haPPY, healing, health, magic, recipe, Uncategorized

splurge

For some twisted reason, Mondays have been hard the last couple weeks.  Getting up feels like a chore.   After I fed and gave fresh water to the dog and the chickens…. I headed for the Bio-mat for an hour.

Then to shower.  I smiled just thinking about using my new fancy schmancy potion!

I made this facial scrub.  I put it in a jar with a fun label.    I just fell head over heels in love with the name. 20170331_121837-1_resized

 

Side note about company names: for a couple of years I owned a company called “The Yellow Button Mustard Company”.  I came up with the name, then I decided to make mustard.  Of course I tied a yellow button on every single jar.  I love mustard!yellow buttons

This time, I have come up with the name “Splurge”.  Now I want to follow where that leads.  Maybe I just like the word?

20170324_150314-1_resized_1Splurge on an extra long bike ride.  Splurge on new flowers for my bike basket.   Splurge with extra coconut cream in my Monday coffee.   Splurge on a snazzy pair of new shoes. (those shoes?  Well made and so comfortable, love)  Splurge on making lotions and potions that are of excellent quality and then use them.

Using a face scrub/moisturizer that smells like little drops of peppermint.  Awwwww, feels like a splurge.

Here’s the behind the scene magic  ( or if you like, the recipe)

1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup baking soda and a few drops of essential oil…whip together.  Splurge on yourself and use it!

Oh la la

Here’s to easing into Monday & please take the time to splurge a little on yourself.  We are worth it.

Here’s to our health and wellness! 20170331_121837-1_resized

Chat soon.

 

healing, health, Uncategorized

ouch

Drats, that stung.  I just scraped the underside of my wrist while fluffing and puffing the chicken coop.  (doesn’t fluffing and puffing sounds so much nicer than mucking out the straw & changing out the bedding?)

Okay, so the scrap (not bad, just annoying) is under my wrist exactly where my watch sits.

First clean it out, then put some ointment on.  Grab the first aid cream with nary a second thought.

Here’s a thought….

While going through your home and replacing healthier versions of food and lotions and potions……..you might forget about one little ointment that you purchase once a year (yes, there is an expiration date), unless you have pre-teen boys…..then you go through first aid ointment like fresh-baked loaves of bread.

We all have Neosporin in our first aid kits.  We use it every time we need to use a band-aid. 20170323_074132-1_resized_1
Here is my “duh” moment.  We work diligently to remove all chemicals and artificial antibiotics from our family life.  We buy organic vegetables and fruits when we can afford it.  I have eliminated 95% of all chemicals in the make up and potions that I use on a daily basis.

Yet, somehow, a cream that I am willing to put on a small scrape or burn, I didn’t do the research.  Really?

I won’t go into the research, techno babble and the very serious topic of antibiotic resistance…………you have Google at your fingertips, so please dig in.

This is just me saying, I found an exceptional product that works and doesn’t cause more harm than health.  If you can’t find it at your local health store, amazon.com does indeed carry it.  Just sharing a product that works.  No, I was not paid to tell you about this.  20170323_074152-1_resized (1)

This is the first aid cream I would be willing to use on my grandchildren, dog and the rest of the family.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

grateful, healing, hope, Uncategorized

tip the balance

Pair of scales is made of stones on the cliff

I am having one lou lou of a time finding balance.  While I recover from being extremely ill, I still have to go about my daily life.  It’s really a dance.  It is two days forward and one step back.

Balance.

As a matter of fact, just yesterday, my eyes filled with tears as I learned about yet another favorite food I have to say good-bye to.

While I am grateful, truly grateful for another day, in my mind sometimes, it seems I should be glowing with gratitude and grace, moving gently about, pleased with everything and everyone. Yet, there are days, I am still a normal girl who wants to complain about her hair style, fuss about paint color, and whine about what to make for supper.

I am supremely grateful for walking a path of healing and yet, I somehow find the energy to grumble under my breath about having my medicine in place of lunch daily.  Yes, I know how lucky I am to have the money to pay for the protocol.   The stubborn 4th grade girl in me, still complains now and then.  It’s not pretty, it’s just the truth.

How do I tip the balance?    I am feeling so lucky and happily teeter tottering one moment and then bam, my fanny hits the ground and I need to re-group and gather some strength to push-off with my feet to send myself back up into the clouds.

There is nothing lofty about cleaning under the kitchen sink nor scrubbing the bath tub grout.  I still need to vacuum out the car and feed the chickens. I need to grocery shop weekly and purchase or make gifts for others.  I cannot sit each day, all day long, with my hands folded in prayer of thanksgiving.  I need my hands to pull on work gloves and work.  Hey, that garden hose, isn’t going to roll itself up.

I am healing every single day however,  I don’t live on a movie set where I am dressed in a beautiful, embroidered gown and float among everyone being happy and serene and grateful.  I still get ticked off by some folks.  I still burn food.  I still cuss now and then.  Occasionally, I still act like a spoiled child when the “want” platform outweighs the “give” platform.

This excerpt from,  The Year of Pleasure by Elizabeth Berg,  has help nudge me in the right direction.

“…I know you are hurting!  But what if you determined to find one thing every day that you-“

“I know. Count your blessings.  Remind yourself every night of every good thing that happened to you that day.”

“No, I’m not talking about things that happen to you.  I’m talking about things you make happen.  I’m talking about purposefully doing one thing that brings you happiness every single day, in a very conscious way.  It builds up the arsenal, Betta.  It tips the balance.” 

It tips the balance.

I like that way of thinking.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, (which, honestly does happen), I look for ways to build up the arsenal.  I look for one thing that brings me happiness each day.

Somehow, one day has turned into the next and those days turned into a couple of months and somehow, every now and then, I forget to count the exact days on the calendar.

teeter-totterThat jolt of the teeter totter slamming down?  That happens when I panic and fret about a sore thumb or small bruise on my toe.  ( Um, no, you are not sick again, maybe it is just a hang nail?  Maybe it is just a bruise from stubbing your toe?)  I spend way too much time each day wondering if I will get sick again.

I want to spend my time, building up the arsenal of happiness so that I tip the balance.  I want to spend more time looking for happy than worrying about the bad that may come.

I look for leaves.

I look for a recipe to try.

I buy two new dresses for  the sweet grandgirlies in my life.

I buy socks for Mr. Right.  Somehow, seeing a man well dressed in “go to work” clothes and then knowing he has on goofy socks, makes me chortle.  thanksgiving-socks

For me, wrapping them in gift wrap with a pretty bow adds to the humor.  Just out of the blue on a Monday night, he comes across a gift tucked into the utensil drawer or set on his desk.  chess-socks

A couple of weeks ago, before his chess lesson, he unwrapped chess socks.  This week, because he loves pumpkin pie………Thanksgiving socks of course.

 

Just for happiness, every Saturday, I trade pictures of eating a banana with grand #3.  We each eat a banana then trade pictures.  This is HAPPINESS pure and simple folks.  Makes me happy to see his picture and he gets to yell, “NANA” when he sees my picture.  haha

While on a walk , I found this ginormous leaf and it made me happy.  I had to share it with the grands. Golly Wally, a leaf is as big as my head?  That’s happy, pure and simple.  20161112_125639_resized

 

With my heart and soul I am going to continue to look for happy. Even on the crummy days, I will continue to search.

On my search, I have stumbled upon…….ginormous leaves, shared bananas, sweet dresses and goofy socks.

It all balances out.

Chat tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

chickens, friends, friendship, healing, health, Uncategorized

1,000 eggs

It was a dark and stormy night……………..

No, wrong guess.

Picture this:  It was a beautiful, blue sky, warm, sunny June afternoon, 2013.

I was extremely sick.  It wasn’t pretty.  It took effort just to get dressed and put lipstick on. Not the “movie star” kind of sick.  The real life, not good kind of illness.

My wise friend was stopping by to visit and bring something. I was thinking a nice, pretty card or a cheerful bouquet of flowers.

No, wrong guess.

Out the kitchen window, I saw a huge truck pulling a horse trailer pull through our circular drive way.  Along with her, were 4 teenagers.

Next they unloaded a brand new chicken coop, 3 chickens, bedding, organic feed, treats, water & food containers.  They caried it and set it all up in the backyard.

In the same whirlwind that they arrived, they left just as quickly.  They were headed out to pick up a load of hay for their horses.

That left me and our Golden Retriever, peeking into their coop, looking at 3 very young chickens.  Alone.

How the heck is this going to work?  (She had made a side deal with Mr. Right, if it didn’t work out, she would graciously take them back to her ranch.)

Remember earlier, I called her my wise friend?

Somehow, she knew I would have to turn on the computer and read.  She guessed I would have to get dressed and have Mr. Right drive me to a book store, to buy a couple of books.  In her smarty, awesomesauce, cowgirl way, she knew, I would have to get up off the sofa a couple of times a day to feed, water, fluff straw, check on my new animals.

My wise, amazing girlfriend had a feeling, that I would need to clean the coop.  Carry water, lift bedding, fill the food container.  In the beginning,  I was not able to lift a 25 pound bag of bedding, so I took small buckets.

My wise, amazing, thoughtful, beautiful friend, Kristy, knew that I needed organic eggs to eat.  She knew that I needed to be around “farm dirt” and straw and outdoor good germs to build my immune system.  In her wisdom, she knew I needed to feel grateful and thankful every single day.

Surprise, surprise, Mr. Right, only helped when he absolutely needed to.

I took care of them myself.  I never skipped a day.  Some times, it took me a half hour just to change the bedding and straw and give them fresh water.

One day, my little grand girlie was helping me and she said, “egg”.  WHAT!  I couldn’t actually believe that we had gotten an egg!  I had to take a picture.

Then somehow, a week went by and another.  People asked me how many eggs I had collected.  I kept track on the calendar.  I started taking pictures to share.  I didn’t want the eggs to roll off the counter during the photo shoot, so…….. one thing led to another and ……..well.

I started setting the eggs in things.  A basket, a dish, a creamer shaped like a frog, I put them in a fruit basket, and a bowl that had coffee beans.  I used anything I could find. I even made a calendar showcasing 12 pictures.

Here’s the update:

I still have one of the original chickens.  Since then, a couple more chickens have joined the party.  I currently have four chickens.  Yes, I still keep track of how many eggs I collect.  (It’s the best part, sort of like an Easter Egg hunt everyday!)  I am healthy enough to lift the bag of bedding.  I can move the coop.  I can walk to the neighbor’s to share my bounty.  We donate 20 chicks a month, so others can flourish, just like me.

Today, Friday, November 18, 2016, I am celebrating my 1,000 egg!  20161118_123658-1_resized_2

I am grateful.

I am healing.

Thanks in a huge part to my friend.  She was the only friend who believed I could/would do it.  She knew that I would get out of bed, put on my boots and tend to other creatures that needed my help.  I felt needed.

DSCN3160

 

Those dang chickens need me in the beautiful, blue, sunny skies as well as the blustery, wild wind, cold, pouring rain, boot wearing, dark stormy days.

Oh, I get it!

My friend.  She was there for me in the dark, stormy days…and yes, today, on a clear, beautiful day, she is in my corner, celebrating 1,000 eggs.

Boy Howdy, I am one grateful chick!

Who knew chickens could help me heal?

She did. 

 

 

 

 

good manners, grace, healing, Uncategorized

the need to knead

Some weeks just feel out of sorts.

Emotional or stressful, whatever the heck you want to call it……it sort of hangs in the air.

Like when you accidentally burn beautiful little orange pieces of carrots for fried rice.  Then you have to stop and toss and take out the garbage and scrub & clean the pan five times.  Then you start over, and yet somehow that smell of burnt carrots is still lingering, hanging in the air, for quite some time.  Come back into the kitchen, windows open, 3 hours later, yep, it is still faintly floating in the air.

This past week, some of us have dealt with wedding stress, the stress of being unwell, injury, memories of the past, poor sleep, missed talking to grands, stubbed our little toe on our right foot,   however, I can safely say, we all have felt the punch of our election.  Boy Howdy, did we all feel the stress.  yikes.

No matter what side you were on or if you were balanced precariously on the fence……..political stress packs a wallop.  (I won’t mention the poor behavior of talking badly about others.  They all better be on their knees thanking the Good Lord, that I am not their mother.  My kitchen floor would be spotless!  If you have time and energy to talk bad about others, then I guess you have time to scrub my floor or rake my leaves, or wash my windows?)  If you would like, you can certainly ask our grown boys how I feel about talking poorly about others.  I am quite sure they will fill you in.

The stress is still lingering, floating all around us.

Back to basics my friend.

When I can’t seem to move gracefully forward, I notice that I stop and stay put.  I do things that I can control.  I take extra time to wash dishes, by hand.  I don’t grumble about folding laundry, I just find the calm in the process.  I don’t mind plucking weeds or raking leaves.  I can see the results of my efforts.  I send cards.  I write actual letters & walk to the mailbox and send.

I bake.

I measure and stir and use a whisk.

Oh sure, I have a great machine with a wonderful dough hook.  I didn’t use it.

I used my hands.  I needed to knead dough.  I wanted to work with my hands.  I was making something to give.  Not to sound to “Medusa Mom crazy”….. however…………..I needed to feel connected to it.

20161111_142418_resized_2All with the idea, there is no way, we could ever eat all this food before it spoils.

So instead of fretting and fussing over things I couldn’t/can’t control , I decided to bake rolls for some neighbors.   No other reason than just to share with our neighbors.

To remember and to remind myself that we belong to each other.  Not what the news reporters tell me nor what I see on face book.

Plain and simple:  We belong to each other. 

rumi

grace, grandchildren, grateful, gratitude, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, husband, Uncategorized

wake up 10

flowering-kale-arrangement

I live in the middle of gratitude, so, each morning, even before my feet touch the ground, I list off 10 things I am mighty grateful for. Some make the list daily, others change on a whim.

 

Boy Howdy,  I feel lucky & bathed in Grace to start fresh, every single day.

 

1.  Mr. Right

2.  four kids

3.  three grands20161023_152356_resized

4.  Sweet Liberty

5.  amazing, healthy, healing body

6.  cushy, lush, wonderful, bed

7.  remembering: ironing leaves between wax paperwax-paper-leaves

8.  fluffy, extra-large, soft socks

9.  morning letter waiting for me from Mr. Right

10.  coffee (duh, being honest)

 

 

 

grace, grateful, haPPY, healing, health, hope, Uncategorized

pink, pink you stink

Imagine if you will, being so sick you couldn’t even think straight.

After a few years and buckets of hard work, and a thousand glasses of green juice, bit by bit you began to heal.

Then year after year, October after October you are SMACKED in the face to relive and remember.

Pink.

It’s the pits. It is awful.  It is crappy.  You get the picture.

3+ years ago, I chose the path less traveled.  I chose not to “join” the wear pink club.  Instead of joining and being encouraged and supported by friends and family wearing pink boas and pink tutus……….I went a different direction that was right for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to love pink.  It was one of my top 3 or 4 color choices.

However, I can clearly remember “the” closet day.    I went to my closet and started ripping down anything I saw that was pink.

Pink t-shirt, pink fleece jacket, pink Oxford shirt, pale pink tank top, pink glittery tank, pink long granny gown hanging up.

Next, I stepped over to my dresser.  I tossed into the pile: a pink slip, a pale pink lovely piece of lingerie and some pink panties.

I didn’t even donate them.  I threw them in the trash can for pick up the next day.

Done.  Moving on.  Brushed my hands of that.

Flipping through catalogs, I was drawn to the pink, but chose gray or taupe instead.

Imagine being so broken that for a time, I couldn’t even read, bake, write,  cook or sew.  It was a huge accomplishment when I made our bed or fed and watered the chickens by myself.

Slowly, ever so slowly with fierceness, determination, encouragement & support of Mr. Right & my family,  I started to heal.

Trying to fill up that sick, painful, time and memories with new, good, healthy positive things was/is slow going and tricky.  Bit by bit.

Then I would catch sight of a pink bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken,  pink Jello, pink diet soda, pink gummy vitamins, pink garbage bags(?), pink cake mix, professional football players wearing pink shoes or socks or the referee using a pink whistle, pink menu card in the airline seat pocket and on the ridiculous list goes.  Not one of those things would help me heal.  While the chemicals, sugar, colorings would only add gasoline to the fire, the stupidity of pink garbage bags or pink furnace filters is an assault on my intelligence.

While the pink does uplift some, brings others hope and they find comfort in the meaning, I do not.

Pink, pink you stink.  Seeing that color is a huge road block for me.  I am working to get around it. I try all the tricks the mental health field has to offer.  I continue to work on it almost daily.  It is tough, really tough to gracefully deal with it, process it and skirt around it if I am not strong enough that particular day.

Every single week, Mr. Right brings me flowers.   However,about 3+ years ago,  he considerately stopped bringing pink flowers.

As a matter of fact, for date night last night, he gave me the most beautiful burnt orangey, salmoney, fall color saturated roses I have ever seen.

In the name of healing & progress, I decided to type this.

Last night for date night.  I wore a brand new, very cute black and white pencil skirt. An adorable smokey gray (encrusted with jewels) sweater tied causally around my shoulders that was over a brand new stunning, color saturated pink blouse.  I paired it with a stunning pair of antique earrings.  20161013_104318_resized

Doesn’t seem like a huge deal to most.  I talked about it way, way too many times with Mr. Right.  However, once I decided to wear it, I was done talking about the color.  As always, he complimented me several times.  Not one person pointed or even noticed, no other human being in the restaurant even gave it a second thought.

It was a humongous step for me.

20161012_175949_resizedRight in the middle of a beautiful, lovely, middle of the week, awesome-sauce date night at the Space Needle, I quietly, without fanfare, took one more healing step. 20161012_191956-1_resized

As the sun set, the skyline was a light with sky scrapers. Several of those buildings have pink twinkle lights lining the rooftops.

I am not completely happy and comfortable with being constantly reminded with pink for many reasons, choices and the seriousness of this topic………..at least I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of tears as I have in the past.

Girlfriend to girlfriend, I actually sort of forgot about it.  It sort of faded into the background.

I was thinking more about:  the view, the food, the piano music, how Mr. Right still does it for me,  the dessert choices, my manicure, the card he gave me, how tight my Spanks were (I was just seeing if you were paying attention), how I love tasting his food and sharing mine,  how cute & remarkably comfortable my peep toe shoes are, my pedicure, how much I enjoyed the after dinner coffee, the bracelet I wore,  how much I enjoyed the conversation, how much I enjoy spying Mr. Right politely and smoothly tipping the young valet, how nice the car drive home was…….and on the list goes.  Yeah, I sort of forgot to fuss and fret over wearing pink.

I am making a tiny bit of progress.  Maybe my heart is starting to heal?  Maybe I am finding my own way?  Maybe, just maybe I am making my way back to liking the color pink again?sometimes-the-smallest-step-in-the-right-direction-ends-up-being-the-biggest-step-of-your-life

Pink, pink you are just sort of smelly.

progress.