numbers, thankful

Mr. Right, writes

Once again I have been given control of the throttle here, and this time I thought I would detour from numbers for a tad bit and give some long overdue and heartfelt  thanks.  Of course there will be some numbers later as, after all, numbers bring a sense of sanity to my world.

To the two fine men we call our sons, thanks for doing your part to engage your Mom each and every day.  One with humour, one with insight, both with love, care and respect.  In my world that equals a hearty “ ‘nuff said.”  To two incredible daughters in law, thank you for the caring and the sharing.  Who knew how lucky we’d be when you walked into our lives?  Tough old Army guys aren’t supposed to give into emotions, so suffice it to say I could not be more proud of the 4 of you.

To the folks in Vermont, thank you for being who you continue to be; extraordinary role models.  Thank you also for a couple of very supportive shoulders when needed and thank you to the third who has a heart of amazing proportions.  We all need safe havens and a place where we are accepted no matter what, you provide that and so much more.  Knowing you are there has made such a huge difference.

To Kristy for the chickens, thank you.  It seems trivial now, but Daleen having to get outside each and every day to tend to them was a huge help.  To keep the record straight, I refer to them as Buzz and Ards individually, BuzzArds collectively, but I do appreciate their role in helping Daleen.

To (in no particular order) Miss Florida, Myla, Kathie, Lori, Julie, Carmen, Lisa, Chandra, Jan, Mary Ann, Ann and Joanne our new friend in Pennsylvania (and so many others) thank you. To Alyssa on the “other coast” your box of cheer was such a hit and so thoughtful.  To Ashley close to home, thanks for the home-made goodness; it was delightful.  Finally to everyone who sent a card or an email, your encouragement meant so much.  To my colleagues thank you so much for giving me the space and time I needed to sort this stuff out and to one lady in particular thanks for your being there, it made a difference.  To all of you, your friendship has been of immeasurable help, your wisdom much appreciated and your humour has been most welcome.  We had no idea that when we chose a natural path, we’d lose so many “friends” as for whatever reason they cannot allow others to walk any path but the same path they choose.  We made a value judgment about cancer, not about people.  Thus, we cherish our friends who “came through” all the more.

North Cascade Highway 2008 025Libby at the Lake 2009 006

Those of you that know us are aware of a gentle golden girl who lives in our house.  Sweet Liberty has gone though more than her share of emotional unrest these past months.  She’s been a source of constant help to Daleen (and to I) and honestly we’d have been lost without her.  There exists a special bond between dogs and humans that care for them; Libby is a prime example of that bond.  Thanks Dear Sweet Liberty for steadfastly having warm, hairy shoulders to hug and a soft head to pat.  Were that humans could be as non-judgmental and unabashedly loving as dogs…..

 

bill-henderson-cancer-authorBill Henderson,  www.beating-cancer-gently.com  you gave us hope and you gave us encouragement.  You shared your wisdom, your insight and your beliefs.  Thank you.  If anyone on earth wears wings, be they visible or not, I am sure you do.  Bill lost his dear wife to ovarian cancer in 1994 and decided, after watching her suffer in the guise of “treatment” from the medical community, that there must be a better way.  He offers those ways.  He offers hope when those who wear white coats could not or would not.  Who could do more?

chris warkChris Wark has played such an important role in Daleen’s life over the past 20 months that he deserves recognition.  He has a blog / website www.chrisbeatcancer.com and through his generous sharing of knowledge, we’ve learned so very much.  Chris was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and decided chemotherapy was not for him.  Instead, he decided to do everything to be cured except put poison in his body.  11 years later he’s doing well and sharing what he’s learned.  He is truly one of life’s kinder peoples.

Kris CarrKris Carr has been such an inspiration to Daleen.  She too was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and she also decided to turn to nutrition to get healthy and stay that way.  She embraces grace and kindness and she too has a website www.crazysexylife.com and provides information, inspiration and gives hope to those who literally have none.  She is another one of life’s kinder peoples.

 

sterinosA very sincere thank you to those who grow vegetables and fruits and who do so at a price we can afford.  Our favorite local stand is Sterino’s http://sterinofarms.com They are open from April to December and feature more local wholesomeness under one roof than most other places we’ve found.  Celery with the leaves still attached, local Kale, lettuce, cucumbers, berries – the list goes on and on.  There is a quote on the wall of the stand (with apologies if I don’t get it exactly right) that goes like this :  My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher  but every day, three times a day you need a farmer” .  Truer words were never spoken and we appreciate them for their efforts.

 

championUp next?  The good folks at the Plastaket Manufacturing Company.  Who are they you are wondering?  They make the Champion juicers!  www.championjuicer.com We had a champion juicer before the dreaded diagnosis was in, but it’s been a lifesaver ever since.  Every day, every single day, it gets used and abused (kale and parsley are tough to juice after all) and it keeps on going.  What an incredible product and such an amazing value for the money.  These guys do it right, they do it consistently and best of all, Champion juicers are made right here in America; Lodi, California to be precise.  Had Creedence Clearwater Revival known about the Plastaket Manufacturing Company I doubt they’d have sung “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again” and rather written something singing praises about the place!  Thank you to them for their dedication at being the best.

To Paul Stamets http://hostdefense.com  thank you for showing us the incredible power of mushrooms.

To Phyllis Pipkin www.ancient5.com thank you for making Beta Glucan financially possible.

To Dr. Johanna Budwig www.budwigcenter.com may you continue to rest in peace dear lady.  She was nominated 7 times for a Nobel Prize – yes, seven – a genuinely brilliant lady.

There are others who have seen us at our lowest and given strength and encouragement.  We give you all thanks.  Finally, we live in an age when the collective knowledge of all mankind is readily available with a few keystrokes.  I doubt we could have gone on this journey without the wonders of the internet.

Ok – for a few digits now so I can satiate the numbers thing.  To be honest, I seem to have this fondness for numbers.  I use the word fondness in lieu of the dreaded word compulsion, or even worse obsession.  I’ve kept meticulous records over the past 365 days for the vegetables and fruits we purchase and I am happy to say I won’t keep track next year – I’ve earned some time off.  I was curious to see how much goodness came into our kitchen.  I don’t count the time it takes to buy and weigh the fruits and veggies as we’d go to the stands and stores regardless of making juice or not.  That stated, it takes about 45 minutes start to finish in the making two jars of breakfast juice and three jars of green juice a day.  Over the course of a year, that equals 273 hours or almost 11.5 days.  11.5 days of focus, determination and happiness that the efforts will equal health and goodness.  It’s that goodness that we are betting a life on.  That equals about 171 gallons of juice (there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil by comparison).  Picture if you will 171 gallon jugs in your mind…

igloo

As to the stars of the show?  Enter the more than 70 varieties of vegetables and fruits.  It’s a hall of fame lineup of goodness.  We come in at pretty close to 60,000 ounces for the past year or 10+ pounds each and every day.  That’s just a whisker shy of two tons yearly of nature’s bounty.  Even I was surprised at the grand total.  When we give thanks, and we do each and every day, we are thankful we have the capability to be able to obtain all this goodness; we’re acutely aware not everyone is as fortunate.

I promised that I’d make juice each and every day for five years.  Thus, I’ve got four years left on my contract.  After that, negotiations commence on the next term.  Don’t let on to Daleen, but I’m a pushover in negotiations.  All she has to do is smile that incredibly, wonderfully cute smile of hers and my powers of persuasion somehow begin to diminish.  A hug pretty much ends negotiations and a smooch or two seals the deal!  The best part?  We both win…

Oh – the biggest and best number out of all this?  580.  That is the number of days since our lives changed forever.  580 days of beating the odds, 580 days of learning to survive naturally and 580 days of continually improving health.  580 days of learning, 580 days of change, 580 days of living.

Finally, I’ve never had a more important job, nor one I was as ill-prepared for as that of a support person.  So to you Daleen Marie, thank you for the vote of confidence and the faith.  I trust I did not falter, know that I will not in the future.  I now understand truly well the phrase “A Labor of Love”, and I know how blessed and lucky I am.  Simply put, you are the best part of me.

Kudos to the Big Guy upstairs, but He already knows how I feel…

May you all be blessed with grace and goodness, and may you have the opportunity to see that grace and goodness at work, it’s an enlightening experience.

In gratitude, Bruce

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healing

lizard feet

lizzard feetHere we are at blog post number 797.

I wonder if it is getting boring?  I wonder if anyone reads what I write?  I wonder if I think out loud more, if I would lose or gain readers?

I wonder if green, latex Lizard feet would increase my numbers and comments?

Everyday around 12:30 pm, I have to eat my medicine.  It takes about 25 minutes to make and eat.  urgh.  My kids send me funny things to read or listen to.  I have certain blogs I check in on for a laugh.  Thank you http://www.cakewrecks.com   Sometimes, I save the mail to open, or listen to a funny you tube comedy skit.  ANYTHING to take my mind off of the business at hand.

I check in with http://thebloggess.com/  Yep, the bloggess.  She makes me giggle and I somehow eat my medicine and forget to “b” and whine about it.  today, she mentioned Lizard Feet.   You KNOW I had to check that out.

Amazon has some amazing stuff.  I order my pound of turmeric root from Amazon.  I order books and butterfly wings and boots.  Who knew you could order Lizard feet?  Well you can’t right now, because apparently they are sold out.  I can actually see that.   Really, who among us can’t think of a time when those babies (not real babies, folks) would come in handy?

I was thinking the TSA would have a fit.  The blue haired church ladies would be all a flutter.  I was sort of thinking they would be cool to wear while typing on my blog.  I wonder if I would be more fun more happy?  I wonder if I would be more creative?  I wonder if I wore them for a few hours if my feet would smell funny?

Then I had to wonder why would the Lizard feet only get 4.5 stars out of five?  I read the reviews.  Okay, so some 12-year-old kid says they are not true to size.  You need to order a bigger size.  Okay, good information.

Here’s to blog number 797. Thanks to those of you who have read all 797 of ’em.  Weird how time flies?

Here’s to latex Lizard feet.

……and a HUGE thank you to all of you who keep me laughing more than swearing.  A jaunty tip of the Easter bonnet to you.

ps.  I really want those Lizard feet.

grandchildren, grateful, wellness

plum adorable

Good morning, world!

plumsFor breakfast, I had so many fresh plums piled high, I could not even see my hot rice cereal, sunflower seeds, pecans or strawberries buried beneath.  I paired that with a glass of three carrots, one red pepper, turmeric root, one lemon and one orange, juice.   Now I get to sit back, type a little and drink an amazing cup of coffee with coconut cream, oh yeah.

Can you tell we have a bit cooler weather this morning.  THANK THE GOOD LORD.  I am a much sweeter person when there is a cool breeze and gray cloudy skies.

I am doing some blog housekeeping today, this and that, ………………….

 

Please stop by tomorrow.  Mr. Right, writes!  Yep, he will be the blogger for tomorrow.  He will take over the blog and we will all learn what pearls of wisdom he has to share.  My guess is that he will be wearing his baseball hat (now and going forward until his score changes,  his all time favorite lucky golf hat) with the huge, orange F on the front.  I am pretty sure the F is  for Florida, but I call it the “fantastic” hat.  Go Gators!  Look at me.  Using sports lingo, like I know what I am talking about.

 

Before and After.  You know I love ’em.  Remember way back, three weeks ago?  I made a politely requested rainbow dress for a certain grandgirlie’s 4th birthday?  Without telling you what she thought,  I decided to just share before and after pictures.   You can decide for yourself if she liked it.  Oh yes, and grandmas send 20140730_082811butterfly wings to birthday girls and best little sisters around, too.  Turning 4 is a BIG deal.  I am glad the dress and wings got to be part of the celebration! Gosh darn, I love those girls. IMG_0649

 

I am headed to the great state of California for a couple of days.  Oh yeah. (I can’t even begin to tell you how many times over the years, we corrected the boys and said, we don’t say yeah.  We say yes.)   No Mr. Right, no dog (they have plans for watching  golf and the movie Patton, yet again, the excitement is palpable)   just me and about 200 other people flying on the airplane.  You know just mixing together the TSA, 200 plus people, airport food, luggage etc….. I will be gathering more “timber” for blogging.  I can just feel it in my healthy bones.

That’s right, I am healthy enough to go!  A couple of years ago, with a brand new knee, I had to say no thank you to attending a wedding shower.  boo hiss, poor me.  What a horrid long day that was.  This grandma is going to a baby shower for Grand number 3.  oh goodie, goodie!  This grandma already sent two boxes of gifts.  I promise to share pictures once those gifts are opened.  I do not want to spoil the surprise this late in the game.   Can you believe it?  We are lucky enough to have Grand number 3 joining our family.  I sort of get all giddy in my stomach just thinking about him.   swoon.

In the egg department, yesterday I collected egg number 360.  I will most certainly get back to taking more pictures.

thistle bird feederThe BIG news?  I actually saw a little tiny bird at our thistle feeder this morning!  I have been looking every single morning since the middle of May.  Today was the day.  I saw one, now I have seen several.  I guess the word is out?  I hope they tell all their little feathered friends.  so sweet.

Please come back tomorrow, you are more than welcome.   Looking forward to what Mr. Right has to say.

 

 

cross stitching, grace, grateful, sewing

soul birds

We all have people in our lives that we want to remember. Deep down, honestly, we all want to be remembered.  We want some amazing story or wonderful piece of stitchery to remind our loved ones of our lives.

Some people touched our lives deep to our souls.  When I listen to stories about people like that, I get a lump in my throat.   Somehow, the heartfelt passion that was shared, spills over onto me and I am moved to celebrate with them.

I came across this new cross stitch pattern,  http://www.strawberrysampler.com/detail.cfm?ID=14537    The pattern comes with several bird choices and the alphabet in script.

I just knew it was something that I would use over and over.  It came in the mail two days ago.  I finished my first soul bird last night.

20140826_162543 To share the housekeeping portion of this project:  I used 30 count even-weave, I used two strands of hand dyed Sampler Thread in cranberry.  It took about 4 hours to complete.

I made my first soul bird for a friend to help her remember her Aunt Barbara.  Barbara was a seamstress and had a jaunty, cheerful yellow kitchen.  I tried to do my very best work in her honor. (seamstress to seamstress, I had to rip out a couple of stitches, go back and make them right, I have a feeling this will make you smile)

I will send the completed cross stitched piece onto Florida.  Then my friend will use a piece of fabric and some filling  to sew this little gem into a mini pillow/sachet.  I will include a couple of buttons and a charm or two.  I will include some fabric.  I will include some home-grown lavender.   However, if my friend has a button that reminds her of her aunt or some piece of fabric that just speaks to her….. then that is what she will use. 20140827_110913 (1)

I would love for this little mini pillow to get tucked somewhere.  One day, when stumbled upon, Aunt Barbara will be remembered with a huge smile and a full heart.

To be able to share in the memory of someone so dear is truly a privilege and honor.  20140827_110809

I wish I had known Aunt Barbara.

In a way, I did/do.  She was the Grace in the fabric of my friend’s life.  Aunt Barbara helped shape and fashion my friend into the kind spirited, talented, wonderful, loving person she is today.

So in a lovely, twirly way, I know a bit about Aunt Barbara.

Yes, we will remember you, always.

I am so lucky and deeply honored to be able to help celebrate her.

I feel bathed in Grace and Goodness, just to be able to share part of this amazing project.

Thank you Miss Florida for sharing your Aunt with me.

When this you see, Remember me. soul

 

 

ranting

send coconuts, cure rudeness

Monday morning is probably not the best day of the week to go to the post office.   Hindsight is 20/20.

I lost 41 minutes of my life, standing in line.  I did keep my good manners intact.  I did make polite conversation with the man in front of me and the three teens behind me.  I didn’t yell, scream, swear or stomp my feet.  By minute 38, I did almost dissolve into a mess of tears.  Good news, I held it together.    It only took about 2 hours and 4 miles on the bike to have me laughing about it.

In a ridiculous attempt to “be nice” I wanted to share TWO quilting magazines that I had read.  I wanted to mail them from Washington to Florida.  Heck, the magazines cost $6.00 each, I thought it would be better to share than recycle.

Long, boring, frustrating story later………….I paid $9.64 to mail said TWO magazines.  Fingers crossed they actually make it to Gainesville.  I sort of actually hope, the workers open the envelope, read the magazines, gather a few good quilting tips and then pass them on to their final destination.  Thus bringing the cost of the magazines and postage down a bit more.

Part of my frustration was the postal worker attempt to use a calculator.  Third time was a charm.  Here’s the thing, I was over the moon frustrated, then it all came clear this morning.  I was doing a little research about “our” yes, we the tax paying public, pay for the privilege to have a post office in this country.

To work in the postal service there is NO high school diploma/GED required if you are over 18.  Okay, that helps me understand some of the problem.

Yesterday, in an attempt to blow off some steam I wrote about this to a few family and friends.  Instead of calming me down, everyone used words to describe their post office experiences like:  SNARKY, LAME, NOT EDUCATED, FRUSTRATING, RUDE.

Really?  If I was rude, snarky or lame to my customers, I am guessing I would not have many customers to be snarky towards.

Average postal worker makes $72,000. per year with paid vacation, retirement plan and benefits.   Seems like the day you got hired, you probably went out to Olive Garden to celebrate with your family?  woohoo!  I got the job.  I am guessing you ironed your uniform shirt for that first day.  good times, good times.

The post master general Patrick Donahoe (while making 10 times less than his Fed Ex counter part) makes a base salary of $436,540. yearly.

The post office lost 2 BILLION dollars in the last 3 months.  Yes, I typed BILLION. Oh sure, they have made some “business deal” with Amazon.com to deliver packages in some areas on Sundays and yes, this should generate some dollars………….I am pretty sure it won’t balance out the books.

I own and run a business.  If one month, I had to explain to my co-owner (Mr. Right) we lost $5.00 this month, he would clear his throat and say, let’s talk.  If he received an email from one of our customers saying I was not polite and I was snarky, I think he would say, first you owe an apology to a customer and second, maybe this isn’t your niche?

coconut 1In an attempt to put out more good karma than bad, I want to give the post office more of my money.  Yes, indeed. (son number 2 had a brilliant idea and I want to capitalize on that fine idea)  I think if we all take a moment to mail a coconut, yes, coconut to a friend or family member, this would generate oodles of money and work for the postal workers……..thus helping them balance their OUR books.  coconut 3

So get out their people, buy a coconut for the cause, send a loved one some goodness!  

http://www.wisegeek.com/can-you-really-mail-a-coconut.htm

Just think how happy we will make the postal workers?  This might be the answer to all those grumpy, grouchy, snarky, rude folks?  They will be swimming in coconuts and laughing and smiling and happy and grateful to have a job.   In turn, when going into a post office, to mail two flat magazines,  the employees will all be wearing island style shirts, smiling, laughing, helpful all while tropical music  played in the background. coconuts 2

Thanks for coming in folks and have a GREAT day!

 

 

cooking, good behavior, great marriage secrets

Say Grace for Sunday Supper

In an attempt to teach the art of conversation, when our children were young, every single night, they needed to bring a topic to the dinner table.  Sometimes, it was about what they had done that day.  Other times, they had “nothing to bring to the table”.  I would remind them of the time, “your Dad will be here in 15 minutes, if I were you I would grab the newspaper and read a story or the dictionary and learn a new word, get a joke book and memorize a knock, knock  joke .”

Both “boys” are now grown with families of their own. We are very pleased to say, lesson learned.  They each are very good conversationalist and sharing a meal with either is a pleasure.  We highly recommend the practice.

With both boys living in different states, our Sunday Suppers are usually just the two of us.  Oh, don’t for one minute think the dinner is quiet and boring.  Good News!  The art of conversation is both alive and well.

Last night was talk about Mr. Right’s Aunt Daisy from New York City.  Her cottage on Crystal Lake and him learning to swim.  We talked about a niece starting the new school year as a teacher in Barton, Vermont, today.  We talked about para-sailing.  We talked about the weather, politics, watering the plants, the state of Israel,  a blueberry bush that is looking rather “sad”.  We crystal lakediscussed an upcoming trip, we chatted about the earthquake in California and we talked about a video we rented the night before and of course we talked about the grands.

20140824_181510Oh, and we talked about the meal.  Oh my goodness.  Sunday Supper was a rather lovely fresh herb rice and the most amazing Ginger Peach Scallops you can even imagine.   Just so you know, even living here in the Pacific Northwest, luscious, firm yet delicate in flavor, jumbo scallops are not a cheap date.   They are something we look forward to and savor every single bite.  We had a little over a half a pound and it was almost $15.00.  My gentle suggestion?  Skip a couple of fancy coffee drinks, put the moolah in an envelope and splurge on the good seafood.

Splurge on setting a lovely table.  Splurge on you and your Mr. Right.

There is something to be said for the fine art of taking a meal together.  There is that mysterious thing called tradition.  Somehow, the act of placing a linen napkin in one’s lap, the saying of Grace, slowing down the pace, taking that first amazing bite and then the flow of conversation.  It is all rather civilized and uplifting.  No matter the state of the world, the under educated jumble of politics, the ridiculous food choices that are among us, we can all pause and enjoy a  daily family meal.

We are worth it.  Our families are worthy of that nourishment; a time set aside each day to nourish our souls, our bodies and our minds.

Somehow, sitting down with a person you love and respect, sharing a home cooked meal elevates the day and it’s happenings.  Somehow, having that Sunday Supper, even a simple and fast meal (hey folks, it only takes 6 minutes total to sear scallops) sets the tone for an amazing week ahead.

I would love to hear how you create a Sunday Supper (or Terrific Tuesday or Fabulous Friday) meal in your home.

We are in this together.  Let’s help each other by sharing a recipe, an idea or a topic for tonight’s supper.

Cheers!

 

 

haPPY, Uncategorized

good morning, boys

Very rarely do I feel old.  Oh sure, I have an occasional day when I dress a bit frumpy or I make a creaking sound getting up from a yoga pose.   I usually am very aware of my posture and my balance.  I make a habit out of moving with a purpose.  Earlier this morning, I felt old.  geesh.

In my attempt to stay vital and young-looking, yesterday was a tune up day.  You know, put a little paint on the barn, polish the apple, gussie up a bit.  That means a facial, hair cut, hair dye and of course another hour of hair highlighting to make it look “sun-kissed”.  Manicure and pedicure, great music, scriptures, 7 pages of an art appreciation book, amazing food and fresh air.

Feeling put together and ready to take on more of life.

After all of that, then sleeping on said gussied up hair, I awoke to rather JOYFUL hair.  Oh my.  So big and fluffy that I didn’t even bother to try and calm it down.  I decided I would feed the dog breakfast, let the chickens out of their coop and then hop in the shower and everything would be right with the world.

So my attire was adorable pajamas.  Top and crop pants that matched, little tiny black and pink flowers with a delightful black braid running down the front.  Very cute in the catalog, not quite as cute at 7 in the morning all wrinkled and askew.  Then I slid on some sparkly flip-flops for the morning jaunt to the coop.

Let me digress here for a moment.  When you are a stay at home person, you don’t see many human beans that often.  You don’t actually talk to many folks in person.  Heck, even when I make a trip to the grocery store, I mind my own business and sometimes even check myself out.  Again, no human contact.  So basically, it is me and the dog.  I will say she is very non-judgmental.  She is good with my “pale blond roots”.  She is good with me serving her breakfast while still wearing my pajamas.  She is pretty much good with everything about me.  ha

Back to my delightful tale.

So, I schlep out to the chicken coop, offered fresh water and food, gathered egg number 352, tossed down some watermelon rinds and some scratch and turned to come back into the house.

My feet were wet from the hose water, I carried a less than clean egg in my hand, remember………….my hair………..joyful…………….that’s when I heard/noticed the boys.

I say boys, because at some point in my life, young, tan, very well-built men in their early twenties became boys to me…………………

rooferThe neighbor next door is having a new roof put on today.  There were maybe 6 or 7 young strapping, smiling, polite “boys” wearing tight jeans and were lifting and hammering and moving and working ALL LOOKING AT ME as I came into their view from above.  Maybe I surprised them more than they surprised me.  ha

I was standing right there.  Big hair, charming pajamas, a dog and two chickens at my feet.

Man, oh man, in a split second,  I wished I looked like Christy Brinkley (at any age, really),  oh this old thing, just a bikini I like to wear around the backyard.  hahaChristy Brinkley

When the “boy” in charge said, howdy ma’am.  I just smiled, waved and said what any older deer in headlights would say:

Good Morning, boys.