jump out the toxins

Watching & hearing the school clock tick down second by second made me giddy.   It was always fascinating to “hear” the time click by.  There was a cardboard box , on the floor, near the door,”someone” was chosen to carry it.

The bell.

Recess!

jump rope 4The cardboard box held yellow jump ropes.  They were in HOT demand.  The shorter kids knew exactly how to wrap them around each hand to make shorter.  Some ropes were tied end to end for double Dutch.  The boys would tie a big knot in the middle and use it for tug o war. school jump ropes

Have all the jump ropes gone away?  Very rarely do I see school children on the playground jumping.  Let me ask you, when was the last time you saw someone jump roping?  Child or adult.

Hey, remember those girls who would run and jump rope at the same time?  Remember the one girl with the extra fancy footwork?

Here’s the grown up version:

Jump out those toxins! (toxins can mean even the stubborn cold you can’t seem to shake, or a poor complexion you are trying to improve.)

 We all know the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump.  It relies on the expansion and contraction of your muscles to move it around your body. Use a rebounder a trampoline or a jump ropejump rope 5

While all three are great, the rope is about $9.00 and super easy to fit in your purse, back pack or suit case.

Ever see a mom mindlessly rocking a grocery cart to and fro?  Ever seen a grandma rocking a grand baby in a rocking chair for an hour?

Yep, smarty pants women.  The too and fro motion are what gets a baby to stop fussing.  Yep, their lymphatic system is being worked.

I love to jump rope.  I love the whooshing sound of the rope coming around my head.

Jumping rope increases the blood flow, all over work out.  Your arms and legs will love it.

“But it’s cold outside”.  You don’t really need that big of a space to jump rope.  In the garage, in the playroom…. amazing what you can figure out.

You know when you are feeling cold and you just can’t seem to warm up?  You thought I was going to say, “vacuum”.  Nope!  Spend 5 minutes jump roping.  I guarantee you will forget you were chilly in the first place. However, we all know vacuuming for a bit will warm up the body, too.

This past weekend, did you hear the phrase “gosh, I am Thanksgiving full”?   May I gently suggest 5 minutes of jump roping?

Fun, easy, quick.  Helps with balance and rhythm.  Makes me smile every single time I jump.

Need a great Christmas stocking stuffer idea?  You KNOW I am going to say a jump rope. ha

Next time you receive a text message, “How are you today?  What are you up to?” Jump rope for 5 minutes then answer, “oh, nothin’ much, just jump roping”!

In this together!

Here’s to our health & wellness!

ps.  note to self, wear shoes when jumping rope.  When that rope hits your bare tootsies or sock feet, yipes!, it stings.  (you’re welcome)

 

 

 

Honey Orange Cranberry Sauce

You know when your friend and you can’t be together?  Each lives on opposites sides of the country or lives just don’t allow to gather?

On a holiday or celebration, one of the things that I love to do, is wear a piece of jewelry they have given me or make a recipe they have shared.  No one else knows the special meaning, but I do.  Like a sweet secret.

If I don’t have a special recipe of theirs, I use one of mine and use their honey!  Makes me smile.  You KNOW I used raw honey from Befuddled Farms.  https://www.facebook.com/beefuddledFarms/?

If you are just getting home from a day at work or from picking up your grand or from spending hours in the hospital, this recipe is for you!

As I type, rolls are rising and pie is cooling.  I slipped this recipe in between.

Quick, so dang tootin’ easy, so good in fact, you may sneak a little on your plate tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow.

Honey Orange Cranberry Sauce

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Wash those cranberries, no they don’t come pre-washed in the bags.

Into a saucepan put the zest & juice from 2 oranges, 1 package of cranberries, 1/4 cup filtered water and 1/2 cup raw honey.  Cook.  Stir now and then.  Cook until those beauties pop open and the sauce becomes rich and thick and glossy.  10 minutes or so.20151125_124418-1

Done.

Yes, that is it!

You will be the belle of the ball.  If you need conversation with your cousin’s new girlfriend, you can tell her how easy it was to make.  You can mention, you didn’t use sugar.

Or, you can just keep that little gold nugget of information to yourself.  Say Grace and  enjoy every single spoonful of goodness, with a smile on your face.

I am mighty Grateful for friends in my life.  Yep, even when they live thousands of miles away, they are close to my heart.

 

glorious fare

Are you trying to come up with that perfect dish to take to a Thanksgiving gathering?

I have a friend who is attending a vegan celebration.  Her brain has been swirling as to what to share and take.  Something spectacular, some dish that will wow her fellow diners.  Something so very good, that the bowl will come back clean as a whistle after the meal.

Good news, I have an answer.

Dinner last night was comfort food arranged on each plate. The answer my friend, was hidden between glorious refried (crock pot) beans, amazing Spanish rice, creamy avocado slices.

I served pickled carrots!  The burst of color was exactly what that plate of goodness needed.  The burst of flavor was tangy, slightly sweet and the perfect touch to the tooth.  Each bite made you want to spear another of those beauties.

Easy, so easy.

1 pound of carrots, cleaned, peeled & sliced (I like 1/8″ diagonal coins)  NOTE:  Please be extremely careful when using a Mandolin.  I am typing today with a huge bandage and a thumb that is the focus of my attention today.  sigh.

pickled carrots1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons real salt, 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns & 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds,(in place, you can use a couple Tablespoons of pickling spice) 1/2 cup water…………bring just to a boil, pour over carrots. pickled-carrots1

Chill. Say Grace & Share.

No really, it is that simple.  Oh sure you can slice a big, fat, gorgeous chunk of garlic to add more flavor, or you can add a thinly sliced jalapeño pepper for a kick.

I like to keep them pure and simple.

They were so good in fact, instead of tossing the vinegar mixture, Mr. Right sliced another couple carrots and refilled the container.  Yes, that good.

Thankful for gorgeous carrots saturated with color and flavor.

Please pass the carrots.carrots 3

 

 

Sweet relief

Several reputable sources  (including the University of Cincinnati) state:  the eating of sweet may decrease the production of stress-related hormone glucocorticoid.

What? A taste of sweet can reduce stress?

Hallelujah!!!

Now, by no means does that mean run out and buy a bag of chemical filled candy and start gobbling them like a child let loose in a candy store.

That means, having really lovely treats on hand, quite possibly stored in your refrigerator, so that now and then, you can indulge.

Somehow tucked in amongst the food, pounds and pounds of food during this holiday season, we are called to be grateful.

There are many, many things in my life for which I am grateful.

I am trying not to sound shallow.  News flash!  I am mighty grateful for a sweet now and then.

I am grateful for the one perfect sweet I ate in the town square in Brussels, Belgium.  I am grateful for the one perfectly formed Victoria Cream I ate in Victoria, British Columbia. I am mighty grateful for the slice of Blackberry Pie I indulged in while visiting Vermont.

With all the pies and cookies and candies and treats dancing around  me, sometimes it is easy for me to be frustrated and discouraged.

Sugar treats are not on my list of “can do”.  So, I get grumbly and fussy and  I want that candy AND I WANT IT NOW!

Okay, maybe not that bad.  However, late after noon, with a warm beverage, a slightly sweet treat is perfect.

Oh, please don’t forget to use beautiful doilies and shimmering mini cup cake papers.  You and I are so worth the extra effort.

20151123_133612-1May I gently suggest a Chocolate Mocha Haystack?

1 cup shredded coconut, 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons raw almond butter, 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup coffee, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a dash of real salt.

Heat your coconut oil until just melted.  Mix all ingredients together. Using your hands, form little haystacks and place them on parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour.  Keep refrigerated.  Enjoy every single stress free moment.

I am grateful, very grateful for Mr. Right, who found and suggested this recipe.  It makes me giddy that he is always thinking of me.

 

France

With all the ugly horror going on and focusing on the bad… I needed, I craved, my heart ached to remember some glorious trips we took in France.

I am in need of the good memories to flood my mind. I am trying to replace some nightmare images with good.

Through the ugly, I needed to calm my soul and remember, re-live the amazing and wonderful trips our family experienced.

I wanted to remember the small toss-away cameras we bought for our young boys.  For the first time ever they got to take their very own photographs.

I needed to remember Mr. Right running the stairs to the top of the Eiffel tower, trying to beat our elevator.

The people were so kind to us.  In Northern France, we were treated extremely well.  Our children were adored.

The ceramic sales person talking to Son #1 and explaining in French how much the fish shaped plates were. (side note, I bought 12 dinner plates and still use them)

I remember, speaking French (poorly), trying to buy French Bread in a bakery and the kind man behind the counter, with a huge smile,  said in English to me…. “in France we just call it bread” hahaha

I know just on the other side of grief and sadness are delightful memories of many, many  wonderful memories.

The art that filled our heart and soul and changed our lives forever.  The sites we visited and learned so much from.

The very moment we saw lightening strike the angel Gabriel atop Château St. Michele.

20151117_223324-2I found this cross stitch pattern.  It is a Blackbird Design and offered as a free pattern. I used left over 32 count linen.

This week I am stitching and remembering.  I am stitching and sending positive energy to France.  I am stitching and sending oodles of prayers and good karma and warm wishes to the people of France.

The people and experiences of our time in France changed our lives forever.  We are a better family, better individuals because of all that we saw and lived.

The very least I can do is

remember.

France, I thank you for your part in my journey.

 

Z.A.C.

I have never been much for signing petitions.  Oh yes, I am passionate about oodles of things.  I guess I just never found anything that really spoke to me.  Nothing I would be willing to stand up for and speak my mind.

Actually stand up for and sign my name to.

In the wee dark hours this morning, as I read the story I have been following for 6 months or so, I changed my mind.

I decided to sign the petition.

https://www.change.org/p/texas-medical-board-and-gov-rick-perry-stop-the-attacks-on-dr-stanislaw-burzynski-s-succesful-cancer-treatment?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylinkhttps://www.change.org/p/texas-medical-board-and-gov-rick-perry-stop-the-attacks-on-dr-stanislaw-burzynski-s-succesful-cancer-treatment?

I have the privilege of healing naturally.  I think the information should be available to all who choose to heal in that fashion.

I was given a horrid diagnosis a bit over 1,000 days ago.  When the outlook is grim, you have to bathe yourself in research and information and figure out your path.

I chose to say no thank you to what they were suggesting and follow a path less traveled. I chose to heal.

Today, when I filled out the petition… name, address, email….. I kept thinking to myself, am I willing to stand up for what I deep down believe with my whole heart?

Then it came to the last question:

Reason for signing petition.

um.

Before filling in the box, I looked through others answers.  Some quite lengthy.  Some very technical and heart wrenching. People listed dates and how long they were given to live.  Others listed all the things they had tried before finding Dr. Burzynski.  Many went on to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks for the healing they had found.

I started typing all of my thoughts for signing the petition.  I erased it 7 times.  I tried to different wording.  I tried to explain why I chose natural healing.  I tried to sound thankful and gracious.  I erased and started over yet again.

Then it hit me.

Z.A.C.

Those are the initials of my grands.

Two sang their Thanksgiving song to us last night. 20151024_163913  I got to hold the youngest and rock him to sleep over the weekend.20151115_111000 (1)

So my answer for signing the petition?

Z.A.C.

Three perfect reasons.

 

one word: balloons

encouragerSix days a week, I bike 4 miles.  Usually indoors, however, if the sun is shining, I drag my bike out on the deck and peddle away.   I adore real bike riding, however, sometimes, stationery is the way I fly.  You can’t text girlfriends or read your novel while riding out on the street.

Yes, I have an amazing, bike helmet, designed just for me…………….it makes me smile.  I only wear that out in the world.  At home, my “joyful” hair can be free.

Here’s the thing, bike riding is fun and happy and wonderful.  Except, sometimes, I loose my motivation and grumble before I jump on.  Keeping up with knee health is vital to me.  A positive attitude is just as vital.

Look what Mr. Right tied to my bike, yesterday!!!!   He has a way about him.  Somehow he manages to encourage me to keep peddling even after 1,954 miles!  Peddling and smiling and feeling fancy all at the same time.  Yep, he is a star when it comes to gently reminding me to get on the bike. 20151113_120423-1

Now, I ask you, who wouldn’t be smiling while biking looking at those beauties?

Sometimes, balloons are not just for birthdays or celebrating.

Sometimes, balloons are just there to remind you there is someone awesome in your corner.

Sometimes, balloons are there to encourage you to bike 4 more miles.

 “We rise by lifting others.”  R. Ingersoll

ps.  Happy Weekend in front of us!

May I gently suggest you lift someone up, maybe buy some balloons?

free the sample

Recently, while on vacation, I actually used a “great idea, I should try that sometime” tip.

Packing a suitcase……I want to be one of those people who toss a few things in a bag, add one big, gorgeous scarf that triples a pashmina to ward off the chill on the plane, a lovely wrap to go out to dinner and somehow tie a swirly knot and it magically becomes a bathing suit cover-up.

I am not one of those people.

I bring two huge, beautiful scarves and a bathing suit cover-up and three pairs of flip-flops (not sure which ones I want to wear with what) and a sweatshirt (in case it is chilly…. while watching stars near the Sea of Cortez….. um, note to self, next time leave the sweatshirt at home where it is 47*) and the list goes on and on.

To sum up, my suitcase for a week at the beach, weighed 42 pounds.  Seriously?  Who needs that much stuff?

Here is one thing that actually worked, saved space, weight and I actually remembered to do it!

photo 2When ever I order my natural lotions and potions and shampoo and conditioners….. the amazing companies almost always send free samples.  You know the ones that clutter up your make up drawer, lotions & potions basket?  You know that sample that is standing behind the sink faucet, because you are going to use it sometime?

I started collecting those samples about 6 months 20151110_091955-1ago.  I put them all neatly into a zip-lock bag.  I tossed the bag into my suitcase.

I actually USED them!  Instead of packing all the containers and pouring some potions into “travel” containers, I skipped that part of the packing ordeal.

All those little sample packets of things I already knew I could use that didn’t have any crazy chemicals were ready to go.

I just tossed the empty packet when done.  Nothing to bring back home.

Now, you would think that since I was so smart and tossed all those empty packets, my suitcase would have been much lighter coming home?

Hahaha, turns out bringing home books for the grands weighs more than lotions and potions.

whole vacation

Being on vacation means you don’t have to share “your story” with anyone.  You can just be healthy vacationers out to squeeze joy and goodness out of every second.  You are not avoided, looked at with pity or “accidentally” left off the list of fun adventures.  Just a regular girl happy to wear flip-flops and forget your troubles for a week.

While on holiday, it was a pleasure to learn so much about healing plants from the experts.  The people who tend & live or die by their care of the land and plants around them.  They are not trying to convince you to try something.  They are not judging you for your curiosity.  They are just explaining how to use them and the benefits.  How to thrive with the plants around us. 20151030_172044 20151030_172047

We were the perfect sponges.  We soaked in every single bit of knowledge they were offering.  They make the world a better place just by being in it.  We just happened to be lucky enough to learn from them.

Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Louisiana State University Health Science Center have shed some light on that exact statement.  “When it comes to healthy alternatives, this means you shouldn’t invest all your hope in a single ingredient.  Instead, combine many foods, supplements and therapies to improve your health.  A multi-pronged approach gives you the best chance at success. “20151030_172105

Playing in the sunshine for a week has its advantages.   Vitamin D in all it’s healing glory, to name one.  However, coming from the great state of Washington to vacation near the edge of the Sea of Cortez…………..well, you can imagine, with our pale skin, we got a bit toasty.

We asked our hosts for some Aloe Vera for our red skin.  Not only did we get relief and help for our sunburn, we were treated with knowledge to fill our cup to overflowing.

Yes, Aloe Vera is EXCELLENT for healing sunburns. 20151030_171059

Did you also know?

Aloe Vera has vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C & E, folic acid

Did you know? 20151030_171112

Aloe Vera has copper, iron, sodium, calcium, zinc, potassium, chromium, magnesium and manganese

Did you know?

Aloe Vera can boost your immune system, enhances your skin health, halts inflammation, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps with depression and weight loss.

People with healthy immune systems DO NOT get sick.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It is NOT the luck of the draw.  It is NOT the “season”.  If your immune system is strong and vital you will not catch every single bug that is out there.  Did you know that every single person with cancer has a broken immune system?  Write this down folks…………….People with healthy immune systems DO NOT get sick.  20151030_172006

It is vital that we use all kinds of plants and herbs and fresh foods to build our immune systems as strong as can be.

This herb, yes, Aloe Vera is considered a herb, is safe to use externally and internally.  People across the globe use this herb for treating various health conditions from minor burns to cancer.

There is PLENTY of healing available for all of us.  There are many, many different herbs and supplements available for the taking.

The sum of the parts of vacation ….. sunshine, magnesium in the water we swam in, play, rest, fresh juice & eggs, good food, grounding, star-gazing, laughing, extra sleep, vitamins and supplements…….equal a whole wonderful vacation.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Aristotle

Here’s to each of our complete health and wellness.

  In this together…..

vacation balance

How would you celebrate 1,000 days of healing and wellness?

20151028_143417 Would you swim in the Sea of Cortez until your muscles shook?  20151027_13013420151028_142307

Would you sit in the shade and drink fresh squeezed juice?

Would you paddle in a bright yellow kayak until your arms felt like jello ?

Would you walk on the beach, collecting beautiful shells?

Would you lay in a lounge chair and look at the Milky Way and spy a shooting star?

Would you turn off your cell phone for a week and just listen to the waves?

We did just that.

We woke up every morning for a week, looking at the sea.  Breathing in wellness.  Counting our lucky stars.

This was the very first vacation ever, that we did not have to come home to recover from.

We went to the sea to breathe.

20151027_125949We went to center ourselves and find balance.

There is plenty to be had for all.

Wellness and balance were there the whole time, we just needed to slow down, open our heart and souls & accept it.

20151029_080656 (1)“the circle of wellness is supported by (both) movement and stillness.”  mary anne radmacher-hershey