bad break up and a marathon viewing of Alias. *smiles*) turns 32 today! 

I thought it would be fun to re-share a post I posted a couple of years ago on her 30th birthday of 30 of my favorite things about her. (These are in no particular order and there are a ton more I could have mentioned. It was hard to narrow it down to just thirty!)
1. That you still thinks code names are "cool". 

2. That no matter how many years we take the twenty hour car trip to New York you still think it is fun to sneak "just one more thing" in.
3. The Rescue. Need I say more?

4. Our Memories.
5. The Spring that we lived together before I got sick.
6. How BIG your heart is.

7. That you get dressed up for dinner just because I think it is fun. 
8. The laughter that you bring to our family.
9. That we still laugh about Mary Kate and Ashley movies and that you still encourage me that we will be on the Amazing Race. "Let's run up the hill... duck... okay get in the car... this game is all about minutes."

10. Our conversations. 

11. That you think I am a good singer (hahaha) and that it is always a good time to start "air-singing" ... don't worry I will call and sing to you today!
12. ALL of your prayers for me!

13. Our Thanksgiving Starbucks tradition
14. Our late night talks- even in freezing hotel rooms.
15. Our sister days. (and trips!)

16. That you love being in charge of the lights at Christmas 
17. Your lovely understanding of the need for compassion in the world.
18. your love for our pajama tradition!
19. Your ability to bring a smile to everyone's heart that encounters you.
20. Your loyalty. 

21. Your love for Disney World (just like me!)
22. Your agreement that there is only so much of the "it's a small world song" before one goes crazy.
23. that you love toasting with Starbucks water just because I think it is fun
24. your love for scamper and my future hubby and my future children

25. your love for road trips (and for singing in the car to all of the songs we know by heart!)
26. your love for talking and planning over EVERY DETAIL for future trips to give me a distraction through treatment

27. Our silly inside jokes.
28. Your Hugs
29. Our Tubing Adventures... Just jump Emily you can do it one more time... 
30. YOU
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 32nd BIRTHDAY Hoopster! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you this coming year! I LOVE YOU sooo much!! This is going to be the best year ever!!
"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."
-Philippians 1:3-