Monday, October 17, 2016

A Bountiful Harvest

This past weekend, my 17-year-old daughter helped me with collecting seeds from the many spent flowers in our backyard to share with friends, while I disassembled the vegetable beds. There were so many seeds that I was able to broadcast some in both my front and backyard and still have enough to share! She was amazed at how many seeds came from one Black-eyed Susan flower, much less one hundred of the spent flower heads. It was a bountiful harvest!
Not everybody likes Black-eyed Susan flowers. They can self-sow every year, and they do provide some lasting color with some drama to the garden. When they all bloom at once, they are an amazing show of color. When they die back, it’s a slow and ugly death. The stems and the flowers dry up and look pretty sad, but even in death, they provide seeds for the local birds and for the fly-by bird migrating south for the winter. I’m so glad they are in my garden.
This past Friday my husband and I attended the memorial for one of our church members. A young boy, a month away from being seven, died of cancer after fighting a year with multiple tumors on his spine and in his brain. Some would say that he lived a short life. Some would say that he died too young, and yet others would say his short little life touched hundreds of others. That’s what I say because he touched mine.
I’m standing on the scripture found in Psalms 139:16, “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” The Message
How marvelous that we are like flowers in His garden. Here for a time, for a season, maybe more, yet God has written those days in His book. I believe that the days are written by God, but what we do with our lives fills the pages and brings the story of our lives into others to bless, to encourage, to lift up, to enjoy. Flowers die and so do we. Sometimes it’s hard to watch it happen, but for those like me who believe, only our flesh dies. Our spirits are returned to God to be safely ensconced until we can all be together again. Philippians 1:21, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” NASB
Just like that one flower head that had an abundance of seeds, that six-year-old boy left behind a ton of blessings for years to come. His mom bravely got up and spoke of how her son’s life impacted many by his love for others and his willingness to share his possessions as he knew that he was headed home to heaven. He touched the lives of teachers and hospital staff, friends, and family and all who knew him in the year that he bravely fought his battle with cancer, and he won! What? You ask. He won? How did someone who was dying of cancer win? He is now in heaven, fully healed! No more pain, no more suffering, and cancer didn’t win. We will be like Him, healed and whole.
Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Being a cancer survivor myself, I look for a complete healing in heaven someday. Until then, I will bloom where I’m planted and continue to bless others with as much goodness as possible, for He has written all my days in His book.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some Free Health Videos

Please check out this set of Youtube videos for some AMAZING natural remedies that really work. I tried the grated ginger root on my ankles and was amazed at how the swelling went down.

Barbara O'neill has so much knowledge about how our bodies work and what we "should" be eating to promote health and vitality.

Our bodies are "Chemistry Labs," and what we put into them makes all the difference in the world on how we feel and how much energy that we have. We here in America are spending big bucks to be sick. That's right, you heard me, we are spending thousands of dollars every month not knowing that what we eat is causing our health to fail. Educate yourself today with the knowledge that will heal your body and get you off of all kinds of expensive medications.  Would you eat arsenic, knowing that it's pure poison to your body? Of course not, that would be craziness, yet you eat sugar which in reality is a sweet acid that is feeding cancer and all types of diseases in your body.

I have decided to be a guinea pig for my own health. I'm on a journey to heal some chronic inflammation around my heart and throughout my body by eliminating 7 foods for 21 days to learn what food is triggering this inflammation. So far I'm on day 16 and feeling pretty good. Here are the 7 foods that I have cut out that typically bring on the most intolerance's to our bodies.

Are you ready?

Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

In 5 days I will re-introduce one item in the list and I will know in 30 minutes if I have an intolerance to the food if I get bloating, gas or cramps even in the slightest amount. If I do then out it goes, if not, then I will wait another 7 days to re-introduce another food from the list to see and so on down the list. I will post periodically my results and hope that you will try this too if you are having issues as well. In my next post I will have a "test" for you to do. It will help you to define what may be causing your own health issues.

So you might be asking yourself right now, because I get this all the time, "So what DO you eat?" I will also cover that in posts to come. Trust me. I love food and I'm not starving, but I have lost 5lbs in 15 days.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Health & Wellness In Spite of the Pain.

Hey Friends, I wanted to share some information and get some input on some information that I just got from my team of doctors working with my chronic pain. First off, I'm a 14-year breast cancer survivor and a strong advocate for my own health. Yes, I have a "team" of doctors (They don't know that they're a team, but I call them that anyways.) I've seen an Oncologist, Rheumatologist, Orthopedic, Chiropractor/Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, Cardiologist, Physical Therapist and my Primary Care Physician all trying to help me figure this all over aches and pains. I have chosen them all very carefully because most of them have had chronic myofacial pain or FM or some other unexplained pain themselves. I find it very interesting that my diagnosis has come in the form of puzzle pieces that now are starting to make sense and give me the bigger picture of what is happening to me. Please feel free to comment on this post. We are all different and the reasons for our pain are different, but tell me if any of these ring a bell. By the way....this applies to just the women in this group, because well...I'm a woman.

I'm halfway through my 50's... okay, I'm 55. It just sounded better saying halfway! 
I've experience menopause symptoms since 2003. My poor husband is SO understanding and knows when to clear the room. 
Never smoked or drank, or done illegal drugs....really! 
I've had at least 1 surgery for something once a year now for the past 10 years. Some for pain or cancer. Some corrective. 

So my doctors have all agreed that I have systemic (all over) Chronic Myofacil Pain. (Duh!) But.... hot flashes, cellulite on body parts, fatigue, and flashes of mystery pain crop up out of nowhere, mood swings are all a symptom WITH this Chronic pain. Read that again..."Symptoms." My body has been through such emotional & physical stress almost all of my life and then you add in eating processed foods and drinking carbonated drinks, surgeries, bad relationships and deaths in my family for all those years, my body is SCREAMING for help before it's too late. Having any kind of surgery adds stress to your body and if you don't take the time to heal it is STRESS. If you've suffered loss and have not truly grieved and ENDED YOUR GRIEF, it is STRESS. If you have bad relationships without resolve it is STRESS So, my team and I have come up with a plan to reverse this cycle of damage to my body, mind and soul. Now granted, this damage has been ongoing for a LONG time, so to undo it all will take a long time as well, but I have seen significant results in just 5 weeks thus far. What have I done? No secret weapon to sell, or gimmick to try. Here is what I have done so far. 

Clean eating - Look it up if you don't know what that is. It's not hippy food or drinking tons of green yuck, but it is eating real healthy food. 
De-stress - Do the things that relax you and get rid of the things that stress you out. Okay...well maybe not your spouse!
WATER - only drink water. Preferably filtered water like in one of those pitcher thingy's. Your body is made up of mostly water, not soda, alcohol or coffee. Water is needed to wash the toxins away and keep your body healthy. 
Clean air - Did you know that your home contains stale germ filled air after 1 week of it being closed up? Pet and people gas alone could be toxic! 
Remove chemicals in your home - This is a huge one. Think of all the cleaning products under your sink. Now think of all the personal products that you use that have chemicals in them! Try to get rid of as many as possible and replace them with non-cancer causing products.
NO Caffeine PERIOD! - Break the habit - it's worth it for your health and your sleep. 
Nothing Artificial, not one morsel ever again! Yes, really.
Gentle Movement - I have found Tai Chi to be the best for me, but find what works for you. My Physical Therapist has been wonderful in helping me find what works for stretching tight and tense muscles. If you don't stretch your muscles they will be weak. 
Closure - As humans we need closure on death, ended relationships, or people who bring us down. 
Time - Learn to say "NO" but nicely when others try to take your time away from you. Get over the guilt of not being available. When you're healthy again, then you can say "yes" to small things. 
Let go - You know what that means, so do it. If you can't, see a Therapist who can help you through the process. Holding on to bitterness, anger or hurts will only add to your stress. 
Forgiveness - For yourself. Give yourself permission to be forgiven of all the crap of your past. It will make it easier for the next one. 
Forgive others. Even if they don't reciprocate, don't expect it. When you forgive others, you just un-tied the noose around your neck and now you're free. If they can't forgive, that's their problem, not yours.
And the last one... 
Love yourself enough to do all of these things. You're worth it and you deserve a better life. My pain isn't completely gone, but it's improved enough to keep going and believe that this process is working. I've taken on one new thing a week and the results are amazing. Soft hugs to you all!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Come, Find Peace.

The peace of God is with us always. We don't always "feel" it, but He is always there to quiet and comfort our souls if we just trust Him with our problems. Enough said!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Low Carb Adventure, While I'm Waiting for Spring!

While I'm waiting on spring to actually arrive here in Colorado, I thought that I would share some good eats from my own low carb eating plan. I have managed to create some wonderful meals and lose weight at the same time. Plus my LDL is down and my blood pressure is at where it should be, so hey....why not share? It might be what you need as well to get to the weight that you're happy with.

So here is my first recipe for low carb delish!

Strawberry crepes just for YOU. If you're sharing then double the amount of eggs.


3 eggs beaten well
2 tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream (non-sweetened almond milk or flax milk works good too)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla (get the real stuff, it makes a difference and is worth it!)
3 large fresh strawberries, sliced thin

8oz cream cheese softened (microwave  covered with a paper towel for 30 seconds)
Mix in cream cheese 2 large tablespoons of sugar free strawberry jam or preserves. This amount make extra for others or will keep in your refrigerator for about a week, but these are so yummy that it probably won't last that long.

Beat eggs, whipping cream, cinnamon and vanilla together until mixed well. Pour about half into a non-stick skillet at about medium temp. I do put about a teaspoon of olive oil in my pan before cooking.  Make sure egg covers all of the bottom of the skillet. Let cook about 30 to 40 seconds, then lift an edge with a non-stick spatula to see if bottom is browning. When egg has almost cooked on the top, take spatula and flip egg crepe over.

Spoon in cream cheese on top of cooked egg crepe and spread thin. You can add the fresh sliced strawberries and then fold crepe over 1/3 of the way. Remove pan from heat and turn crepe over on plate folding over the remaining 1/3 to make the full crepe. Make another the same as before. Garnish with more sliced berries and add real whipped topping and enjoy?

Egg,cinnamon & cream

Cream cheese and Strawberry jam

Fresh Strawberries

Add Cream Cheese

Add strawberries
Fold over
Add more berries and whipped topping and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Winter's Hold

The snow is falling outside right now. A soft blanket envelopes the grassy areas and the cars parked at my work look like frosted cakes all lined up at a bakery. Here it is April 17 and there is 3 inches of snow and more to come overnight. Sigh! I have to keep my perspective that this is water for my garden, That nature knows when it's time to wake from its cold long winter's sleep.  Like a kid on Christmas day, I want to open my garden early so I can play in the yard. But living in Colorado you never know what the weather will bring. Just 2 weeks ago I was outside trimming back dead flowers and spotting where the new patio will be. Now it's nothing but white. So I wait with an anxious heart, appreciating the much needed snowfall for the summer days ahead. This year will be different due to the draught situation here in Colorado. I plan to create spaces that use the water carefully and less often. More patio space and less annuals. With only two days to water during the week, I will need to be vigilant to tend to the health of my trees.

Normally I have 10 to 15 pots filled and overflowing of beautiful flowers. This year...not so much. No pots of flowers, just whatever seed comes up on its own will be allowed to flourish. Planning and moving sprinklers to best distribute water will be on my list of things to do. From rainbirds to drip and minimal sprinklers. This year will be different. Our front yard is xeriscaped to conserve water already, now the back must be transformed into a beautiful spot that mirrors the front. As I step up to this new challenge I will post pictures of my progress. So here i sit at the drawing board, pencil in hand with some new ideas.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gardens above 6000 feet

I still haven't gotten used to the weather here in Colorado. Today it's warm, sunny and it's going to be in the mid 60's today. By Saturday it's going to be below freezing and snowy. I was born and raised in California and then migrated up to Oregon where I lived for 18 years to where I enjoyed the four seasons that were evenly spaced out.  Once I got here to Colorado I had to put on my thinking cap and rethink gardening, outdoor activities and how to layer my clothes for the day. 

I have learned a lot about how to garden in this dry arid climate. I always tease my husband when he asks, "Where would you like to go today," and I say, "Hawaii!" He returns a look of sarcasm without saying a word and just smiles at me.  Since I love the sun and long to be somewhere where it's warm most days, I have learned to appreciate the sunny warm days that we have here in Colorado. Someday we will move back to Oregon where we will have the four seasons that we enjoy along with the mountains, valleys, high plains and the coast all in one state.

So I have learned a lot about xeriscaping and have designed our front yard into a high dessert botanical garden. Learning from the local extension, the yard has done well and draws many people to slow down and admire as they go down our street. It takes so little work, water and time once you get it established.  I love the brightness of the the blooms against the pink pea gravel. The wood chips that line the walkways make care easy as i just reapply each year to give it a fresh look. I installed a drip system to keep the plants watered on minimal water and adjust according to the hot months. I hope you enjoy a walk through my front yard as many have in the past.