I forgot angels baked cookies

Yesterday, 4 years and 11 months, ago I was diagnosed with cancer.

I was told that I had one year to live if I didn’t do as they told me.   big sigh.

I did not forget the day, nor have I been able to go a day and not know what the tally is.

I have dabbled, sharing my story here and there over the almost five years.

20151206_182052_resizedFor some reason, yesterday, was a tough day. Then I put on a cute & sassy pair of big girl panties, extra jewelry, beautiful lipstick, kick-ass red cowgirl boots, asked Alexa to turn on some music and just like that, the day, as well as my outlook, changed dramatically.

Sometimes I can be a dunderhead and forget to put “it” out there for the universe to handle.

I can sum up the last few years with one sentence.

I chose the road less traveled.

I made the choice to respectfully and quietly decline the offer of chemotherapy and radiation.

(very important side note:  those souls who choose chemotherapy & radiation and live, are amazing.  When 97.3% of the time, it doesn’t work, those folks walking among us are astonishing.  Tip your hat to them for what they have endured.  They are living miracles.)

Having cancer is tricky, harsh, brutal, crappy, awful, LOUD, difficult, lonely and surprisingly, takes away your breath, some of your courage and brave people skills.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frostroad-less-travelled-lg

The thing about Robert Frost’s quote is that while being true words, he doesn’t mention how dark, scary, lonely, quiet, and not fancy that road is.

On one hand, frightening and unknown, pink ribbons, goodie bags of spirit-lifting lipstick, pink boas, friends rallying around, pins, hats, walk-a-thons, embroidered vests, support groups, a very clear, mapped out route awaits.

The other choice was an equally frightening unknown, however dimly lit path, with Mr. Right and I holding neon yellow high lighter pens for research & studying and gallons of green juice with a couple of folks in your corner.  Sort of a bizarre version of a sad, dull, blush colored lipstick, sad face “before” picture you see in fashion magazine layouts.

I get it.  It is scary.

In the beginning of the journey, I was heartbroken when “friends” jumped ship. Others politely & quietly moved to the other side, no big break-up, just quietly faded out of the picture.   I was crushed when some relatives thought my choices were ridiculous & uninformed and chatted behind my back.   I won’t even go into the mean & hateful things some of my doctors & medical staff said to us. Certainly not worth my breath to repeat.

While trying to re-build my broken immune system (yes, every single person with disease has a broken, damaged immune system) for quite some time I stayed away from groups of germs people.   Extremely limiting gatherings, extracurricular groups, church, outings, movie theaters, planes, etc.  Lonely during the days until Mr. Right came home from work.

Enter social media and technology.  Figuring out a way to make new friends through the world-wide webs.

Holy Toledo, because of this blog, I met a new friend and have what is shaping up to be a forever friendship. I’ve reconnected with friends from elementary school.  I even put on my brave lion mask and wrote to folks in an online counted cross stitch group.

A couple of months ago, while sounding rather juvenile, I excitedly told Mr. Right, I met a new friend.

For some unexplained reason, I jumped in with both feet. I felt brave and saucy.  I can’t explain the bravery.  Maybe an angel was nudging me in that direction?

I forgot.

I forgot how lovely it feels to have someone visit and talk and not feel sorry for you.  I forgot how wonderful it feels to relax and just write for fun.  I forgot how it feels to be curious about another person and ask questions and listen for answers.  I forgot how much fun it is to plot and figure out a surprise gift to give to someone else.  I forgot how satisfying it feels to make something for someone who understands handmade presents.

I also forgot how gobsmacked it feels to get an unexpected box of pure HAPPY in the 20171221_153135-1_resizedmail!  I forgot how flabbergasted I am when someone makes me something.  Believe it or not, it left me speechless (for a moment).  Cookies and treats and stitchy stuff (HUGE shock, no one has ever bought me stitchy stuff) and paper and ribbon and a hilarious card…. oh Lordy, get out the smelling salts.  

I had completely forgotten that when some folks jump ship, it just leaves room for new friends to jump aboard.

angel wingsI am here to tell you that angels walk among us. When you least expect it and need it most.

Fierce angels wearing bad-ass, fancy, insanely large, Victoria’s’ Secret kind of over the top wings.  They bravely wear juicy, saturated intense color lipstick, bake cookies20171222_114143-1_resized and wear glorious shoes we all drool for.

My fierce angel has glorious dark curly hair, wears amazing lipstick and has red pointy toe shoes with glorious big bows on them that I covet. However, in my mind, even to work, she wears fancy aqua colored wings.

In an effort to help me sleep through the night,  I began writing this blog 1,152 posts ago.

This installment will most assuredly help me sleep through tonight.   Lots of good, some bad all removed from my shoulders and put here for safe keeping.

Thanks oodles for listening to me, holding my hand, keeping me company, leaving kind & uplifting comments.  Such sweetness pushes my swing.

Today, I am mighty grateful that angels do indeed bake cookies. Delicious & beautiful cookies.

Here’s hoping that you are happily and surprisingly gobsmacked by a fierce and amazing angel in your corner. One that bakes cookies.   Once you catch your breath and stop feeling light-headed, it is a rather lovely feeling.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

What is saving you today?

Life at times can be tricky.  It can feel tough and brutal.  Life feels hard sometimes. Life can be very loud.

It seems as though for the big huge troubles, we pause, pull up our bootstraps and face it head-on.  Not pleasant, however, we all have the ability to rise up and fight something big.

It’s the small things that add up & sneak up on you. You don’t realize how full your heart & soul & plate are until the tipping point and things start to topple over.

buffetBefore walking up to the buffet table, you actually are not physically starving.  Coffee sounds good, then you spy the potatoes & take a few.  Next, you notice the fruit.  Oh my,  look at that spinach quiche it is calling my name.  Wait!  I spy with my little eye, a freshly baked croissant.  Oh, cappuccino.  And just like that, my plate is piled high, I have both hands filled and I have to ask for help carrying my coffee back to my place.

That moment when you ask for help.  You instinctively know the moment has come to politely ask for assistance. We can’t do this alone.

That’s how I feel lately.

A friend’s son is sick.

Two friends are very, very sick.

I miss playing board games with my kids. I miss hanging out and talking.

I miss our grandkids.

I’ve baked a couple of times to take to friends.  My stash of sympathy cards is dwindling at an alarming rate. A couple of friends are in the hospital.  (I can’t be around germs, so I send cards.)  I need to replenish my “thinking of you cards”.

Working from home has its advantages for sure, however, sometimes just talking with the dog does not fill my need to chit-chat.  I miss dressing up, driving to work, checking in with co-workers, hearing about their day, eating lunch, teasing, banter etc.

I picked up my phone yesterday, I was going to send a text message to my friend ( I have two happy things to squeal and share about), then I remembered she doesn’t have a phone in heaven.

This time of year, the weather is dreary and it’s not easy to go out and work off some frustration through yard work.  It is pouring down rain as I type.  If we get a slight break in the liquid sunshine, my boots are ready….. I am headed out to rake leaves and breathe in some fresh air.

Yesterday, while listening to a podcast interview, Jen Hatmaker asked her guest the final question.

“What is saving you today”? 

 

I listened then I proceeded to answer it as well.

“What is saving me today”?

Mr. Right (fancy date night over the weekend, talking on the phone like high school kids,Date night_resized doing a 550 piece jigsaw puzzle in 3 hours, reading the same book or studying and then discussing together, stitching and talking while he makes juice every day…………my list goes on and on)

Floss Tube ( a group of worldwide cross stitchers who make videos and share their passion)

coffee cupCoffee

Counted cross stitch

I don’t really need finger shaking and rules right now.  Reading Psalms uplifts and psalm rockencourages me to move forward.  Even when the world seems all wackadoodle & topsy-turvy.

My Sweet Dog

my guilty pleasure, looking at “Hello” Magazine pictures online

Crocheting

Funny videos during medicine time

Reading the latest FBI thriller

Baking

holding handsHolding hands while wearing mittens/gloves on evening walks

 

So on this wet Tuesday,  my question to you friend is,

“What is saving you today”?

Maybe we can share answers & grace with each other?

Maybe by sharing we can smooth out the rough edges of this thing we call life?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

fill the fridge

One of the things that we believe in & live by is that food can heal.

No, not everyone in our camp is of the same thinking.  I am living proof that food heals.

dine well

However,  today, one of the things we can all be on board with is this:  People are Hungry. Either lacking amount or nutritional value, folks are in need of good food.

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Yes, you read that correctly.  Think about your slightly grumpy co-worker.  Think about that neighbor child who is downright ornery.  Did you snap at your spouse this morning?  Yep, being hungry might be the reason.  Not just amounts of food but goodness and quality of food.

You see everyone proclaims to be “busy”.  Sure, our calendars are full.  You picked up some fast food last night, because, after working a long week,  you were picking up kids from practice and you still had to go home and do a load of laundry and let’s face it, you were tired to the bone.

Then this morning, you were busy helping everyone else get out the door, dressed and on time.  You tried to get the short people in your life to eat something.  You grabbed a coffee on your way to work.   Work/Life got incredibly crazy and you skipped lunch.

Time to give yourself a little grace.  You need a pat on the back.  You are juggling lots of things.  Food should bring you comfort and wellness.

  We and our spouses/families are surely worthy of really good food, any time of the year. 

 Remember holidays when you make a beautiful olive & nut tray for relatives?  Sometimes, before company comes over you put together a vegetable tray with the extra nice crackers?  These platters of food are displayed lovely, sitting covered in our refrigerators….. “Don’t touch that!  It’s for company!”

I am here to tell you, we are worth buying the extra good cheese!

You and your family are WORTH buying the good olives, the beautiful plump mushrooms. Buy THREE bars of the expensive, 70% dark chocolate (break it up, pile it up on a beautiful tray)! You and your family will devour the goodness. dark chocolate

Right this very moment, if you took a peek inside my refrigerator you would spy the tasty treats I have prepared and have ready for the weekend.  No holiday (unless you count the ridiculous turning back of the clock an hour).  A sparkling clean refrigerator filled with great selections, beauty for the eyes as well as the stomach.

The special reason?  You and your family are worth beautiful, lush, flavorful, savory food.  That’s it.  That’s the reason.  20171103_132657-1_resized

Today, I made some beautiful  Rosemary, Garlic Mushrooms.  I made a small veggie plate.  I 20171103_133321-1_resizedcaramelized a couple of onions.  I bought some amazingly wonderful “cheese” made from cashews.  I also roasted some beautiful walnuts.  20171103_132523-1_resized

That smell?  Oh, that is 8 gorgeous potatoes cut and roasting.  I wanted a big bowl piled with roasted potatoes with herbs sprinkled on top.  Ready for whoever might need a bite to eat sometime over the weekend.

Fill your refrigerator!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

What’s in your refrigerator for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

life of the party, hello parsley

Parsley.

Yesterday, I shared a picture of one of my herb gardens.  A friend asked, “what on earth are you going to do with all that Parsley?  I answered, ” We are going to eat it.

20170808_142958-1_resized

You know, that itty bitty piece of sad green on your dinner plate?  That’s parsley.

Hello!  Nice to meet you.

When you went to aGerman Schnitzel with garnish restaurant in the 90’s more often than not you got your meal presented with a flourish.  As a last minute garnish, one cherry tomato or slice of lemon was getting friendly with the 1 inch or smaller piece of limp looking parsley.

Last night, I took a picture of just how much parsley I eat every single day.  I put a pen in the picture for scale.   We pick it fresh and it is put into my daily juice routine.  Beyond daily juice, I also pick and cook with as much as I can.

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The under celebrated herb called Parsley (Latin:  Petroselinum) is filled to overflowing with beneficial nutrients, essential oils, and antioxidants – to the point that it’s often called a superfood.  Along side freshening both you and your dogs’ breath, parsley helps with inflammation, acid reflux & arthritis, this marvelous herb can clean out your liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.

Popeye would have been twice as strong had he known that Parsley has TWICE the iron as Spinach!

Dr. Mercola gently reminds us, eating parsley is an excellent way to detoxify our systems of harmful compounds like mercury.

Do you want strong bones?  If you want to be impressed by parsley, take a look at its vitamin K content – a whopping 574% of the daily recommended value.  This is BIG news, friends!

Parley’s vitamin C content is 3 times more than in oranges, and the vitamin A augments the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to prevent eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Dr. Axe is a smarty pants and here is what he has to say about parsley and the “c” word:

Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. These powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer-formation, in particular, slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens from harming the body. (7)

Parsley is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells. One of Parsley’s beneficial compounds called apigenin has been found to “inhibit progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells, significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors”, according to research done in 2013 by the American Association of Cancer. 

There are several good sources (those sources are at your finger tips, people) to learn oodles and oodles more about the glorious plant called Parsley.

Time to add some life to your party!   Tonight when you cook those stunning fresh green beans, toss in a handful of parsley.  Tomorrow when you make a gorgeous vegetable soup, again, toss in some beautiful green.  That Shrimp & Grits you are going to serve?  Freshly chopped parsley will add a little somethin’ somethin’.  That ice cream sundae?  Just toss on…….ha, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

ps.  The home school mom came out in me today. haha  Now,  I want us all to do a watercolor painting or chalk drawings of parsley.  I want my chef helper to pick, wash & chop parsley for dinner tonight.  Let’s use parsley in a sentence……

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

bad ass juicer or 209 Karat necklace

I could not decided on a title.  I chose two.

Most of the time I write to share a story.

This particular post is like a journal entry for me.  It’s to remind myself about stuff.  I am writing so I can sleep through the night and not wake up fretting.

Today, I write to boost my own spirit.  Why yes, my spirit does need boosting.

As you already know, I was diagnosed with cancer January 2013.  One doctor told Mr. Right that I had a year to live.  Feels weird to even type that.

Heads up….That was a mean, nasty thing to tell anyone.  You have absolutely NO right to give someone an expiration date. The person can’t get it out of their mind. They will remember it always.  Yes, you feel powerful for a moment in time.  Powerful at another human’s expense.  In saying that, you also took away their hope. What an awful thing to say.  Shame on you.   I hope your mother is disappointed in your behavior.  I know I sure am.

There is something beautiful and elegant in the art of giving someone hope.

Moving on….  I promise this is a really GOOD post.  I just needed to get that ugly out-of-the-way.

I chose a path less traveled.  Not a cool “travelling pants” sort of path.  A tough, rocky, weed infested, up hill, no insurance coverage kind of creature crawling path.   Sure if you agree to chemotherapy, radiation and pills, health insurance is right there, albeit through mounds and mounds of paper work, they help pay the bills. If like me, you choose not to do those things and you choose a path of healing that is not traditional………even though you pay the premiums and have excellent “health” insurance, you pay for every single thing yourself.

carrots-bunchLike carrots.  How much could one carrot cost? Seriously, I am asking you.  How much does it cost to buy one carrot?  Take a guess.

How much do 10,450 carrots cost?  

$969.76

How on earth do I know that?

Because Mr. Right keeps count.  He keeps the ring off of each 10 pound bag of carrots he juices.  He and his trusty Champion juicer get a daily work out.  Yes, that juicer has flames tattooed in all the right places.  20170508_201017-1_resizedHe makes juice for both of us.  I drink 64 ounces of fresh juice daily.  In addition to lots ofcarrots greens and fruits, every single day I drink carrots. Bunches and Bunches of carrots.

With each glass of goodness, each 10 pound bag of carrots he is simultaneously creating a beautiful necklace. That’s 209 rings, one ring each off of 10 pound bags of carrots!  That equals 10,450 CARROTS of goodness!

That’s 2,090 pounds of carrots!  Can’t imagine it?  Picture in your mind a full-grown Polar polar bearBear.  A big, strong, tough, fierce, stop at nothing bear.  That is 2,000 pounds or one TON.

Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It’s thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.

We have no idea if carrots alone have healed me.  Heck, I don’t know if I am healed or carrots-800x600not.  I do know that along with mushrooms and rebounding, exercise, sunshine and vitamins/supplements, Turmeric and laughing and baking soda and magnesium, juicing, Budwig protocol, giving up & changing over 100 things and books and research….. and a list a mile long of other things that  “health” insurance does not cover…. I am still here to type this blog post.

I am one lucky girl.  I honestly don’t care if I ever win on a scratch ticket again, I got lucky where it really counts.  Mr. Right loves me and I know it.  I hope every single human on earth has another human that cares about them as much as I am cared for.  He holds one of my hands while offering me a glass of hope with the other.

20170508_201017-2_resizedI secretly love the bad-ass flames on his juicer.  Sort of rough and tumble.  That’s the sort of thing you need when you are trying to heal.  Someone, tough and fierce, someone that will stop at nothing…. on your side, that is willing to keep track of all the good we are doing.

The good has got to outweigh the bad, right?

The heft of that necklace reminds me of all the good we are doing.

In this together,

Here’s to health and wellness,  cheers!

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.

 

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.