my modern soap box……..dear D & G and G & M

Nobody likes a know it all.  Seriously, no one on earth likes to listen to a person who thinks they have “it” figured out.  To kids, no matter their ages, I think the sound of their mom’s voice droning on and on is pushed to the back of their brains.  My “mom” soap box is dinged up and dented and chipped and pretty rough-looking.   It is my job and I take it seriously.  I admit it, I sort of like my kids and I want to share any knowledge I glean with them.  Yes, we did a good job.  They are really wonderful human beings who are productive and creative and give back to society…..blah, blah, blah…………I sort of have this feeling that when I am 90 something and living the “good life” in a fun retirement village on a beach in a sunny local, um, I still get to tell my 60 and 70 something “kids” what I think they should know.

I am fully aware that all four of them have highly capable brains & can think for themselves and can most certainly take my advise or not.  I can handle that part.  I just get a weird feeling in my stomach if I don’t share what I think I should be teaching them.

This morning, I decided to retire my soap box and use a little modern twist.  Once in a while, I would like to use this blog to write a letter to my kids.   In no way do I want to criticize their choices.  I have a desire to make sure they get all the information they need to make an informed decision.  The beauty of being a sage (that means old hand at it) parent, is you get to give advise and then go off dancing through your day.  You don’t have to make them write the sentence down five times or repeat the Bible verse or memorize a poem.  You drop little bits of goodness near them and they decide to take the bait or not.

soap boxToday’s rant lesson is brought to you by the letter M.  M for mercury.  Mercury is a heavy metal and its toxic effects include damage to the brain, kidney, eyes, ears, speech, lungs and yes it has been shown to encourage cancer tumor growth and cancer cells.   While none of you may ever work in a coal-fired power plant or an unlicensed gold production plant, nor will any of you, mostly likely not eat whale or dolphin meat…………… may find mercury in your daily life.  I bet you have heard of and ingested HFCS?  Yep, it’s in there.  Those fluorescent bulbs that burn out, need to be disposed of properly.  We can control our exposure of mercury amalgam dental restorations and our consumption of fish.  We can also come across the toxic effects of the heavy metal through the flu shot.  Yes, I said flu shot.   If you have a special “thinking cap”, dig it out & put it on.  Time to jiggle the brain cells and come to the party.

If you read an actual newspaper, the “get your flu shot” ads are showing up this time of year.  People at work talk about it, heck some work places “require” (pish posh) their employees to get one.  THINK FOR YOURSELVES PEOPLE!   Yes, every single grocery & drug store you walk into seems to have a huge sign stating they offer the flu shot.  They will give a portion of the profits to charity or back to you in the form of a 10% coupon for shopping.  The propaganda tells us we should have one.  It is the right thing to do.  You need it.  Gee, since you are here?  FOLLOW THE MONEY kids.  Think for yourselves!  I recently read a very informative article by Dr. Blaylock (over the top, amazing smart cookie with all sorts of initials after his name, all kidding aside, I have learned much from this person, I am and will be eternally grateful).  He gently reminds us, “The incidence of flu across the United States is extremely low – there are virtually no outbreaks – and not a single child has died. Yet, the flu vaccine is being pushed as if it’s the greatest health advance ever discovered.” Does the flu shot have mercury?  YES.  It is accumulative?  Yes.   Is Mercury toxic to our brains?  Yes.    Does the flu shot knock out our immune system for a couple a weeks?  YOU BET it does.  Are we then susceptible to getting sick.  duh.  Facts have proven that in older folks, people who have a flu shot for five consecutive years increase their potential for Alzheimer’s disease by 1,000 percent.  They are now offering…………..wait for it…………….a super inoculation with three times the amount of “good stuff”.   Again, people, please use your brains for something other than a baseball hat rack or a place for cute hair accessories.

Okay, read the article for yourselves.  Read it at lunch.  It will take you 4-5 minutes tops.  Worth your time.     If you do decide to get a flu shot (because of the research you have done) and your immune system is failing you for a couple of weeks, here is a recipe for healing…………… the sniffles?   Try this:  Immune boosting bath (for kids and adults):  Add 1/2 cup Epsom salts, 1 Tablespoon coconut oil and 5-6 drops of Thieves Essential oil to your warm bath.  Wellness is a lifetime process.  You are so worth taking care of.  Stop.  Re-read that last little bit.  Wellness is a process and you are WORTH it.

If you are a parent and are reading this………..if you would like, please share my modern soap box with your kids.  In turn, if you have recently written a letter to your kids about some hot topic, please share with me.  Raising good kids is TOUGH.  We are in this together.  Let’s help each other?

To D & G and G and M, you know I adore and love you.  I know for a fact that you each have amazing brains and know how to make them work.  I also know that you may get a little bogged down with way too much overtime and are busy with kids of your own, new jobs, and friends and laundry and groceries and budgets…………I am just cutting through some red tape for you.  I value each of you.  You are so worth the research.  You are worthy of wellness and good health.

Carefully stepping down off my soap box now,

Love, Mommom

3 goodie bags

The thing about college kids is that they NEED care packages!  They crave ’em, I tell ya.  First year or senior year, college care packages are a treat for both the giver and receiver.  It just makes you so darn tootin happy to gather the goodies and box em up and mail them on their way.  In the name of my good health, I have to mail them.  By sending a package it makes my heart dance a jig .  This is serious Good Karma.  I mean it.  You will feel good for days to come.

In my mind, the “kiddo” feels super charged and a tiny bit thrilled that they “got mail”.  A real honest to goodness, card board box filled with who knows what? It must feel like winning a game show that you didn’t have to answer the tricky questions.  You are just a winner for participating!    They are equally thrilled with a box of festive twinkle lights, a package of Red Vines, a coffee card as they are, the ultimate jar of Nutella.  Yes, that is study food.  No, we are not talking about high quality, low sugar, non gluten snacks.  We are talking about goodies, no tricks, just treats.    Oh, and the thank you notes/letters you receive………….they MAKE you want to send another care package quick like a bunny. Yes indeed, that good.

Want to make yourself feel a tingle of pure goodness?  Find a solider or a college kid that NEEDS a box of happiness.  Trust me on this one.  You can’t help but get a little happiness out of the deal.  This year we have three college girlies that we are taking care of.  We pray for them.  We lift them up.  We send them oodles of good karma and a package of silliness now and then.

Yesterday, I sewed a medium-sized make up bag for each.  I got to forget the world for a couple of hours and twirled and swirled in my sewing room.  I was smiling the entire time.  Yep, even while putting in the zippers………..still smiling.  I sewed as much good karma as I could manage into each and every seam.   Yes, each will be stuffed to the top with goodies (the bags, not the girls).  Among the surprises will be lotions and potions and colorful pens & yes, they each will get a jar of Nutella.

DSCN1916One girlie is studying to be a Special Education Teacher.  She has beautiful dark hair and a smile that just won’t quit.  During the summer she took care of some little humans. Dogs adore her, so you know she is a good egg.  You can already tell she found her passion and someday her students will be lucky to see her name on their classroom door.  On a side note, her name reminds me of a happy singing bird.  Just makes me happy.    The purple and limey green colored make up bag will be filled to overflowing and headed to Illinois.

Another girlie is studying to become a doctor.  She is almost at the end of her studies and chomping at the bit to jump into her residency.  Her hair is blond as blond can be.  She is one smart cookie with a heart of gold.  Her penmanship is an exact copy of her mother’s and as of now, I can still easily read her handwriting.  She too has found her passion.  Any future emergency room patients will be grateful for her skill.  The aqua and misty coral colored make up bag will be filled to overflowing and headed to California.DSCN1918

Our third girlie is a senior studying at Stanford University.  She is as smart as they come.  She has music in her soul and she shares it in the University Band.  She has beautiful, thick, gorgeous, dark hair and a smile that can light up a room.  She is our passionate numbers gal.  I mean it.  You have a math question, just ask one of the brightest bulbs we know.  The chocolate-brown and blue make up bag will be filled to overflowing and headed to California.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.  William Butler Yeats.


Mr. Right plays with numbers

I would be surprised to learn that there is anyone who knows me that has not figured out I have a predilection for numbers and statistics.  I’ll use the term predilection in lieu of three initials that, if truly applied would be reorganized alphabetically to read “CDO.”  In any event, this posting will not only satisfy that love of numbers but also to answer a question we’ve been asked a thousand times, to wit: “If you don’t eat meat, what do you eat?”

The answer is of course, everything that everyone else eats except the meat!  This is not rocket science people; after all there are finite varieties of things one can eat to survive.  Of course, that question usually leads to another one such as “Where do you get your protein?” but that’s another topic for another day.  For now suffice it to say we get our protein the same place that carnivores do, except we cut out the carrier and get it directly from plants!

Back to the subject matter.  In the last 30 days, we have purchased an amazing amount of vegetables and fruits.  For the sake of this discussion, I’ll include fungi and will consider it a vegetable though we all know it’s not.  The grand total?  34 different varieties!  When you think about numbers, 34 isn’t that big a number, but think of how many varieties you purchase and I’m confident that it will suddenly seem a much larger total. fruits-and-veggies-border


We do this partly because we don’t eat meat, though we do eat a wee amount of fish now and then, and haven’t eaten meat for close to 20 years now.  Thus, if for nothing else we need bulk.  I think we’re all conditioned at an early age to consume a certain quantity of food (we’ll leave quality out of the discussion for now).  We fill our plate with everything sans meat.  The other reason we go through so many vegetables and fruits is, and picture me saying this in a hushed whisper while furtively glancing to see who’s listening – we juice.  Want to start a lively discussion with anyone, anywhere anytime?  Announce you are a juicing, no meat-eating, previous home schooling die-hard conservative who lives in Washington State.  You’ll never again lack for people to talk to nor people who will share their opinions with you.  Sorry, wee bit of a rant there; back to topic at hand once more.  We have juiced for more than 7 years, but recently this has become a very important part of Daleen’s day and her diet.  Juicing is crucial for anyone trying to keep cancer at bay, and of course important for good health.  Now, you can say that if you juice, you don’t really eat all of what you buy.  This is true, an undeniable fact I’ll readily concede.  We won’t go into the fact that the majority of vitamins and minerals and nutrients in fruits and veggies are captured and consumed in juice, and we’ll let it stand that we don’t eat 100% of anything we juice.  When you think about the food that you eat, I’d challenge you to say you eat it all either.  The rinds of oranges and lemons are wasted, as are banana skins, the outer parts of pineapples and various parts of other veggies and fruits.  BUT, when we juice, we juice all of the kale – stems included, we juice all of the celery, leaves included and all of the apples and pears etc.  No one eats radish leaves, well no one I know of anyway although some say they are edible, so can we agree that when I give you the total weight of our purchases, we all understand some is wasted?  Good.  I thought as much.

I think a sidebar is warranted here.  Remember when you were small and first introduced to the food pyramid?  Loved that thing as, at a glance, you knew what the government said was good for you.  How easy, how simple.  Unfortunately though, it had a limited base in reality.  As recently as 2011 when the pyramid disappeared and was replaced with the “MyPlate” concept, the government still doesn’t have it right but they do try.  What they did do was “dumb it down”, as apparently we’re all too simple to go from a pyramid concept to a new concept without a visual aid.  The “MyPlate” visual makes it easy to see you should eat some dairy and “proteins” every meal.  They don’t specify what “proteins” are and to be honest, anyone who thinks the “MyPlate” visual is a good rule to go by, probably doesn’t understand where protein comes from anyway.  Thanks for allowing me that but in all fairness I did mention something about being a conservative plate

By now I think you are ready for our total.  From August 26th to September 25th, we purchased a grand total of – drum roll here please – 299.25 pounds of vegetables and fruits.  We tossed nothing except 2 radishes that after only a couple of days in the fridge looked “funny.”champion juicer

For juice alone, that equates to 5, 16 ounce mason jars of juice a day.  That’s 19,760 ounces of goodness and equals 154.38 GALLONS of juice!  In the mornings, Daleen gets a concoction of 5 ingredients: Red Pepper, Turmeric, Lemon, Carrot and Orange.  For her healing and healthy “Green Juice”, Daleen gets the following 10 ingredients: Apple, Carrot, Celery, Cucumber, Ginger, Kale, Lemon, Lettuce, Spinach and sometimes Collard Greens.  The rest of the fruits and veggies that we purchase we eat directly.  Since Daleen’s diagnosis earlier this year and a complete and total overhaul of how we eat and live, here are some fun numbers that I have rounded up for simplicity’s sake:

Days since diagnosis:  247

Just for her morning juice alone that equates to:

Red Peppers: 247

Carrots: 741

Oranges: 247

Lemons: 123.5

Turmeric: 20.58 FEET (she gets approximately 1” of the wonder root a day)

Thanks for letting me share some numbers with you, and simultaneously give you an update about Daleen’s progress.  To say we’ve been overwhelmed with the sheer amount of positive, good wishes sent her way would be a gross understatement.  I last blogged about what I’ve learned since her diagnosis and perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that there is hope – in all its forms.

Oh – the most important numbers in all of this?  11,521 or 276,504 or 16,590,240. Those numbers  represent the number of days, hours and seconds I have had the pleasure and honour of being Daleen’s “Mr. Right” When I reflect on choices I’ve made in life, I realize what an amazing choice I made to be married to the most creative, funny, talented, smart and kind-hearted woman in the word.  Here’s to the next 16,590,240!stop watch

white flag waving

Can you feel it? Does that little voice inside you say yes?
Yes to Connection. Yes to Purpose. Yes to Love.
Maybe you’re like me and you’re a crappy asker. Maybe you feel like this is a suggestion for some other later date when you’re stronger or weaker or less proud or more strong or something like that. Maybe you feel cynical about such possibilities or too burnt from the past.

But I would encourage you not to wait, not to doubt and do it anyway.

Because to ask for help is to say yes. Yes to everything holy, true and honest that’s ready to renew your heart, change your life and bring you the courage and patience you need to be here in this moment, alive to hope and love.

Those thoughts are from today’s Hopeful World.  When I am in need, this site somehow gently nudges me in a direction of hope.  hope3

After several months of healing and moving forward toward health, I have to admit, I need help.  Yes, I fully admit that I need an arm to help me once in a while.  I need a little help picking up the full to the brim, black iron skillet.  I need help putting away things on a very high shelf.  I have past the point of stubbornness.  I get it.  I can’t do it all myself.

I never used to ask for help or think I needed any.  I can do it myself.  That was my mantra.  Being a bit under the weather, can help you “see” a bit more clearly.   One of my biggest surprises to date.

I am so grateful for the help I have received from friends and family.  I am not sure how I would have tap danced through all these months without some great people to lean on.   Oh yes, I had to tap dance around the stinky people too.  ha  At least I got a little exercise twirling around them.

white flagYesterday, while researching………..the book said, if you are too tired or too overwhelmed. ask someone to read this and help you understand it.  I waved the white flag.  I wrote a note and the page numbers to Mr. Right.  I need help understanding these two new protocols.  I need a little clarity.  I need another point of view.

One of the beautiful things about being married for 31 plus years is that you get to wave the white flag. The other beautiful thing is that there is no limit to the amount of time you get to use said flag.    The other person always, no matter what comes running.  It can be easy as “please lift this laundry basket?” to “can you drive me to the fabric store?”.

Yesterday, I drank 80 ounces of fresh made juice.  I did not make any of it.  Mr. Right has taken on the task of being the “juice man”.  When I am not able to find the energy to make the juice myself…….he has an inexhaustible supply of amazing healing energy & he is more than willing to share.

May you all have someone in your life that you can turn to and wave a white flag.  We all need someone.  We all need help now and then.  I have to remember how good it feels when someone asks me for help.  We are in this together.  hope quote

All that to say……………stay tuned campers………..Mr. Right is going to be my guest blogger, tomorrow.  You just know, it is going to have something to do with numbers.  ha

my eyes are blue

“Grandma, what color are your eyes”?   blue.

DSCN1802“What are you drawing?”  your eyes.

“Why are they purple”?  because purple is better than blue.

Being around little humans is pretty easy.  They don’t judge.  They don’t correct you.  They don’t force their ideas on you.  They just live their lives.  done.  easy.  Yesterday, while spending the day with two of the best grandgirlies in the land, I got to play and have fun.  Chalk and color and make bead bracelets, and read and practice the piano and be silly and wear tutus and spread glitter everywhere and eat sweet pears cut into squares and build with blocks.  Someone little decided we would only put the same colored blocks together.  You just know that made me want to use all mixed up colors!

The little one said my name!  Okay, I fully admit it sounded a lot like “Gag ma” but I will take it.  Huge smile on my face.   Maybe because I accidentally, while helping her chalk, said “good dog”.  Maybe she was paying me back?glitter monster

To secure my position as the best “Gag ma” in the land…………..I sat in a chair and watched as they jumped on the bed in the guest room.   Um, did you forget?  Being a “Gag ma” means you don’t have to say no!

If you are having a horrible, no good, rotten day………….grab your own or borrow someone’s grand babes for the afternoon, 100% guarantee your day will unfold into pure goodness.


Here is a new to me gadget that is pretty darn smart and creative.  Each day, Mr. Right (fyi, he will be guest blogging in a day or two, can’t wait)  makes oodles of juice and fills mason jars to the brim.  They (the juice, not Mr. Right)  chill out in our refrigerator until its time to enjoy them.  While traveling, it gets a bit messy & tricky with the straw and the lid and the drips…….you get it……  Look what came in today’s mail!  I am doing a little happy jig.  DSCN1905Makes me want to take a car trip this weekend just to try them out.   Thank you so much for inventing something that helps make my day better with less drips on my shirt!  That alone is worth the price of admission.

It makes me feel good, when I can smell the black bean soup simmering on the stove.  Just can’t wait to try that first spoonful.

Speaking of Beans…………Note to self…………don’t ever call Vanilla Ice Cream (actually coconut milk cream) Vanilla “Bean” Ice Cream.  Even if it has real vanilla beans in the mixture.  Not a great seller with grandgirlies.  They like just plain vanilla.  NO beans in ice cream, Gag ma!




drama rama

The phone rings late at night.  As a parent, your breathing stops just for the time it takes to answer the phone.  I heard Mr. Right’s voice go into that “parental octave”.  If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about.  Serious, clipped, short answers, direct, not quite but almost on the edge of giving orders. Not only  is there a hitch in your breathing, your heart stops for a moment in time.  Even after 30 some years………….you never stop being the person that can instantly change into the parent role.  Presto Change-Oh!

wa statePicture this, you are winding down for the evening. A little popcorn, a little reading.  The dog is calm. The house is buttoned up for the night.  Then the dreaded phone rings.  Son number one left the great state of Washington for the great state of Alabama yesterday morning, so of course we have been thinking/praying/sending good karma his way the entire day.alabama

flat tireCome to find out one of the tires blew on the U-Haul trailer he was towing.  He was able to get it off the freeway.  He called for U-Haul help.  It was 9:59 pm in Montana.  The place closed at 10:00 pm.   The angel, I mean guy came out and changed the tire.  Then checked the others.  He ended up changing another one that had three screws in it.  Okay, can we get an AMEN for the folks that come to help stranded motorists? We are grateful and thankful.  Yes, we are writing a letter, today.   Let’s give a big HOOT for Whalen Tire of Missoula, Montana!  WOOT HOOT!   Because of that man, Mr. Right and I were able to sleep through the night.  Our son was “saved” and safely, back on the road again.  Drama Rama…case closed.

Weird little hiccup in the evening.  Not really our drama rama.  If you are a parent, it sort of ends up that way.   By default, your “kids” drama ends up being your drama.

In a crazy mixed up way, I am glad our kids think enough of us to keep us in the loop and tell us what is going on.  Yes, as parents, we get the good, happy news and texts and emails and phone calls, too.  Yes, the older they get the more happy and the less dramatic the phone calls become.   We have good kids.  We raised them to use the head on their shoulders and the common sense that was bestowed upon them.

Who ever said that you only “have” them for 18 years was not a parent.  They don’t have a clue.

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”   ―     Fred Rogers

his & her muffins

I was a lazy girl this morning and did not turn on the kitchen light.  I did manage to heat up Sweet Liberty’s breakfast, grab my two juices and snag a homemade muffin.  Sat down to enjoy my juice.

First and foremost, I unwrapped the muffin and I broke off that first nugget of pure heaven.  Wait, sort of crumbly………..hey, where are the glorious raisins?  Dang, I grabbed the “wrong” muffin.  You see in our house, when one bakes a dozen muffins, half are boring and the best half are crammed full of glorious raisins or currents or dried cranberries or dried blueberries.

Big sad face.  “His” muffin was dry and crumbly. dang.  I sent him a sorry your muffin was dry and crumbly email already.  OF COURSE, I had to try one of the “good” muffins to make sure they were good.  Say GRACE and Good Morning my little pretty!  AH, so good and moist, stuffed to overflowing with currents.  Really great flavor, good color and that first bite hooks you to finish off every last morsel.DSCN1790

I am sure some of you have a zucchini or two in your garden or secretly placed near your front door by a zucchini fairy……here’s a way to use them and smile at the same time.  This recipe is easy, peasy.  Instead of listening to me drone on and on……..head over to Dawn’s blog.  Amazing and inspiring girl.  She is one of those girls that seems to have it all together.  She get’s it and you sort of want to go camping with her.  Weird, I know that I said, I would want to go camping with her.  I am not a camping girle.  She makes it seem so good and happy.  You know she is going to have some of these Zucchini muffins to share.

I did make a couple of substitutions…. I used Garbanzo bean flour, added some grated carrot and used currents (because I was out of glorious raisins).

update:  just got an email from Mr. Right.  He said, “dang, I didn’t turn on the kitchen light this morning and accidentally picked up one of “your” muffins”.

Ah the dance of marriage……………raisins vs. no raisins……………….the dance continues.

The most important thing for a good marriage is to learn how to argue peaceably.  Anita Ekberg



help your marriage, do a jig

For years and years, Mr. Right counseled many couples on the art of marriage.  Yes, oodles of people asked me what our secret was.  I guess the thinking was, because you are married to a marriage counselor, you somehow got handed the secret code book and you received the magical answer to a happy marriage. Um, no.  Our marriage handbook didn’t come with a secret code book, or pretty magic wand. dag nabbit.

However, after I was asked this question in church, in the grocery store, at PTA meetings, on the phone, at parties, once on the side lines of a school track meet……………I decided that yes, I enjoy visiting with friends and folks.  However, sometimes, I didn’t want to give an hour or so of my time to “supplement” my husband’s counseling.  I came up with a few great, quick and to the point answers.  Let me tell you, giving people hope is a really lovely thing to do.  It is what we all want and crave.  hope.

So here is what I would say……..relationship or marriage …………….

Buy two tubes of toothpaste.  Seriously, they cost about $3.00 each and will save a marriage.  “he squeezes it from the middle”, “she has to have it smooth and perfect”…………problem solved.  done.   This marriage “thing” isn’t so hard.  geesh

Then I would get all fancy, Reader’s Digest condensed version of magic and throw in this pearl of wisdom.  Leave a little love note in their pants pocket or in their lunch or on the steering wheel for them to find.  Everyone wants and appreciates being told that they are of value and loved.

Okay, if those answers were too silly for them, too simplistic, or if they could “smell” I was holding back on something, some secret……….I went in for the real secret, the big fancy schmancy answer.  Told the truth.  This is the one that has worked for us… going on 32 years.   Listen up……… you go...jig saw puzzles.    You’re welcome.  the end.   What you are still reading?  You want more meat, more details.  oh bother.

Everyone loves, I mean adores a good secret. This one is a gem.  Share the secret, this isn’t like 6th grade when you had to keep a secret and you pinkie swore…….the more people know the “merrier”  get it?  ha

DSCN1785Usually our favorite amount to choose is a five hundred piece.  The reason is, all of our dining room tables from the time we were just married, (small, sat two people comfortably) to our huge pull apart, expandomatic (yes, that is a word) oak dining oval table we currently use.  Here is the best reason, once we put babies to bed at 7 or 7:30 pm we still had plenty of time to make some snacks and do a puzzle and be in bed at a regular time.

Yes, we have done 1,000 piece monsters.  Sometimes, we have left a couple doozies for the morning to finish.  We have purchased some that cost $1.00 and some up to $15.00 (only if we have a coupon).  Think, if you are going to get 3-4 hours of enjoyment out of it, keep the price within limits.  We always have them on our Christmas wish list, so yes we have received many over the years.  Some puzzles have been fun and silly and a joy to do.  Others, not so much.  We want to enjoy the challenge, not be so mad at the just two colored puzzles or the two-sided puzzles that we loose our spirit.

Once there was a factory sealed puzzle……………..with a MISSING piece!  I can’t begin to tell you just how frustrating that actually is.

At some point during the process, someone always, always says, “it doesn’t look like we will have enough pieces”.DSCN1789

Last year around the start of the year, I was having some brain issues with Hyperparathyroidism.  I sort of lost the ability to do jig saw puzzles.  I was crushed.  I knew I was sick for real.  Fast forward, (it was anything but fast) 9-10 months later.  To tell you I was happy and thrilled and tickled to work side by side on Saturday night and complete a puzzle doesn’t even begin to describe my happiness!  Pure joy.  Big smiles.  There is a ton of hope, through healing.  When I looked at that completed puzzle on our dining room table this morning, it made me smile.  I’m back!

Inside every single puzzle we finish, we write the date, how long it took us and our initials B & D Wilson.  On one box a year, we write the words “Happy New Year” .  Since the year we were married and have only missed one (while he was away playing Army)  we always do a puzzle on New Year’s Eve.  Inside the box, this past Saturday night, are the words  “B & D, 9/14/13, 1 hr. 35 mins.”  

Also, we use a portable full spectrum light to help us find the correct colors and shapes.  It is nice, because living in the great state of Washington we do not get our share of sunshine in the fall and winder months of the year.

DSCN1788You feel a great sense of accomplishment.  Problem solving and working together.  We display the puzzle by leaving it on the table for a few days.  Under glass on the end table or in our younger more frugal days, we glued them together and put them on the wall for “art”.

All kidding aside, have you ever wished for 2 solid hours of great music, snacks and uninterrupted conversation with your better half?  You are so engrossed in working the puzzle that you end up talking about troubles or good times.  Frustrating relatives (yes, we all have them), weird moments at work, the kids, the grandkids, friends, drives and hikes we are planning, planning a big trip or vacation, the books you are currently reading, an article you read, a review you thought was interesting, the dog, dinner or lunch ideas for tomorrow………… get the idea.  While doing the puzzle you TALK.  If you missed it, that was the secret!!!!  Just great music (we take turns choosing what we listen to) and talking over life.  I am telling you, not lots of folks tell their secret, but it works.  Ask Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates.  Ask Mr. and Mrs. George Bush.  Ask Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Wilson.

You can rent them, seriously.  There are some magnificent wooden puzzles that you rent for the month and send them back for the next one.  Or you can finish your purchased ones, put them back into the box and tape the box shut and donate to Goodwill.  OR………………………  you can trade.  While we haven’t found a couple in a long time, that wants to trade, we have half a dozen or so we will gladly give away to anyone who asks.  I promise not to send them off to Goodwill for a month or so.  If you would like them give me a shout and I will gladly get them to you.  We would LOVE it if we could find folks to trade with.

So now you know our “secret” to a happy marriage.  Or at least one of them.  puzzle quote

The world is a giant puzzle that hasn’t been put together yet, and we are trying to find the other piece of this puzzle that goes with us. 

ee cummings

a LuLu of a dessert recipe to share

Have you ever gone into the kitchen, turned on the water and let it run?  You know what I mean.  Turned it on and let it run to drown out the sound of you sneaking a “fun size” candy with the crinkly (yes, it’s a word in my world) wrapper.  It doesn’t matter if it is kids or animals you love, you would NEVER give them sugar, that would be very bad for them and their health.  Apparently, we love our animals and kiddos more than we love ourselves?  weird.

Fast forward, to what feels like a few hundred years and for sure more than a few hundred hours of health and healing research.

This next part of my blog post is dedicated to some homeschooling girls in California who are rocking the school thing today!

I want to tell you about all the wonderful proprieties of raw honey.  Wait, I bet you have already learned oodles since the Romans, Greeks & Egyptians used it for healing over 5,000 years ago. Calms nerves, induces sleep, eases pain, heals wounds, enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide, mild antiseptic, proven to often eliminate the need for antibiotics……. I am not reinventing the wheel here.  Okay, how about if I tell you all about the virtues of the amazing healing power of coconut oil.  Cocos nucifera – Tree of Life, kills viruses, kills bacteria…sound familiar……… again, thousands of years of medical healing, why on earth do we continue to think we “know better”.

Next lesson: Theobroma cacao……..cacao tree………………chocolate anyone?….eaten by Mayans as early as 600 CE.  The healing properties of dark chocolate have been well documented.  Do antioxidants sound familiar?   Get on the internet girls………….there is more information at your fingertips than you can possibly imagine.  It is a whole huge world of learning, free for the taking!  Three words to research three great things about:  Raw HONEY,  COCONUT OIL and CHOCOLATE.

I, for one, am aligning myself with thousands of years of successful healing.

This next part of my blog post is dedicated to a girlfriend who has chosen today, to stop ingesting all white sugar.  First and foremost a jaunty tip of the Easter bonnet to you my friend.  Well played.  You love yourself enough.  Yep, more than enough.  You have made a great choice.  Is it easy, HECK NO.  Will I hold your hand and help you? You KNOW IT!  Today is day 233 of me giving up sugar.  Yes, I keep count.  It makes me proud of me!  Will I share recipes?  More than you have time to make and eat.  Have I got a LuLu for you today!

You know that moment when you bite into a Peppermint Patty?  Your tongue gets that hit of icy cold, fresh when you breathe in chill?  If you were a smart cookie and I KNOW you are smart because you just told me you have given up sugar…………….you stored your Peppermint goodies in the freezer and that first snap is a sound like no other.  You close your eyes and breathe in and you love the sweetness that caresses your tongue as it slips down your throat and you get a small fleck of chocolate right in the center of your WHITE t-shirt…………..drats………………still sort of worth it….. then the guilt.  It’s just a “fun” size what could be so bad about a fun amount of poison?

Hold onto your Easter Bonnet and let’s make some decadent dessert!  YES, you are worth it.  So am I.  Yes, my Mr. Right is so worth it.  Your kids are worth it.  This is what I would call a worthy dessert.  Of course you shouldn’t have treats every day.  Then they wouldn’t be called treats, duh.  This creation is what puts a little spring in my step and a silly grin on my face now and then.

Please pass the Peppermint Patties sounds so much cooler and sweeter and rockin’ than, Please pass the Medicinal Dessert.  Don’t cha think?

DSCN1776Okay, put 1/2 cup of coconut oil, (solidified in the refrigerator if it is hot where you live), 1/4 cup raw honey, and 1 drop of essential peppermint oil into a mixing bowl.  Turn on the mixer with a paddle attachment and give her a spin.  Okay, clean off the beaters and put the bowl into the refrigerator for 5 minutes, mix with a spoon and chill for another 5 minutes.  Put some wax paper onto a plate and form your patties with your hands.  Go quick like a bunny, the heat from your hands will melt the oil.  Pop into the freezer, while you clean up and melt some chocolate.  Did I say chocolate?  Yep, find some vegan chocolate that is nice and dark and healthy.  Melt some and if some happens to drip onto your finger, well by all means lick it off quick.  You don’t want it to drip on your white t-shirt!  geesh.

Now, take out your patties and enrobe (love that) them in chocolate.  Put back onto the wax paper and chill.  Choose a plate, fancy it up Nancy!  Use a doily and put your glorious dessert arranged sweetly around the plate.  Tell NO ONE!  Hide in the back of the refrigerator.  …………..Jeopardy music playing here………….make juice, make dinner, set table, say GRACE, eat dinner, chat, chat, chat………….oh is everyone done?  Why don’t I go get dessert?  Smiles, people wiggling in seats, hands clapping, Mom’s halo is glowing as she returns to the table with a plate of HEAVEN.  DSCN1778

What’s this?  Oh it is just something I threw together.  Okay, kids, please only take one or two……….you don’t want to over do it on dessert.  🙂  Oh, and maybe Mom wants to store some in the freezer for, say a special indulgence when needed.

Homemade Peppermint patties are so divine and so delicious, you will never see a commercial about them.  They are “that” good.  No marketing or advertising needed.  Trust me on this one thing.

DSCN1781Hey, girlfriend, how’s that for your first no sugar dessert?  You on board?  Love ya!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen pie advertised.  That’s how you know it’s good.  They advertise ice cream and other desserts.  They advertise the bejeezus out of yogurt, but I haven’t seen one pie commercial.  ~Adam Carolla

Ps.  Since I adore keeping track of numbers, that my friends was my 600th post!  WOOHOO!

ps. ps.  full credit and a friendly salute to this wonderful site that has inspired & shared so much