food review, fresh, haPPY, healing, product review, pure goodness, seek, thankful, wellness

fresh blood, fresh HOPE

If things seem a bit jumbled up in my life, I like to find a tiny bit of calm and sparkly clean.  Okay, it may sound weird, however, people who “need” to be in control find it in the strangest of places.  The kitchen sink is where I find great calm and order.  Okay, I empty out every little thing from the sink.  I fill ‘er up with hot water and add some vinegar.  Let it soak for, the length that it takes to bike four miles (about 21 minutes).  Okay, drain the sink.  Wearing gloves, I scrub and scrub and get every nook and cranny.  I use baking soda and part of an SOS pad and get all the dirt and grime.  When you wash as many vegetables and fruits as we do, that sink takes a licking.  Then I rinse everything clean.  I spray a little more white vinegar and buff that baby (not a real baby, you don’t use an SOS pad on a baby, geesh) until she gleams.  She sparkles and shines.  Even the soap dispenser is spit spot clean and de-gunked.   For the next couple of hours, every time I walk by her, she twinkles and looks so fresh and new.

If I can do that to a kitchen sink, why can’t I do that exact “spa” treatment for my body?

I have a printed list taped  inside one of my cupboard doors.  I don’t even remember where I found it.  I found it about a year ago, it gave me HOPE.  Heck, it still gives me HOPE.  No, it is not a fancy poem, or inspirational quote or the ideal Bible verse.  It is not a list of sage advice from a great yogi.   It reads: “Every cell in your body dies and is replaced by new cells,” his doctor explained… Your body builds…

a new brain in 1 year

new blood in 4 months

an entire skeleton in 3 months

a new liver in 6 weeks

new skin in 1 month

a new stomach lining in 5 days

young coconut 3Yesterday while researching, I spent most of my study time learning about Young Coconuts from Thailand.

It takes 9 months to filter each liter of water.  The fresh coconut water has the highest source of electrolytes known to man.

I learned how to open them, (and ordered the supplies from a GREAT company with wonderful customer service,  http://www.coco-jack.com/ ) how to add them to your daily smoothies and why.

I learned that Coconut water is identical to human blood plasma.  During WWII, during extreme war-time situations, coconut water was used to help soldiers during medical emergencies.  Plasma makes up 55% of human blood.  By drinking the very sterile and fresh coconut water, we give ourselves an instant blood transfusion.  The coconut is a great blood purifier.

Once the coconut water is exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment.  So fresh is best. The fatty acids can enhance the body’s anti-inflammatory reactions and help build up the immune system. One person whom I studied, drinks the water of 5-6 coconuts a day.young coconut

If we can clean (purify) our blood, just by drinking some coconut water, why don’t more of us do it?   Why isn’t there a line in the produce department with everyone waiting politely to pick up their 5 or 6 coconuts for the week or day?  When you go into a grocery store, why doesn’t every single grocery cart have among other fruits and vegetables 5 or 6 Young Coconuts?  Why doesn’t every cart have 12-15 lemons?  Why aren’t we politely waiting for the person in front of us to gather their 20 oranges?  Why is the guy replacing all the chips and snacks wearing  work clothes and working, really working to refill all those chips and processes foods? He is bringing in dollies full of those things.  He is moving and bending and stacking and replenishing the shelves.  Why oh why does the produce guy have time to casually talk to each customer buying one head of iceberg lettuce or a “bag o salad” and one gassed hot-house tomato?

young coconut 2Get thy self to an Asian grocery store pronto.  Come on folks, this is a GREAT idea, that we can all easily incorporate.  Sure trying and adding in new things is difficult at first.  It can even be scary.  Instead of putting all that chemically produced white sugar, white flour, white milk, white bread, chips and frozen pizzas into our grocery carts maybe we can find room for a couple of FRESH things that will serve us well.

Change is hard.  I get it.  You are preaching to the choir.  I am trying so many new things, I forgot what it was like to feel comfortable with the daily routine.

No, not every person you know has cancer or liver disease.  Not every person you know has Lupus or Thyroid or an auto immune disease.  HOWEVER, every single person you know, has had the flu bug more than once this winter.  Every single person you know has felt tired or groggy or not “with it” this past Monday.  Every single person you know has a twisted shoulder or neck or strained a leg muscle  or bruised toe.  Almost every single person you know is flirting with diabetes and heart troubles and high blood pressure and more.

If getting the kitchen sink spiffed up and sparkly makes us feel good, why wouldn’t choosing, buying and actually eating and drinking really great things to SPIFF up the inside of our bodies make us feel great and help us on the path of health and wellness?

We need, really need to be kind to one another.  Each person is carrying so much on their shoulders.  We need to share all the good things we have found to improve and increase our health and wellness.  We are in this together folks.  Your health and wellness is reflected in your smile and good karma.  It spills over to me.  I need and want to look and act and be healthy.  I have a family & friends who need that from me.  I need to feel the health vibes from my friends.  I crave it.

Let’s each grab a fresh young coconut and toast each other?  Cheers to our good health!

cooking, grace, popcorn, recipe

Say Grace for Buffalo Popcorn

In 8th grade, all the girls wanted/had a need/the magazines said,  to wear the color black and have bell bottom pants.  Urgh.  I didn’t care for black nor did I particularly care for bell bottom pants.  My mother, giving in to some type of weird fashion pressure to allow her girls to “fit in”, bought me a pair of tan-colored corduroy bell bottom pants.  I did not care for them one bit.  Ah, the stuff we will do to fit in.  Back in those days, you just wore what your mother told you to wear.  So, I got up for school, put on the pants, matching colored shoes (of course) and a “pretty white blouse” to show off my eyes?  What the heck does that even mean?  I have been this tall (5’6″) since fourth grade.  I was more concerned with slouching when my mother wasn’t around, so I would somehow “fit in”.  I don’t think for a moment that one school chum remembered my eyes.  weird.  So, I went out the door to walk to school.  Half way there, I somehow managed (I am guessing day dreaming and twirling and twirling and balancing my books and lunch -no one carried back packs then, and trying to keep my hair not so tangled up by the time I got to school) to get my size 9 feet tangled up in my new fashionable bell bottom pants.  I fell down and ripped both knees of the pant leg and had blood and gravel all stuck in my knees & the chicken bone part of my hand (you know that part, urgh).  I limped home, fretting and crying.  I will let you take it from here, how my mother went on and on and on about young ladies….. good posture, proper behavior, the good manners of being on time, even to school………. (secretly worth falling down, ouch………….yuck, goodbye horrible ugly pants).

We all want to fit in.  We crave it.  In our home, we are more Stanley Cup fans than Vince Lombardi trophy fans.  However, all the hoopla surrounding the Super bowl gets rather, what’s the word….. magnetic.  Everyone is drawn to the show down.  The build up, the gatherings, the commercials, the sports gear, the team colored cupcakes at the bakery, the food.  Ah the food.  If for nothing else, you secretly wish you were a fan, just so you could have an excuse to fit in.  I am sure you are familiar…. snack food, finger food, appetizers, cheering, sitting, watching, relaxing.

DSCN3294I saw this recipe the other day and thought, I want to fit in and make Super bowl snacks.  Quick, easy and looks pretty dang good.   Here’s the website where I found it.  www.wonkywonderful.com    Take a moment to check out the site, I think you will find something you will love.  Going to that site makes you feel like you could actually fit in.  Yep, wonky wonderful.  The perfect title.

Here is the recipe:  Pop some corn & while you are at it, do yourself a favor and use coconut oil.  Put about ten cups into a jelly roll pan.  Melt 2 Tablespoons of real butter and mix in 1 Tablespoon Buffalo Wing Sauce.  Mix together and mix it all over the popped corn. Sprinkle with real salt.  Bake in a 275* oven for 20 minutes.  Stirring once in the middle or when you remember.  Put into a bowl and grab some napkins.  I would mention that this is about the time to say GRACE and be grateful for all that we have.  However, I am guessing with all the grunting and cheering and jumping and finger crossing that there will be plenty of people PRAYING on that day.  I won’t have to gently remind anyone.  🙂 DSCN3307

If you are invited to a game day gathering and want to bring a snack to share, this is a winner.  I’m telling you, he looked mighty happy reading his book, munching away (yes, I did notice the unused paper napkin in his lap, and yes, I sprayed stain remover on the bottom of his socks before I did the laundry today, ha) and by the end of the evening the bowl was empty.  Good enough review for me.  DSCN3308

food review, wellness

Please, sir, I want some more.

pho soup 2The year was 1838 and the book by Charles Dickens was published, “Oliver Twist”.  We all remember the sentence, “Please, sir, I want some more.”  Soup, ah for a big bowl of steaming soup.  It warms the soul and fills the belly.  I think, pretty much everyone loves a delicious bowl of pure goodness.

This weekend we did not have the bitter cold that the rest of the nation experienced, however it was chilly and damp and well, it felt cold enough to us.   In amongst our weekend errands, we made time for a date lunch. (you know, two people dressed up, eating in a crowded restaurant, thinking it is only the two of them?)  We found the perfect little spot to enjoy a respite from the glare of chores.  It was sparkling clean, a friendly place, reasonable prices and after only a couple of steps inside the restaurant, the aroma that had your salivating glands working.  Yes, we had driven by several times in the past, Saturday was the day to park and go in.  Yes, our kids have been encouraging us to give it a go for some time now.  To be honest, Mr. Right has enjoyed Vietnamese Pho Soup before, it was me that was foot-dragging.  I am overly cautious (read that as Nervous Nelly about msg) when trying a new restaurant.  I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess, I wrongly assumed it would be overly spicy with oodles of msg.  I was wrong.  I was very wrong.

We all have reasons for doing this or that.  Because of extensive heart and diabetes history in Mr. Right’s  family, we chose to stop eating meat over twenty years ago. Yes, before it became an issue, we decided long ago to take matters into our own hands and live a life aimed towards wellness and health.  Because of me becoming so ill, we have given up sugar, dairy and gluten.  We are trying to fashion our path in such a way as to live a long and healthy life full of great walks & bike rides, great food & belly laughs on the beach instead of taking pills and hanging out in doctor’s waiting rooms, painted a depressing sea-foam green, listening to soft elevator music.

We are extremely lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest.  Since we live on the Pacific Rim, we have the luxury of dining on a vast array of Asian cuisine.  Even, small, grab a quick-lunch places can be found with a nod towards Far East flavors.  Saturday, we dined on Vietnamese Pho Soup.  thai basilpho soup

The basic broth has an amazing balance of flavors, it is rich and full-bodied.  Yes, many have a beef stock beginning.  Who among us doesn’t need the health and comfort that comes from really rich, high quality stock?

pho soup 3If you have never tried Pho, I will share a bit of how it “works”.  You are brought a platter of bean sprouts, Thai Basil, lime wedges and  jalapeño pepper slices.  Then your humongous bowls of broth and rice noodles are brought to your table.  Along side our oodles of noodles, ours came with onions, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms.  Of course you can order yours to come with beef, chicken, tofu or seafood as well.  You then, add your sprouts and lime and basil and jalapeño if you so choose.  Some add a splash of hot spicy sauce or the sweetness of an oyster sauce.

I must admit while all that goodness and comfort fills you to the brim with health and happiness, the chop sticks can be a bit messy to try and eat soup.  Yes, they bring a spoon.  I think it just takes a bit of practice to figure out how to get all the noodles and veggies, broth  and bits of goodness into your mouth with chop sticks.  I am proof that it can be done.  I added a special touch of flavor to my soup by dipping the tassel ends of my scarf into the broth.  You of course do not need to add this special touch.

While the portions were enormous, I did not wish to have any more for that particular lunch date.  However, I would gladly say another day, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

grateful, haPPY, healing

snip

hairEarlier today, I cut an inch off of my hair.   It doesn’t seem monumental.  Just a quick snip, snip.  I can hear the blades running against each other, doing what they are meant to do.  I can feel the weight of the scissors in my hand.   I nonchalantly tossed the ends in the garbage bag.  Almost as if it wasn’t a big deal.  It is a big deal.  It is a MEGA HUGE thing for me.  The weight of my hair left, feels different.  Fresh, clean ends, lighter, yet noticeably different.

This past year has brought me to my knees.  Some of the days were not pretty, not by a long shot.  Just the idea of loosing all my hair, no matter how trivial it seems to some, is a big deal.  Almost bigger than the actual “c” word.  Vain?  yes.  Security Blanket?  yes.  Begging, pleading?  Yes.  So much of who I am, I have tangled up in my hair.    I think I cried more and harder about loosing all my hair than any other step.  I feel physically ill just typing this.  I need to let it all go. I need to get better and I can only do that by letting go and moving on.   I am still so effected by, what’s the word…. trauma.  Yes, I admit it, this entire “loosing your hair” is sincere trauma.  I only speak for myself.  I am guessing there are some of you that it would not upset that much. Or you would say it is no big deal.    Mr. Right was of course on board to shave his head.  Heck, he was in the Army.  He had already done the shaved head thing several times.  In all honesty, not that poignant for him.

Once I made the monumental choice of healing instead of chemotherapy and radiation, I did not walk out of the hospital haughty and shoulders back, skipping and laughing in the face of medicine.  I was sobbing and shaking and almost running for the car.  It was not a pretty sight.  Nothing about it was inspiring.  I was broken.  I had reached my lowest.

After a couple of days, I knew I had to get up, brush myself off and get moving.  Big girls wear RED, kick ass cowgirl boots and know how to use the pointy ends.  They put on big girl, fancy panties and push up their sleeves and tie back their hair and get to work.

Back in your elementary school, if you stepped on a crack, remember it would break your mother’s back?  Or if you walked under a ladder you would most likely end up with a sack full of bad luck?  If you spoke aloud ugly words about becoming the next Spelling Bee champion, it would come back to bite you and you would come in second place?  I think the words I am searching for are, “don’t JINX it”.

I didn’t loose all my hair to toxic chemicals.  I lost gobfuls of hair because of Hyperparathyroid issues.  Day by Day, week by week, I am eating my way back to health.  I am drinking in as much health & healing as I can handle.  My hair is coming back to its fullness.  My curl is springing out like I was 7 years old again.  (Yes, I have given up the twirling with my fingers and the crying when it was time to put it into a tight pony tail.)  I am trying my educated best to use as many natural ways of caring for my hair as possible.   Some days, I have bad hair days like every other girl out there.  I will take a bad hair day over a no hair day, period.

It was a brave thing to do this morning.  Trim my locks.  I needed to freshen up the ends.  It was past time.  I was a bit nervous.  I just don’t want to JINX anything.  I know it sounds foolish.  Fear makes you think foolish things.  If I trim my hair, the universe won’t think I am grateful and then……

Today, I am going to spend more time enjoying my “joyful” hair than I am fretting and worrying about what could have been.  Each day, I will put more joy out there, be more greateful and day by day, week by week,  Grace and Goodness will over shadow the scary.

strongToday was just a simple step forward.  I am actually sick to my stomach to type this.  Next time, I think about it or trim my hair, I will be less sick.  Baby steps, this is what a baby step looks like.  Look at me, I am doing it!

 

fresh, grateful, haPPY

hello happy

DSCN3217I used to collect pictures of flowers and bouquets people gave me so I could have them on my ring of goodness and take them to medical appointments.  The pictures helped me make it through the ugliness.

Now, I collect pictures of the flowers and bouquets people give me, so that I can look at them over and over and smile and smile and smile.  This week brought some beautiful bouquets to brighten my world and help me celebrate all the good in my life. DSCN3240DSCN3235

Today, I woke up grumpy and growly.   I usually start my day with giving the Sweet Dog two little bits of dog cookie left on my nightstand by Mr. Right.  Then I stretch and pray and do 22 minutes of yoga and then feed the Sweet dog breakfast.  Then I bike and text.  (yes, biking and texting is okay if the bike is stationary).  Then I drink fresh made juice and take vitamins and eat a hearty breakfast.  Then I feed the chickens and give them fresh water……………………………..then, I have my cup of coffee.

Today, I started with the coffee.  Needed to switch things up a bit.

I called a business on the East coast to do, well a little business.  She was sharing some of that Southern Charm and kindness.  She was so nice, I had to smile.

Mr. Right left me a super silly limerick that he composed.  Made me giggle and laugh and smile.

I got some super hap, hap, happy cheerful news about a friend.  Again, with the smiling.

Took some pictures of two little Matryoshka dolls I made.  DSCN3250I think two little Southern Belles NEED Valentine dolls!  Been smiling since I cut out the fabric and stuffed their bellies with home-grown, dried lavender.

The fog is so thick and soupy this morning, it is like a Halloween slasher movie.  So spooky, it looks rather mysterious.   Again, smiling.

I think the universe had it in for me from the beginning.  There was no getting around being happy on this Friday morning.

Here’s to a Friday filled with sassiness, happy, more sewing and freshly painted Red, sparkly toenails.

 

Before I go any further, I choose happy. happy 2

 

grace, grateful, haPPY

Very Bad Day

A friend asked me how I was celebrating my Very Bad Day.  How I was doing. Fine, fine, good actually.  Thanks for asking.

It reminded me of another Very Bad Day…

Mr. Right was “invited” by the US Army to spend 7 months in another country.

Prior to the big day, we had decided to enroll the boys in school.  Instead of homeschooling, we thought maybe we would all benefit from having more people and school chums in our lives.

The morning after Mr. Right flew out, we kept the routine as calm and new normal as possible.   Once they were settled into their new classrooms, I drove with purpose to my friend’s house. (The very same friend who asked after my welfare today.)

She had invited me to spend the day with her.  I was going to learn to weave a basket.  An egg basket.  I didn’t collect eggs, why on earth would I need an egg basket?  How difficult could this be?

So the day began in her bathroom.  The reeds were soaking in the bathtub.  Becoming pliable for the art of weaving.  I had never woven anything.  Oh, I take that back, I wove a paper place mat when I was younger; over, under, over, under.

As the day wore on, my fingers were sore, however, my basket was taking shape.  After a couple of decades, I don’t remember the conversation.  I hardly remember the day.  I remember being bathed in the Grace of Friendship.  I can still feel it today.  Somehow, she knew I needed to weave a basket.  An egg basket that would take all day long.  Weaving would use up a lot of brain space.  She somehow knew I needed help to make it through one Very Bad Day.

I still have the same husband.  I still have the same basket.  I still have the same friend.  DSCN3213 DSCN3215 DSCN3222

A Very Bad Day slipped by before I even knew it.  Today, 23 years later, I celebrated a different Very Bad Day.   I used the basket to collect my own eggs.

good behavior, grace, grateful

worth every penny

Tonight, when a Pierce County Sheriff department officer came to our home, as I was answering her questions, my brain was swirling at the same time.

We guessed her age between 26-30.  She was smart, quick-witted and professional.

Her gun was sinister looking and I do believe she could handle it with a plume.  I saw her number.  I saw her bullet proof vest.

It was after dark by the time she made it to our home.  There are more pressing matters than to take notes and fill out forms for a fraudulent use of a debit card.

Our front entrance is well-lit with a spot light.  The American flag is flying.  The drive way is swept clean and our entrance is inviting and open.  She was welcomed into our home.  We each shook hands.  It was a brief and somewhat friendly encounter.  None of us were hurt and we were  each making jokes to some how ease the sting of being stolen from through the bank card.

I have a feeling that not every home she goes to is well lit, safe and welcoming.

I would not want her job.  It seems like she has a very difficult job.  I noticed her wedding ring.  Her spouse must have “worry” playing in the back ground of his life on a daily basis.

vestThis year, when we add up all the taxes that we had to pay over the last year, I am going to figure out just how many bullet proof vests we helped pay for.  At approximately $550.00 each,  I think it is a wise use of our monies.

May God Bless our Police and Sheriff department officers.  May you be bathed in the Grace of Safety.

A jaunty tip of the hat to you ma’am.  Thank you for a job well done.