Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Five with Livia J. Washburn Reasoner

1. Most exciting day of your life was?

I've had two: the days my daughters were born. I always wanted children. I had some pretty bad health issues in my teens, and when I was 19 my doctor told me if I ever wanted children, I needed to start right away. James and I had been dating for a while, so we were married a few months later in 1976. My oldest daughter was born in 1984. Guess the doctor was wrong about the right away bit.

2. My favorite food is? 

Chocolate with almonds.

3. My favorite car I ever owned was?

The car I'm presently driving. It's a 2011 Citrus Fire Metallic Honda Element.  Drives great and I can add a hitch and haul with it. When I was young I had a '67 Chrysler I really liked. All metal and built like a tank. I spent my life savings at the time on it. (Granted, that was only $600 . . .)

4. Something you may not know about me is that I...?

Believe in natural healing. I used to have very bad acid reflux and was on a lot of prescription medication. This medicine was causing all kinds of side effects. I'd lost so much strength in my joints, I could hard hold anything. I read where yellow mustard would cure acid reflux. I didn't really believe it, but gave it a try since the prescription medicine really wasn't working any more. I was having major chest pains at least half the nights. One week of taking a teaspoon of yellow mustard twice a day and I was off the prescription medicine. I took the yellow mustard once a day after that for a year, and I haven't had a problem since. If any food bothers me a little, I just add mustard that day and I'm okay. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago and all pain medications make me ill, so when I heard a gluten free diet would help, I gave it a try. A week later and my pain had lessened considerably. I'm not against modern medicine, but most drugs just doesn't agree with me.

5. Where did your name come from?

My mother never would explain to me why she named me Livia. My brothers are Bruce and Arlon, so I think she was just looking for something different. Or she named me after the famous Livia, Livia Drusilla, aka Julia Augusta, the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. When someone got in her way, she tended to poison them. Hmm, come to think of it I've been known to poison a few characters. Maybe Mom was on to something.  

Not much here about writing, but James and I recently republished a western we wrote a few years ago, Red River Ruse.  I'll draw a name from the people who comment to give an e-copy.


  1. Lucia Drusilla is a central character in Robert Graves' classic and outstanding novels I, CAUDIUS and CLAUDIUS THE GOD, that were famously reprised in the excellent BBC television series of the same name. Frightening lady!

  2. Michael, I loved the I, Claudius series. That was the first time I'd ever heard of anyone else with the name Livia. Definitely a frightening lady.

  3. Livia, you are not doing your part to uphold your name's reputation, darlin'. You need to "mean-up" a bit. ;-)

    Both of your natural health tips were news to me. Thanks for sharing them! Did you find it difficult to go gluten-free?

  4. I'm glad you're feeling better after getting off the gluten. I'm on a no-grain-at-all regimen and that's helping even more. Who knew? My body doesn't get along well with most drugs, either, so I sympathize. It'd sure be a lot easier just to take a pill, though, because I sure like tortillas and fried rice.

    BTW, the heroine of my current wip is Vivvie. Was Livvie but then I kept typing Livia and it's all your fault. :)

  5. Kathleen, I'll see what I can do to mean it up. I find it very, very difficult to go gluten-free. It was much easier to add yellow mustard to my diet. At least I'm no longer checking out wheelchairs. I did slip one day and got a burger while we were on vacation, and boy did I pay for it. Intense knee pain that lasted almost a week until most of the gluten was back out of my system.

    Jacquie, no-grain would be hard. I'm hoping I don't have to do that. I would just type Livia and use search and replace.

  6. Good to get to know you a little better Livia. It seems like I've known you for ages, but really only a little while. Thanks for baring all to us.

  7. Thanks for the insight. I especially was intrigued by using Mustard to deal with acid-reflux. More interesting because of a recent article I read linking some of the acid reflux meds with heart disease. You always have such interesting - and useful - information.

  8. Hi Livia!

    I love mustard so that will be easy for me to do. I'm going to tell my kids about it too--they're still young, but it's something that could help, no matter your age, I think. I love that car of yours! And what a great pic of you all in the younger days! Thanks for sharing your Friday Five with us--now we have to see what we can do about getting James to share his.

  9. Livia,

    I always thought of Rome when I read your name. Mustard...I'll have to remember that one. As for gluten free, I've been gluten intolerant for a number of years ( for other health reasons) and if I get any in my system the joints will start hurting. This was such an enjoyable post. Thank you. Doris

  10. Charlie, seems like I've known you forever. Glad we started WF. I've gotten to know a lot of people I now think of as good friends.

    Tom, the mustard really worked on me. I was taking a double dose of the strongest Protonix costing $200 a month, and just getting by. I couldn't eat many foods, or drink any alcohol. I'd been dealing with this for over 30 years. After 2 weeks of taking yellow mustard it was like I never had acid reflux. I kept taking it for a year just to be sure, but it didn't come back when I stopped. I just make sure if I feel any twinges, I add a spoonful of mustard. I love when something simple works.

    Cheryl, thank you for asking me to blog today. It was fun.

    Doris, we really need to get the word out about gluten causing so much pain. I never had a clue.

  11. Livia, thanks for the post. I will have to use the mustard. I don't get it too much but when I do , Oh Boy! I have been trying to ease up on the gluten but it is in so many things. I have MS and I've tried a lot of things. I also as a result of the MS and IBS have tummy troubles so anytime I can find something to help, I like it. I have been trying to back off fried foods and making meat not so important in my diet. My trouble is sweets. I would like to read some of Jim's books. i'm going to be looking for them now when I go to the book store and online.

  12. Great post, Livia. Lots of interesting little directions, to Rome and natural medicine. I am all in favour of trying things and am fascinated by the mustard. Glad you have been helped by the gluten-free diet.


  13. Livia, My first car was a 1982 Chrysler New Yorker. Even though it ate starters (I put five on in the 4 1/2 years I owned it) I still loved it. I guess it's like any first love; it seems special even once you realize how bad it turned out to be.

  14. Connie, it is hard giving up gluten. Honestly I had little hopes of either mustard or going gluten-free helping, so I was really shocked when it helped so much. I'm intrigued with the thought of going completely grain free, wondering how much that would help, but as hard as it was to give up wheat, I'm not ready to give up more. I'm not sure how I'm going to come up with baking recipes for my Fresh Baked mysteries. It should be interesting.

    Keith, I'd tried other natural medicines but these have helped me the most. James just takes turmeric in capsules for acid reflux. That didn't work as well for me. It's definitely been a life changer for me.

    Louis, I loved that car. I knew how to change the wires and spark plugs and honestly it didn't require a lot of other upkeep for many years. It was heavy as a tank, had white leather bucket seats, you could put 2 bodies in the trunk, and it got 20 miles to a gallon. That baby would fly on the highway. It loved speed. Or at least one of us did.

  15. Livia, thanks for taking the time to let us all get to know you better. Our eldest was born in 1984 as well at Weatherford Hospital. Heck, right down the road from y'all. Wish I'd have been able to meet you and James back in my Weatherford PD days--but I reckon the fact that we never crossed paths speaks to your law abiding ways...

  16. Fascinating post, Livia. I've had acid reflux for a while, but can't stand mustard, so I guess that wouldn't work for me. So I guess the only gluten you can have now is Elmer's Glue-ten.

    Jim Griffin

  17. Thanks for the post and the home remedies. Hey, what ever works is the one to stick with. And it may not work for the next person. I have arthritis and a fella once told me to soak white grapes in gin for a day or so then have a cocktail of the mixture daily.
    It didn't work for me but I sure enjoyed the drink.

  18. Marc, I promise there were no actual bodies in my old Chrysler. Weatherford is a great town. We were at the Gibson there looking at the guns last week. You wouldn't want to have to deal with the traffic now however.

    Jim, James is the same way. He can't stand taking straight yellow mustard. He likes it on a hot dog or hamburger, however. He uses turmeric capsules, which I didn't respond to as well but it works for him. I just ignore the taste and swallow it like my mom used to make me swallow liquid vitamins. I hated the taste of that stuff.

    Jerry, I heard it was raisins soaked in gin. Tried that, too. It didn't help at all. Not even enough gin to get a buzz.

  19. Livia, there is a Gluten free bakery here in town that has a vegan oat bread that works and tastes as near to regular bread that I have found. It is also egg free. Would love to get the recipe. Good luck on your mysteries. Doris

  20. Just to make it very clear, I use plain old yellow French's mustard. One or two teaspoons morning and night if it's very bad, then I cut down to 1 a day. At that point I just bought a big box of individual packets at Sam's Club. Lasted over a year for less than $10, the Protonix was costing me $2400 a year. The mustard worked a lot better with no side effects. I haven't had a chest pain in 2 years and I used up sit up all night with horrible chest pains.

  21. Wow, thanks for all that health info, I'm filing it away in the ol' noggin. I may try the mustard thing myself -I love the stuff, and also have acid reflux.

  22. Livia,

    It is amazing how complicated life can be. Health issues can ruin everything and it changes life's direction---mostly---unfavorably. At least that is my experience.

    On top of your health issues, you mention taking care of your mother. I also care for my 90 year old mother, and at times that means changing diapers, bathing, and spoon feeding her.

    Sometimes life is just unfair.

    Everyone at Western Fictioneers knows you work so hard for the organization. We are all glad that you are apparently doing so much better with your health issues.

    This was an inspiring blog.

    Charlie Steel

  23. I've been using French's yellow mustard ever since I can remember. I still managed to have occasional acid reflux for a few years but it went away on its own. I'm glad you found a simple, cheap, and effective way to handle your nasty medical woes.

  24. Both my husband and I need to try the mustard for acid reflux, and I've been thinking about going gluten-free too. Love bread and pastries, dang it!

    Did you know that daubing mustard on a burn takes the fire out? I used my hubby as a guinea pig when he burned himself on the bbq, and by golly, it works!

  25. Doris, what brand is the oat bread? I've used oat flour a lot in my baking, but it always has wheat flour, too.

    Troy, I hope it helps.

    Charlie, strangly enough, my health is actully better now than it was from my teens to my 40's. I started taking care of Mom and Dad in January 2007. Did some of that lifting, diaper changing, bathing, and spoon feeding, today myself. Added a little mowing, too. I love Western Fictioneers and the people. That's my fun stuff. Wishing I had more time to work on it.

    Cap'n Bob - Isn't it cool that something cheap can cure a major health issue? That acid tore up my stomach badly before I used mustard.

    Carol - I did not know about mustard helping a burn. I always kept an aloe vera plant in my kitchen for that. I will definitely try it next time.

  26. Kathleen - picked you to get the free book. Well, after it picked me a couple times. :) I'll email that right to you.