haPPY, healing, health, husband, love, Uncategorized

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!

direction, goodness, gratitude, Uncategorized

under a common moon

Mr. Right said, come out here and look at the moon.  Okay,  but I was just out there not 10 minutes ago.

The night was pitch black, a bracing cold that sent a chill right to my bones.  Okay, not “Vermont” cold, but very cold for Washingtonians.

orange-moonOh, that moon.  Sort of took my breath away.  Bathed in a wash of orange color.  Huge and round and gorgeous.  Yes, I am more of a night owl admirer than I am a morning sunrise girl.

Years ago, when Mr. Right would be gone away for weeks at a time during the military, sometimes, I would step outside of our military housing (just so you know,  it’s so quiet outside a house with two little boys inside) just on the porch.  I would look up at the sky and take a deep breath and know we were sharing the same moon.  No matter where he was in the world, we were under the same common moon.

I felt somehow better and would go back in for another round of being a mom (and dad), home school teacher, referee, cook, laundry lady, story time lady …. and on the list went.

I can’t seem to get a handle on balance and calm lately.  I am trying every trick in the book to push the blues back and keep on a steady keel.

When I stepped out and looked at that gorgeous moon, I sort of felt this rush of people who were out there under the same moon.  It helps me to remember there are other humans dealing with the exact same things I am.

There is  a group of people who are worried and fretting about healing and wellness.  There is a group of people out there who have lost friends and loved ones & are grieving.  There are a passel of folks out there, under the common moon, who are trying to center themselves and find solid ground. Trying to find happiness and purpose and direction.

All of a sudden, I don’t feel so alone.

Finding and celebrating people who have chosen to heal naturally and who are thriving. People out there who have to figure out how to keep taking daily medicine every single day. People who don’t think I am crazy for studying and researching an hour a day.

I tell myself and smile, there is a big group of people who are quietly not judging me.  Quietly cheering me on and lifting up my spirit.

I felt like seeking out other pet owners who are trying to learn how to live gracefully with an aging pet.

In a good way, I felt humbled and happy to step into the corner of people who were trying to regroup and renew their faith in their choices and people they surround themselves with.

When you are looking up, you can’t really see the color, nor age, nor political choice of the person next to you.   Big huge announcement, no one (with any intelligence whatsoever) cares.  

What we do care about are that the people we stand with are kind, considerate, thoughtful, silly, educated, giving and just plain nice to be with.

No one, I repeat, no one wants to stand under the same moon with a person who acts like  a worm.

I haven’t felt much like writing.

Thanks for waiting and checking back.  I have been wondering, trying to find my direction. Dipping my toes in crafts and books and being a home body.    No one wants to read dull, dreary, sad-faced writing. Heck, this writer doesn’t want to write dull and dreary lines.

Some of the best days lately have been texting, talking, emailing,  sending letters to my boys and girls.  All four kids are over 30 years old.    Ha, even when I am 90 years old, they will still be my boys & girls.  70 something men & women, who will have even more developed senses of humor and intelligence and good manners.  Even though they live many states away, we are under a common moon.

My sister-in-law and friends live thousands of miles away, we are under a common moon.

Mr. Right has to work late, this time of year, we are under a common moon.

You will find me there.  Standing under the moon tonight, my beautiful sweet dog next to me…. throwing good wishes up and catching all the goodness that is thrown my way.

In this together, friends, under a common moon.

Chat soon, promise.

moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooking, friends, friendship, garden, Uncategorized

5 star soup, 10 star chef

Ah, the soup. The flavors were spot on.  You could taste layer upon layer of flavor building.  It started with a well crafted vegetarian broth.  A sprig or two of rosemary, a couple stems of thyme and a few choice pieces of parsley, all freshly picked from the garden, added to the broth to simmer in the background for another hour or so.

Once the flavors developed in the broth & herbs removed, gorgeous chunks of zucchini, garlic and onion were added.  The heat was gently brought up to a simmer.  The vegetables were allowed to play together, absorb and share their glorious flavors.   As soon as the onion and zucchini were easy to pierce with a fork…. out came the immersion blender.  The chef did it on slow and took her time.  She made sure all the timber was blended well.  Next,  3 heaping spoonfuls of lush sour cream was added.  The immersion blender reappeared and was once again instrumental in producing a creamy soup, almost silky in texture.  You could see the steam rising. 20160802_122906-1_resized

The bowls were heated before the chef used a ladle to gently ease the subtle green colored liquid silk into each.

20160802_123013-1_resizedThe garnish was quickly, yet thoughtfully applied.  Grated Parmesan, freshly snipped chives, fresh, stunning green pea shoots,  a couple of garden fresh picked peas, a chive flower and a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper. 20160802_122833-1_resized

The offered bowl of soup was a feast for the eyes.

That first bite.  Eyes closed, the warm, creamy liquid did a slow dance in our mouths just a moment before it slid down our throats.  I just barely caught the slight salt of the cheese garnish and the bite of the fresh pepper.  The mingling of savory delights was a symphony of flavors any restaurateur would be more than proud to offer to their guests.

Well done.  5 star good.

Yes, that good.

A simple, elegant lunch, however I thought I could going on eating that delicious offering all afternoon. I knew I would remember that meal for some time.

Oh, did I mention the creator’s name?  I am proud to say my friend, Chef Natalie, age 10.

You read that correctly.  AGE 10.

Because of her parents, she is respectful, smart, thoughtful, curious and a hard worker. She is over the moon enthusiastic and eager to learn, as much as she can, as fast as she can.

20160802_094355-1_resizedI had the privilege of spending the day with her.  Somehow, just by working side by side, she elevates the game.  You bring your A game, because, well, quite honestly, she is watching your every move.

She is serious.  Oh sure, she has an infectious laugh, is quick-witted and asks purposeful questions.  Don’t for one moment, let your guard down and causally  think this is child’s play.  This is the real deal.  She listened to and wanted to learn how to use a Coco-Jack to open a young coconut.  She was listening to every single safety rule about how to use the immersion blender.  She was already comfortable with the Blend-Tec, food processor and Kitchen-Aid.

We tied our hair back, we put on fresh aprons, we wore closed toe shoes, we washed our hands again and again and again.  We tasted and then flipped the spoon around and used the handle to taste again.  We went through a drawer full of spoons and I folded 11 freshly laundered kitchen towels this morning.  We worked the day through. 20160802_121402-1_resized

She made a meal for her family. Eyes on the prize.  Serving her brother, Dad and Mom a meal she could be proud of.  She never once lost focus.  She is fierce and determined.  She served them an appetizer, a soup course, the main meal and a dessert to finish.

The day began for us with glorious smoothies using fresh young coconut and the water, strawberries, mango, spinach and lime.  Chefs need to be well nourished so they can concentrate on cooking well for others.

The days’ list unfolded like this:

Smoothies

Zucchini Soup

Chihuly Salad

Pot Stickers

Molasses Cookies

She picked & gathered green beans, tomatoes, radishes, herbs and a fresh egg. She learned about and started a batch of sprouts in the kitchen.

It was a full day of learning, giggling & oodles of fun.  It was the good kind of tired.  You know?  So tired from cooking all day, yet somehow re-energized with pure joy and enthusiasm to serve the meal to your family.

I was the sous chef.  I helped and washed dishes. I scrubbed carrots, beets and a pear.  I washed bok choy & spinach.   I sent pictures to mom and dad throughout the day. I got out fresh kitchen towels, different tools, appliances and kept things moving along our time line.

When she says “I made pot stickers”.  She really means, she chopped the ingredients, made the savory filling, learned to make dumplings and took 46 home to her family.  The chefs in the kitchen each got to cook and sample one.  Oh, be still my heart.  Lush, moist filling inside a plump, perfectly steamed dumpling wrapper. Oh yeah, she made pot stickers and a lovely sauce to serve alongside.

*Housekeeping note:  Because my friend is under 18, I asked for and received permission from her parents to share these pictures.

I wanted to write this post as sort of a thank you to my friend.  I loved spending the day together.  The day flew by and I can’t remember smiling as much as I did.    Then I got to thinking.  I wanted to share this because, it’s what many of us are looking for.

You know when we (grown up adults) all sigh and complain that we are not sure what our mission is, or what our calling is?

Maybe, just maybe our calling is to be the “sous chef”?  Maybe, our mission is to lift someone else up and help them stretch up on their tippy toes, while they stand on a kitchen stool to reach their potential?

May you be a “victim of Grace” as I was.  While washing dishes and gently reminding a young chef to keep their fingers curled under while using a mighty big knife…….may you be gobsmacked by the Grace and Goodness of a young person who is looking to you.

In this together friends, all covered and splattered with grace.

Bon Appetit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hope, Uncategorized

angel among us

This US Army family celebrated a retired Air Force Colonel on the Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 4th, as our American flag gloriously swayed in the breeze , our yard edged and mowed, the beautiful bunting was hanging proudly with the anticipation of a bar-b-que, blackberry pie and a huge fireworks display to come, we remembered a man.

Bill Henderson

My husband wrote these words about him:

“Today the world said goodbye to Bill Henderson.  If you don’t know who Bill was then you’ve never fought cancer naturally.  Bill offered us hope when we had none and literally saved Mrs. Right’s life.  Though we never had the honor of meeting Bill, he had a profound and deep impact on our lives.  Sometimes there are angels among us, and now he is home.  You literally saved thousands of lives Bill and we all benefited from your calm wisdom and your generous spirit.  Rest in Peace.” 

Some of you know my story, some may not.

January 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (No, I did not forget to capitalize those letters.)  I can assure you that I know exactly, the number of days it has been.  For the sake of story telling, let’s just say, 3.5 years since I heard those words?  Lots of words, lots and lots of words, buckets of panic, fear and pressure. I cannot put into words the urgency in which the doctor laced the words “you have probably one year”.

The neighbor man said, “don’t worry, you might have 3 good months left”.  “Friends” were afraid and jumped ship quickly. People I did tell, did not know what to say, so they didn’t say anything to me.  They asked Mr. Right questions…..what stage is it?, where is it located?, how long does she have?, when does treatment start?……………………..They all assured him they needed to know these things so they could pray for me.  What?

In the first year, other than my family, 2 people stopped by to say hello.  Don’t misunderstand, people cared.  They sent cards and some emails.

cancer scares the HELL out of people and they didn’t want to be around it.  Once a medical person put on gloves to come in and do paperwork!  I even was brave enough to ask her if she thought she would catch what I have.  She didn’t answer.  sigh.

Fear is a heavy, heavy blanket.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know exactly where I am going when I am finished with this life.  I am counting on it!  I am trying to live a life with that destination in mind.

I just had this feeling that I had some life left to live.  I have a husband to adore, love & take care of, children to bother and grands to fuss over and smoother with hugs & kisses and presents and homemade treats and…  I just had an inkling that I wasn’t quite through with my mission.

I was afraid of the medical procedures.  Not just the pain and humiliation.   I was raised with some radically different religious beliefs, so the medical procedures were not something I was gung-ho about. I did not want to be poisoned to achieve healing.

Shaken to my core and on my knees, I made the decision to say no thank you.  No thank you to chemotherapy and radiation.            I learned that chemotherapy and radiation have a 97.4 % chance of NOT working with breast cancer, not healing, not helping.   I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do.

While I can tell you exactly where I was standing, what I was wearing and what I was doing when I made those choices, in no way did I feel fierce or brave or courageous.

I felt beaten. I had no hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Enter Bill Henderson.

FB_IMG_1467780683045 (1)He was the first person to offer me hope.

HOPE

Hope is a mighty powerful gift. 

Yes,  always  Mr. Right, some of my family and a couple of friends believed in my decision……..everyone else was extremely polite, friendly, fake supportive, yet thought I was crazy ( and most likely still do)  CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs crazy for choosing the path less traveled. Many prayed for me to “see the light” and just get the treatment, just take the pill.

Bill offered up solutions, many, many solutions.  He offered up education, research,  ideas, kindness, quiet strength, vision, a road map to health & wellness and most of all he offered the golden ticket, HOPE.  He believed in my decision. He said, sure you can do this, come on, I’ll show you.

Ty Bollinger wrote a powerful tribute to Bill.  You can read it here:      https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/bill-henderson-cancer-tribute/?gl=582827493

I am healing.  Each day, I get a bit stronger.  Every once in a while, I have set backs.  Yeah, they knock the wind out of me.  I am not yet ready to shake the world by the tail and scream at the top of my lungs, look at me.

What I am ready to do is offer HOPE.

Bill Henderson gave it to me.  Free.  No strings attached.  If you ever, ever, ever need a person to offer up hope, call me.  I will be there if I can or at least talk your ear off on the phone or make you ask the question, “how many words can one person type while texting?”……No matter what the trouble, diagnosis, issue……..I am your person.  I will offer hope.  Yes, even when everyone else has let you down, I won’t.

The biggest lesson of my life so far. Offering another human being, Hope.

I was thrown a life line.  I grasped it.  It kept my head above water.

Bill Henderson saved my life.

I am grateful.  I will live a life of gratitude for all the days of my life.

In my heart I KNOW, Bill heard the words that he so deserved:

Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grace, grandchildren, grateful, haPPY, healing, hope, Uncategorized

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.

 

friends, grateful, hope

messy hope

My camp circle is huge.

You know what a camp circle is, right?  People you’d hang out with around a camp fire.  Relaxed.  Wild and messy hair hidden behind bandanas.  Dirty fingernails from rearranging rocks.  Really dusty sneakers from exploring an easy hiking trail.  Ripped and faded jeans.  Smiles.  No lipstick.  Rosy cheeks from the heat of the camp fire.  Everyone seems to have a stick.  Either to toast something or to stare aimlessly into the flames and watch the end glow red.

411a2ff02c5ce5dea2124c81db0b8193Those few people in your life that help you remember there is hope.  Just by the sound of their voice you can hear the courage they are sharing, the smile they are sharing.

One of my fellow campers lives 3,024.6 miles away.

Another sweet camper lives 3,046.2 miles away.

One more smiling camper lives 2,537.6 miles away.

Life get’s messy.  I don’t have to explain that to anyone. Well, anyone who is willing to buckle up and brave enough to jump on the roller coaster.  If you hide out and not jump in and get your hands dirty, then life isn’t so messy.

Maybe that’s it?  You don’t have to explain anything messy to your dear friends.  You just need to hear their voice and borrow a little bit of courage from them.  Just take a smidgen of hope from their voice.

I don’t want to live on the edges of other people’s happiness.  I want to take a bit of their happy and mix it in with the happy that I have and create this huge swirling stock pot of messy, delicious goodness.

I want to find reasons to celebrate every single day.  If something spectacular isn’t happening in my neck of the woods on any given day, I want to look for something to celebrate.

20150825_160252-1I want to spend the day making cedar shoe inserts to celebrate someone moving into a new apartment.  She loves shoes.  She loves her new closet.  She loves purple.  How on earth could I not celebrate and get a little of that happy on me?

I want to celebrate my friend’s 20150826_132924-1 (1)new grand on the way!

I want to celebrate my friend’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

I think celebrating with others, just increases the joy.  1e26fe6b4984b32b5d9ff7f5150dfadb

I am mighty grateful and I appreciate my disheveled, bandana wearing fellow campers.

They share their good and their bad with me.  My mind swirls and twirls and I celebrate or cry with them.

Some days, I am not yet strong enough to hold them up and come up with brilliant ideas to help them.

Sometimes, when that text comes in or the phone rings, I just smile and gather a bit of hope and am stronger and I move forward with a little skip in my step.

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky , grateful girl I am?

grace, grateful, haPPY, healing

looking for Hope

The thing about finding out you are extremely ill is that “planning” takes on a whole new meaning.    Looking ahead is something you have to really work towards. Giving yourself the gift of actually picturing yourself doing something in the future.

I am not quite brave enough  to plan a big expensive cruise in two years, because “what if, we have to cancel & loose money”?  I don’t really plan next years’ Thanksgiving celebration or 3 years ahead to a special anniversary date….what if….. what if….

Heck, at first, I had a hard time planning for next week or next month.   I am learning.  It seems like baby steps, but each one builds on the next.  I am building up my hope.  I can feel it bit by little bit.

Mr. Right invited me on a date for this December.  I feel like a school girl.  I already have the dress.  Now, I need shoes and some sparkly jewelry.  Yes, a real date.  The tickets are bought.  It is going to happen.  He believes.  He hasn’t stopped believing.  No question about it, it is going to happen.    Husbands are like that.  Unconditional hope.

Looking forward…………

Healthy enough to look forward…………

Last year my brother and sister-in-law, planned to have us visit for a week in December.  I planned and worked towards that one perfect goal.   It was such a wonderful accomplishment.

We have a trip planned to meet a new Grand.  I work towards that one goal every single day.

We have another trip planned early next year to go hug our grandgirlies.  I think about it every single day.  I am going.  I will be strong and healthy.  Healthy enough to carry in lots of wrapped presents for pretty girls.  Healthy enough to read until my voice is raspy.  Healthy enough to go to the park and cheer them on.  Healthy enough to treat them to a frozen yogurt treat.  A ton of planning but oh so worth it.

To be honest, in the beginning and even now, friends stopped invited me to things.  Who knew if I would be able to attend or be well enough for a simple lunch date?  That’s okay.  I get it.  No one wants to cancel and rearrange plans.  The unknown is a bit scary to all of us.

Today, it happened.  Without any fanfare, without any warning.  Just a happy, causal phone call with a girlfriend.  No huge, earth shattering statement, just a casual comment.  “Okay, next year when we meet in the Poconos it will be so much fun.  So happy.  Okay, the leaves will be turning and we can enjoy the scenery.”

SKYTOP-LODGE_depth1The moment I hung up, it hit me.  She actually believes that I will be here next year.  She actually believes that I will be well and healthy and be able to travel across the country.  She actually believes that we will be sitting on the porch drinking cappuccino while the men folk go golfing.

No worry, no second guessing.  Just a fact.  In her mind, a totally done deal.

That’s what girlfriends do.  They give you unconditional HOPE.

Girlfriends do what no medical establishment or person can do.  They look forward and picture you together, sitting, laughing, giggling……….no doubt about it.  In their minds, it positively will happen.  No question about it.  done.  See you there.  I wonder what cute shoes I should wear?

Yeah, I wish every person reading this has the kind of girlfriend that offers hope.

The causal looking forward that only a girlfriend can give you.

See you in the Poconos.

I’ll be the one with cute shoes on.

Wouldn’t miss for the world.

imagesCAVRYUYL