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Six months!

Spring has sprung in the Rocky Mountains and the hubby and I decided to celebrate this weekend by taking a long, rambling, meandering drive through the countryside. As we were rambling through the back roads, reflecting on the renewed hope of spring, it occurred to me. What a landmark I hit this weekend. I made it to the six month mark! Everything I read when I first went gluten free told me that I would start to feel better at the six month mark, but that it takes six months to two years to get all the contaminants out of my life and out of my body. Those numbers felt like forever six months ago. At first, I felt so much better after three days, and two weeks, and a month, without gluten, that I could not imagine a profound change at the six month mark, because I had already had my profound changes. Whoa! If only I had known that those giant adjustments were just the tip of the iceberg. This weekend, I was showing my hubby the Celiac rash and how much it had changed for the better this week. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I had hit the six month mark and that was probably why such a drastic healing difference. I am sure you guys get so sick of hearing me talk about gluten all the time, but I am truly troubled by the detrimental impact that  it has on everyone, and I am surprised it is still a viable food source honestly. I was telling my friend a few minutes ago how its similar to asking for a heroin cookie for snack. And about as good for you too. Its discouraging to see so many completely dependent on this so called food source, and completely ignorant to the effect it is having on them. Even more discouraging is that the medical tests to define it are unreliable at best. So, even once someone accepts that it may be hurting them, they go to the Dr. for confirmation and he tells them, nope, no gluten intolerance, and they go right back to their old ways. There are over 200 symptoms of gluten intolerance, and I do not know one single person who doesn’t have any of the symptoms.

The most common ones I see daily are anxiety (why hasn’t anyone stopped to ask why anxiety is an epidemic these days?), headaches, lack of focus, lethargy, weight problems, and just basic minor complaints all over the body that are unidentified but most likely related. You can do a simple google search and connect almost every disease out there to gluten simply by typing in “gluten intolerance and (insert ailment here)”. You will find that just about every single ailment on the planet is affected by gluten in a negative way. The stuff is horrid. And that is just the beginning of it. That does’t touch on things like nitrates and dyes and preservatives. It doesn’t go anywhere near talking about pesticides and genetically modifying our food sources. Our food is toxic and it is keeping us apathetic and miserable and I spend my days wondering how I can do something about it, so here I am, utilizing the only voice I know at the moment, to try to get your attention. It won’t stop if the people don’t know. In the six months that I have been gluten free, I have seen a huge change in the market. I am guessing that within ten to twenty years, the gluten will have been streamlined out of our diets altogether. Much like the FDA finally released information stating that vaccines CAN cause autism, I suspect that it won’t be but a few more years until they finally admit that gluten is toxic. There is twice the gluten free food available to me in the store than there was six months ago. The transition is happening, and it cant happen fast enough.

I know people roll their eyes at me, they think I am just another faddy foodie, jumping on the gluten free bandwagon. One guy in the grocery store not long ago, told me that gluten is good for you, that it “puts hair on your chest”. I wanted to tell him that he was right, being a hormone disruptor, it probably would put hair on my chest, but being a woman, I am not sure that is what I want in my food. I think the hardest thing for me to face, aside from breaking the addiction, was the concept that people would think I was high maintenance, a faddy foodie just making life hard for dining establishments. Trying to fit in. Oh I am an eccentric. I have never cared much about fitting in, and I had a lot of shame to face in this area. Now, I shamelessly go on and on about this toxin. It is so bad for us. For everyone. And never have I found a topic that people have more excuses for. The reality is, they don’t realize that their fear comes from addiction. They don’t realize how much better they can feel, and they are terrified of a life without gluten.

It is true that eating gluten free can be quite expensive, but I have thoughts on this also. That was one of my biggest excuses too. What I found is that I buy and waste way less food, and I appreciate the food I do have way more. I have also found that as I see the market for gluten free food increase, the prices go down. I can go to the specialty food aisle and buy a gluten free brand of pasta for five dollars, or I can look in the regular food aisles and find gluten free pasta made by the major name brands for a third to half the price as the “fancy” brands. Also, when I eat healthy food, I need way less. Gluten makes us feel full, but not because we are nourished. Eating whole foods, I require much less to feel and stay satisfied.

I have had a drive to grow my own food for some time now, but being gluten free increases that drive, for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, I want to reduce the cost of my groceries. Secondly, the garden food is so much tastier, and thirdly, gluten is everywhere. Because it has been modified to resist pests, it is often used in organic pesticides, which makes organic vegetables a risk for me. How does one find the lesser evil when being forced to choose between vegetables that may have gluten residue on them, or foregoing the chance of contamination, and giving in to pesticide ridden produce?

And so I grow. I grow and grow and grow, in an attempt to free myself from the vicious cycle of supermarket food and having to choose which food is the lesser evil. Isn’t that sad? That I have to decide which food is the lesser evil when I shop. That God gave us food as nourishment and medicine and when we buy groceries we are weighing the contamination and toxicity factors? A quick internet search on what the Bible says about genetically modifying our food will be eye opening. God gave us perfect food, and silly humans just had to go and change it up. When will we learn that we can’t do it better than God?

Oh, it is just that kind of day. I had a lovely ending to sum this piece up nicely, when wouldn’t you know, the site started acting up. It won’t save, it lost half the post when I tried to publish, and you know, all of the lessons that go against the whole point of this post, which is really convenience. It is all about patience. All about taking a deep breath and refusing to be defeated. All about exposing convenience for what it really is. Convenience is a lie. It does a good job at pretending to make life better, but it does the exact opposite. It steals our joy and gratitude. It dumbs down the senses.

Gluten is like that. It pretends we love it. It pretends to be a good thing. It sucks us into its grips and convinces us that life would not be better without it. Convenience doesn’t make life better, it just appears to do so. When we take time to do things well, to stop and be present, to be aware what we are putting into our lives and our bodies, that is what gives us a bountiful life. That is what gives us health and gratitude. How often is convenience toxic? How often is it a sacrifice for something better, healthier, or more nourishing?

Convenience has stolen our patience, and in doing so, it has stolen the joy from so many aspects of life. Convenience has trained us all into believing that we must go faster, try harder, climb higher.

I promise you, that if you choose a less convenient route, you will find yourself more fulfilled at the end of the day. Much like gluten makes us feel satisfied and full momentarily, then leaves us feeling empty and seeking more, so will convenience. So often people talk about wanting to just slow it down. The first way to tackle that is by foregoing the quick fixes and fast solutions. Patience gives us appreciation and humility.   It forces us to be present and to do things in healthier ways rather than compromising for a quick solution.  If you want to end your day feeling nourished, start by looking what conveniences you can forego. What compromises have you made in order to “fit it all in”?

The rise of illness, especially in the mental health field, is staggering. In a time when we have so much convenience, so much technology and information available to us, how does it make sense that we are sicker and unhappier than we have even been as a population? We are divided, hateful and shameful. Killing our brothers and sisters in the streets. Taking more than we are willing to give. Blaming and shaming everyone who doesn’t agree with us. In a time of plenty, people are getting less and less of their needs met. We get out what we put in. From our food, to our behaviors, everything is a result of what we put in. If our food is toxic, out bodies will be unhealthy. If our behavior is toxic, our relationships will be unhealthy. If convenience is our defining factor, entitlement will be what we get out of it.

How is convenience stealing from you? How can you take the time to prioritize foregoing one convenience for something richer and more fulfilling today? You will find that you have more gratitude, more fulfillment, and more humility at the end of the day. You will appreciate the fruits of your labor far more when you take the time to be present and make conscious decisions about the difference between convenient and healthy. Can you trade in your highly processed existence for one that is more fulfilling and nourishing?

 

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Politics of food

Good morning my friends!

I hope this morning finds you full of blessings and joy. The Spring fever continues here, but today it seems that there may be a little sun.  What is more thrilling, however, is the lack of wind. Oh I know wind is important, but boy does it disrupt me to the core. I didn’t bring a subject to the table today. I imagine that is because politics are on my mind, and I rarely discuss politics here. I find myself needing to process some thoughts though, and this seems like just as good a place as any.

You are probably thinking, “Oh crap, not here too”. But fear not. It is not my intention to discuss the president, his cabinet or followers, or any other aspect of the current political minefield. I am thinking about other politics. That being said, it is the division in this country that has me feeling a need to process, without a safe place to do so. Anything I say that is politically charged has the potential for the negative feedback that I come here to avoid. I do think that the government has much to gain from dividing us. I do believe that the only thing that is going to unite us is a major catastrophe. I do lean a little to the paranoid side when I look around at our current situation. I have never been the doomsayer type, I tend to think on the positive side of things. That being said, this tin hat I am wearing lately is getting pretty comfortable.

What I am stuck on is the mental health side of things. I think the real problem we are seeing is a lack of mental health. Lately I have been pondering the reasons that our overall mental health is so low. As far as I can tell, this is environmentally driven. I am not talking about global warming here. What I mean is that our environments have become so toxic that is becomes difficult for people to get their basic needs met.

Food. Its such a huge issue, lets start there. We have modified our food system so drastically that it hardly seems like food anymore. The last couple of days I have seen a lot of comments on social media about children, ten and eleven years old, having full blown anxiety attacks. This troubles me so much. What is happening in our world that ten and eleven year old children have that much to worry about? Anxiety is for adults! And even the occurrence of adult anxiety has risen so much that it is clear there is at least one underlying factor. I think it starts with diet. I wanted some affirmation of this, so I asked my kid. When he was a child, I ate just like the rest of the country. We relied on a highly refined diet. For several reasons. It was how I was raised. It was all I knew. It seemed (and is) far cheaper. Convenience, and being a busy, tired, overworked single mom made this really seem like the only path available. And frankly, I was young, fairly physically healthy, and just saw the whole food craze as a foodie fad. My child had sensory issues, I lived in apartment complexes that didn’t allow for me to discover the joy that is gardening. Or so I thought. In the last few years though, I have seen the light. Over and over in all of his different therapies, people would recommend I change my child’s diet to affect his multiple neurological disorders. Of course, at this time in my life, I just felt that they had no idea how impossible that would be for me to pull off, given our special set of circumstances. Sigh. Good ole hindsight. If only I knew then what I know now. My health forced me to eat my words. Around my mid thirties, it seemed like my life went to hell in a hand-basket. I remember being a child. A teen. And watching my mom put on a pair of rollerblades. At the time I was active in gymnastics and a fairly coordinated child. Naive. But coordinated. I recalled thinking something to the effect of “I will never be that clumsy” HaHaHa. Naive is the perfect word. Let me tell you. I think I was 34 when I decided to get a pair of rollerblades to exercise my dogs, and let me also tell you that I flashed right back to that childhood moment. Only this time, I was my mom. My child was watching me flail around clumsily on a pair of rollerblades for the first time in what must have been fifteen or twenty years. Ahhhh hindsight. And this is when it hit me. I am not the young spry thing I once was, and if I didn’t get my butt on the health bandwagon, I was going to be one very unhappy old lady. I learned about walking and exercise, and I started herb gardening, but I was still totally in the dark about my eating habits, and I honestly just didn’t even think that buying whole and organic foods was even an option. My instincts told me that genetically modifying food was dangerous, but it was only instinct and emotion. I had no facts to back it all up.

In this time I had found stability, and met a fantastic man who had become my best friend over the years. It was easy to be friends, there was no pressure. We just weren’t each others “type”, and so it was easy to accept each other for exactly who we were. You know where this is leading right? I married that man. Turns out we were exactly each others “type”, we just had to grow up and figure it out. The point is, that as we went through the days and weeks and months together, we started to notice things. He had a hard job and his hands were hurting him far more than a young mans hands should hurt. I did some research and made him a homemade hand cream to help ease the pain. We started noticing other pains that seemed illogical. Gentle touches from him physically hurt my muscles. I was slowly losing focus and ambition. I was once an active social person, and while I was perfectly content and satisfied, I kept lamenting, “If I didn’t know better, I would self diagnose with depression”.  The problem was, I wasn’t emotionally depressed. Something else must be going on. All the while I was slowly becoming aware of toxins. I had started making homemade body products, and while I loved feeling like I was eliminating toxins, I really didn’t understand yet and for me it was about what I was creating. It was like cooking, or baking, or crafting. A joy. A source of fun. I still did not understand how much I would end up desiring this as a way of life. I went about my life. One day at a time, growing foggier, more sluggish, seeing all types of little aches and pains that just didn’t make sense for my age, and little by little, I learned about environmental toxins.

I am interested in so many things, that I am constantly on some kind of new learning adventure. I absolutely love creating things, from food to crafts, my interests vary greatly. I am curious by nature. I want to know about everything I can. Knowledge is power, but more importantly, life is short and knowledge allows me to get the most out of the short time I do have here. I am honestly baffled by people who are content to sit with the knowledge they have, and not have a desire to expand it. Remember a few days ago when I talked about hindsight? Well, through the years of raising a special needs child, actively seeking mental and physical health for both of us, I learned a whole lot of tidbits here and there about environmental toxicity, and it all came together for me just a few short months ago. I got my boy healthy and well adjusted. We worked hard and saw a lot of specialists, but we were living around illness, not fighting it. Recently, my husbands business partner learned that he had an autoimmune disorder and they started researching food and toxins, as he was told that diet change was the only answer to his newfound pain. This is a story that could take a post of its own. For today, lets just say it was an adventure in starvation and food deprivation as they learned how to eat whole foods on the road.

We learned about our food system. The horrors that we learned about, piled on top of the tidbits that we had already become aware of in our quest to figure out why my health was declining so rapidly. And, we halfheartedly followed a whole food diet. We were learning things about our food that were hard to hear, and harder to believe. Nitrates? Used as hog poison? Seriously? What are they doing in our food??? Dyes, pesticides, hormones, Sulphates, preservatives, emulsifiers. Not only are we poisoning ourselves, half the time it is just to make our food look nice. On top of adding all these things to our food, we are also genetically modifying it. Now I don’t care what you believe as far as creation goes, it still stands to reason that we are tampering with a system that was not meant to be tampered with. Food was never meant to hurt us. It was meant to nourish us, in many instances, even be medicine to heal us. As I set my sights on a small homestead, and started taking the steps to be more self sufficient, I also gained tidbits about the commercialized, processed, way of life I had been living. The life most Americans are still living. I will never forget the day the lightbulb came on about freshness. It was late Fall, my in laws were visiting, and I had purchased some beets to roast with our dinner. I took one bite, and I can still feel my face scrunch up. Hubby took notice and asked what was wrong. I told him the beets taste awful and asked why they were so flavorless? As the answer  occurred to him, his face turned to compassion and with a knowing grin he gently replied “Honey, these beets did not come from your garden”

And it was sinking in. I had discovered ferments and ancient food preservation. I had learned about soil quality and the streamlining of produce in the markets. I had learned about the difference in the quality of fresh farm eggs compared to store bought eggs, of any variety. Don’t go buy the expensive, fancy organic, vegetarian, store eggs looking for the difference. You won’t find it. Rather, seek some locally produced eggs, just once, and you will see the difference. You will also see that it is worth every penny of the price increase.

Back to the business partner. As the guys tried to follow a whole diet on the road, we tried to continue that practice at home, on the weekends. They learned more about food. I learned more about food. The dangers hidden in our mainstream food system were presenting around every corner now. But this was my husbands journey, and when he left on Monday, I went right back to my less healthy habits. After being gluten deprived for three days (they were on an elimination diet, and grains are not part of the first month), as soon as he left, I went on a binge. Waffles, Bagels, grilled cheese. You name it. If it was bread, I wanted some. That first night I had the worst migraine, and I started to see what gluten was doing. Though at this point I still had no idea that I would soon find out that I had Celiac disease. I believe that this halfhearted elimination is what led me there. Taking it away, then giving it back like a vicious cycle, my body responded out loud. If you have Celiac, you probably know what Dermatitis Herpeteformis is. It took me over a year to figure out what that damned rash was! I tried everything I could think of to treat the darn thing. From essential oils to medicated OTC creams. I tried everything. Nothing helped. Heat, stress, and Iodine of all things, aggravated it. When I finally found out what it was, I stopped all treatments and strictly avoided gluten. Within three days I was seeing more relief in this rash than I had seen with any previous treatment. And so, I dove into learning about gluten. Good grief! Gluten hurts everyone! Whether you realize it or not. Do a five minute search and you will be horrified at what you learn! It is in everything. It targets opiate receptors. Your reluctance to be learn about gluten, that comes from physical addiction. We have overdosed ourselves with gluten. Some studies say it is due to genetically modifying it. Some say it is the pesticides that are found on it from the farming practices. I suspect it is a little of both. Think about it. comfort foods are typically baked goods. Why do you suppose that is? Go look for yourself, don’t take my word on it.

Our diet has changed drastically, in the form of tiny baby steps. One day I learned about ferments. One day I learned about fresh eggs. One day I learned about streamlined produce, and slowly, with baby steps our diet changed. Unrecognizable from ten years ago. After seeing multiple comments on Facebook this week about children having anxiety attacks, I started thinking about what could be causing this. My own child was diagnosed with severe anxiety, but I chalked it up to his other neuro disorders, and his dad being gone. He had a fairly stressful childhood as we both battled for stability. Never really thought much about it until recently. So Last night, as I was dwelling on this, I asked him if he had noticed a difference in his anxiety levels since our diet changed. He is an adult now, and no longer on anxiety meds, and his answer was still yes.

This is the tip of the iceberg. We live in a fast paced society, where convenience is equated with success. I was going to write about basic needs, pace of society, and diet. I was going to write about how technology has affected our perspective of convenience and instant gratification. I was going to talk about exercise, wiggly kids and heavywork. I had a lot of environmental issues in mind as I started this post. However, I think that the topic of food has taken enough of your precious time. I keep going back to the food. I think our food is a major component in the lack of physical and mental health we see today. Peoples basic need for real nourishment cannot be met in this toxic food system. Maybe food is enough for today. It is a big topic. Maybe you will feel inspired to look into it a little. Maybe you will look up just one preservative or one dye to see how it is affecting you and your family. I think I will save the other environmental toxins for another day. Today, I hope you humor me, and go learn one detail about where your food comes from, and what might be being added to it. You just might find yourself inclined to take a baby step. Alternately, for a fast glimpse at the streamlining of our food system, take a gander at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed web page for an idea how little variety is left in our mainstream food. It may shock you to see the variety you are missing out on. At very least, it is fascinating to see some of the produce that you never even knew existed. I love reading the stories about where some of the most unique seeds come from. Who knew? Certainly not me. I hope I haven’t bored you with my food system rant. I hope you feel inspired to learn something new today, and I hope you will join me tomorrow, as I try to dissect some of the environmental issues that are causing such a breakdown in so many people. Have a most blessed day, and eat something healthy!

Where does your food come from?

Hello my friends! I hope today finds you comfortable and full of gratitude. I am thinking about food today. I am full of humility and gratitude as I thank God for the birds that we slaughtered today. I found myself in a spiral of thought about food. Specifically our relationship with our food. I wonder how much the world would change if people still had to slaughter their own food?
This isn’t the first time the notion has crossed my mind. It started with the garden. I started out as a whim gardener. I had lots of houseplants, I really loved growing stuff. I lived in a small rent controlled apartment and the best I could hope for when I started was a small windowsill herb garden. Each year my passion for growing food grew. It grew into an obsession. I went from buying the cheapest seeds and soil I could find, to an understanding of why I want to grow heirloom vegetables and the importance of quality soil. I discovered the variety that heirlooms offer, as well as sustainability. I discovered square foot gardening and lasagna gardening and raised bed gardening. I discovered how much better food grown in a garden tastes than the options available in our mainstreamed food system. I finally figured out why vegetables in the store taste so bland!
As I was learning about all this gardening business, I was also making a good friend with his own organic sustainable farm. Some of my favorite days are the ones we get to go to the goat farm. While there we are often blessed to be able to pick up some fresh eggs, unpasteurized milk, and butter. Delightful heavy cream butter. Some days he has so much milk that we get to bring enough home to make our own butter. A real treat! I learned how much differently my body responds to fresh food. To eggs straight from the coop, to fresh that day milk. I quickly saw and tasted the difference in all of these products, but what surprised me even more was the difference in how my body responded. No rumbling tummy from the eggs or dairy. No bloating or needing to run to the restroom after eating the eggs or drinking the milk. As a matter of fact. No fog, no bog. I actually could eat these foods and still feel good afterwards.
The best part though, is meeting the animals. Seeing the life they live. Knowing that they were raised happy and having met them, pet their heads, learned their names, I developed a relationship with my food. It is astounding how that changes you. The humility and gratitude that goes into seeing the life that provided your next meal. In knowing its name. My milk came from a cow with a name. My eggs came from the best lifestyle a chicken could hope for. That smoked goat? I knew his mom. If you have experience with having a relationship with your food, I am sure you understand this. As I talked with friends from the city today, and saw their response to the notion we were slaughtering our food, so many things occurred to me. One told me she would starve if she had to kill her own food. One told me she didn’t like cooking, it was too much work.
I have made no secret of the fact that I recently discovered that I have Celiac disease. I have done immeasurable research into gluten and of course that led me to a whole new world of trying to understand highly refined processed food. It is astounding to try to have a conversation with someone who does not have any education about highly refined foods. I remember being one of those people. The same eye rolls, and reasons why I could never eat a healthy, unrefined diet. Oh I wish I had listened sooner! The things I have learned would turn you off the grocery stores forever. Even organic vegetables run the risk of being contaminated with gluten, because it is used in organic pesticides. And if you take five minutes to do a quick perusal about gluten, you will never see food the same again. Plain and simple, it is easy information to find, the refined, mass produced food system that feeds our mainstream is toxic.
I find that the general population doesn’t want to know why watermelon doesn’t taste as good as it did twenty years ago. Why you can only buy orange carrots. Why all tomatoes are red. People don’t want to know that their boxed instant meals are killing them. People have no idea how bad bread smells once you quit eating it. Multiple people have referred to the smell of fresh baked bread. Little do they know that they are conditioned to enjoy that smell because they are addicted to the food. Break the addiction and it is actually a fairly repulsive odor. I can barely stand the bread aisle without gagging some days, and going into a fast food place that bakes their own bread is absolutely repulsive. Worse than the bread aisle. A smell I once thought I would die without, I now do everything in my power to avoid. When I first went gluten free, I tried hard to replace my breads. What I have found is that without the gluten, I actually don’t like bread, and it takes up so much space in my belly that I waste room for the good fresh foods I am trying to eat with it. I just don’t want bread anymore. Not even on my hamburgers. When I do find myself craving a little bread type product, crackers fill the need. The fluffier it is, the less I seem to enjoy it anymore.
So, what is your relationship with your food? The question presents itself in a day and age when society is struggling to find unity. A time when blessings are taken for granted and healthy food is a burdensome task. As I humbly thanked God for the lives of these birds this morning, I found myself wondering what would happen to society if we were all more connected to our food. What if we had to see the life drain out of its eyes? What if we had to count on the weather for our winter stores? What if we had to work with our neighbors to ensure that everyone in the community ate that day? What if we traded goat milk for eggs? And what if we had to barter with our neighbors for goods they produced and we didn’t? What if we had to survive a winter with meager pickings because it was a hot dry summer, or because a late season hail storm came through? What if we couldn’t just pop a frozen pizza in the oven and had to cook all of our food? What would happen to the dynamics of family, and community? Be honest, how many of you feel compelled to pray for your food each night? And how do you think that would change if you were responsible for the life that was feeding you? What if you had to give those chickens their scraps every morning, and build fences to keep the predators out while still allowing them ample play space? What if you had to go to sleep on a frigid cold night thinking about whether your animals were warm enough or not? Would this change your perspective of your food, and your neighbors? Would you take less for granted? Would you feel humility smack you in the face each day? What would it do to societies overall sense of entitlement, to not be able to turn up your nose and say “Cooking is too much work”? How would long hours in the sun weeding the garden, and long hot fall days canning vegetables and jam in the kitchen, change the way you see your food?
Somewhere deep in my heart, I have a notion that having a relationship with our food again would change everything. That we would have a whole new outlook on life, that we would choose different battles, and find ourselves with a whole new perspective. I believe it would increase our humility and gratitude. I think it would change our societies and communities, and I think we might see people get healthy again. This one simple notion, that you can, and possibly even should, have a relationship with your food, holds so many implications that I think it could change the downward spiral we are seeing in our world. I think it would change people to the core of who they are. I think it would strengthen communities and relationships. I think it would increase empathy and I think those are just a couple of the profound impacts. The health implications are huge. Food is meant to nourish you, not poison you. Imagine the breakthrough in both physical and mental health if we changed how we think about food as a whole. Finances would change, status would shift. The world would become unrecognizable compared to the world we live in today. Just imagine, what a relationship with your food could do in your heart and spirit, and then multiply it the world over. The changes we would see are remarkable to even fantasize at.
I hope I have left you thinking about food. Specifically, your relationship with food. I hope this rambling inspires you to think about what you are eating, and how it is affecting you. If you make one small change today, you will be surprised how different your diet looks in five years. baby steps. You cant change it all overnight. But one small change today will lead you to profound changes down the road. Today, I leave these words with hopes that you too want to find humility and gratitude and a healthy relationship with your nourishment. God bless, my friends! Until next time.
 

Ahhh, my friends, Fall is here. Well, this feels more like Winter, quite frankly. It has been snowing almost all week, and been quite beautiful at that. I have enjoyed every single flake that I have seen fall. There is so much going on, and I have been absent this last few days, but I found a moment to take a deep breath, and so, here I am. I had my eye on a place, and was feeling quite apprehensive about it, despite the fact that it was perfect for our needs. I had asked for them to work with me on a move in date, for Dec. 1, but she really wanted to rent it by Nov. 1. I knew we would not be ready by then, so I told her that if it was available on Dec. 1 we would take it, and if not, we would find something else. Today, I very apprehensively checked the rentals section, afraid that I would be devastated if it had been rented. Much to my surprise, when I looked and it was not there, I felt a huge sense of relief. Not only do I not have to worry about coming up with nearly 4000 dollars for December 1, but the Holidays are a terrible time to move, and ideally, January 1, would be a great move in date. I don’t believe in New years resolutions, but I do believe in new beginnings, and how fitting would it be to start the rescue ranch the first of the new year? Shocked and overwhelmed at the sense of relief that I have, waiting till January First, and oh, how pleased my husband will be to find that we dont have to move during the holidays. I have until January first to tie up some loose ends, and that is also a huge relief, plus, I just cannot packing this place up in a month, I just cannot fathom doing that, on top of everything else I am doing. We have a spay/neuter event on Nov. 10, that I am an on the planning committee for, and I have a potluck for my little friend with cancer tomorrow. I also have all this RMRR stuff I am trying to do, and a cancer awareness cookbook, and a few other fundraising type things. Good heavens. I feel like never in my life have I been attracted to technology, but never in my life, have I wanted a piece of equipment so badly. I feel a need to buy a tablet. Silly, I know. I have three different committees that I am on, a lot of meetings that I go to, and clients that I need to be able to bill on the go, and I am feeling like a tablet would go a long way in helping me organize it all, and keep it portable. I also have my Bible study to move forward on and well…its all a lot of details, really. Needless to say, I have been busy. Very, very busy. I definitely feel that it would be a business expense, but I am saving every penny, so I can get us into a ranch. I have made do with paper and pen this far in my life, never even really wanted anything but paper and pen, but dang, my binder has a lot of stinkin sections…its not very portable anymore, and well…you see where I am going with this. Anyway, I just might do it. Have to talk it over with the hubby, but I think it makes actual sense.

I have a lot on my mind with three non profits on my plate, and one just waiting in the wings for me to make time for them. I have business licenses and other connections to make. I have a whole lot of details going on. I am trying to do many, many things with my time, and my brain cannot see a list. It sees three lists, swirling around atop and below each other. A tornado of lists, if I may. I have tried to list them all, but the papers just stack up and I cant remember what I have written and what I still need. How do I get all of these details organized?

Once I get the three non-profits organized, I reach a place where I start thinking past them, to what comes after the event is established, and again find myself with a barage of details. Primarily with RMRR. I feel that as soon as I find a place, I need to start planning the respite and foster programs. I need to have everything in place for those to start right away, I need to plan the gardens and farmers market programs, quickly, cause planting is in march, at least for seed sets. I need to plan the RMRR store, and resource programs quickly also. Chickens won’t be far off, once spring rolls around it will be time to get them going. It feels like the next six months is going to be a blur, and yet, I have been waiting so long for this  that I am just as thrilled and patient as can be. Mostly, I am probably just too overwhelmed to be impatient. I can only assume God is using this opportunity to teach me how to juggle the many non-profit programs of my own that I intend to build. I finally found the courage today to make a phone call that I have been dreading. Nothing scary about it at all, I just couldn’t make myself call. Feels good to have faced that beast, and it turned out to be the kitten I thought it would be. Phew, check one more big one off the list.

I have this series of ideas I want to blog about. I learned a lot in therapy, and I think that a lot of people would be alot happier, if only they could grasp a few of these concepts. I also have some ideas about God and the Bible that I would like to share, some unique perspectives, I suppose. I feel as though I should do a “therapy” series. Maybe a “God” series. I certainly feel as though I should blog about some of the more important lessons I learned. A post specifically about being a “special needs mommy”. I always talk about my special needs child,a nd my special needs clients, but never do I talk about the ways in which I relate with these children, and I would like to explore the dynamic that happens when you learn just how easy it can be to “mentor” a special needs child when you understand treating people as individuals and letting go of expectations. I want to post about blame, and shame, and how we all like to think its “mom’s fault”. I would like to blog about shame, expectations, and codependency. I want to talk about the tools we have, and the “lizard brain”, or amygdala. I want to share a concept that was shared with me, and one that I heard someone repeat the concept to, in a very simple way, and how we all have different perceptions. I want to write a letter to all of the folks that I know who are fighting and fighting against simple, honest, real answers. To those who refuse to see whats in front of them, to the “can’t, won’t, but” folks out there. I want to make a plea for Jesus Christ, to those who have been shown, in such a misrepresentative way, what bits and pieces of the Bible say. I want to do so without condemning any organized religion. I want to talk about what it means to love Jesus,and quite frankly, a tiny bit of the anger of the denomination I was primarily raised in, well, that comes through, and I don’t wish to offend anyone. I want to talk to you about health, food, exercise, and a natural way of life, the way God intended.  So much I want to talk with you all about. Where does one start? What do you all want to read about? What are you curious about? Well, friends. Today, you can see, my mind is in a flurry. There is much that wants out, and the avenues for release are scarce at the moment. Until next time my friends…may your thoughts be organized and your days be blessed!

Over-stuffed

OK friends, time for some bitter, ugly, truth. I am making a life change, a big one, and I have to share, and to do so, I have to tell you some secrets. I decided I will bare all for a moment, let you have a peek at the private life of me, and well, if it inspires just one person, it was all worth it. Just hang with me as I let my guard down and show you some real, raw, me. I know that I have mentioned clutter before, but you don’t know how far it goes. I hate to say it, but I think between my husband and I, we are teetering on the brink of being able to call ourselves hoarders. That freaks me out. It all began several years ago. He and I were both raised very frugally, if it can be re-used or recycled, don’t throw it out. Also, being ever conscious of the growing concerns with out earth, its hard to throw anything out these days, for fear of making more problems, better to re-use it, save money and the planet, right? Ok, so back to where it starts. You now know that both sets of parents taught us to save it if we can. One is going through some clutter issues herself, so sends us as much of it as she thinks we can use. Her heart is in the right place, but I cannot manage it all. Anyway, So, My husband inherited a LOT of family stuff, as well as the stuff he had on his own, and the stuff my son and I had. When we merged our lives, the amount of STUFF became overwhelming. It doesn’t fit in our space. I have tried and tried for years, to find ways to organize, rearrange, and sort through all the stuff, but I get no-where. The clutter holds me back, keeps me from focusing, gives me a constant feeling of chaos and loss of control, but I am only one person, and it is the mostly unwanted stuff of seven people. UGH! Too stinkin much stuff. So, I made a huge decision this week. I decided that one room at a time, one week at a time, I am going to purge the room, pull everything out. EVERYTHING. I am sorting through it one piece at a time. I am sorting into want, garbage, don’t want, let hubby decide…and if he keeps, find a home for, I have piles and piles of stuff going out of my house. I have thrown away three contractors bags of stuff, given away hundreds of pounds of stuff to people who consider it treasure, rather than trash. I have lost at least two hundred pounds this week and it feels AWESOME!   My office got new carpet for my birthday, and I started there. I pulled it all out, and I confess, I still have a small pile to go through, but it was so easy to throw stuff away once the room was empty. I decided which furniture to put back, cleaned it all up, and then restocked it. It was easy to look at the new office, and look at the item in my hand, and say…I dont want to put this back in there…is it garbage, does it go in a different room, or should it belong to someone else. I have a big box of books to take to the used book store, and I feel as though I have control in that one little space. I LOVE IT! This week I start the kitchen and dining area. I think that the office and that area are the two most cluttered, overwhelmed spaces I have ever had to function in and they drive me nuts. I think I will have more control of everything in my life, I will be better at budgeting and I will be able to focus on the things I enjoy without the threat of chaos at any moment in the back of my mind. I am convinced that I will sleep better, and be more productive every day. I have had three days of clean, organized office, and I can already feel a difference in my spirit. I never wanted stuff. I have always been free of that burden, able to drop what I have at a thrift store and head out with a backpack on my back. As a parent, I don’t feel quite that free, nor do I have a real desire to take off like that. I enjoy my soft bed and hot shower, however, I don’t need a whole bunch of stuff to enjoy it, as a matter of fact, all this stuff is killing my spirit, but I never knew how to get a grip on it till last week when I finally got fed up, set my hubby down, and talked it out with him. He has been so supportive and helpful. Had the whole week off work and spent it helping me declutter…start over actually. Its wonderful! I recommend it if you struggle with the clutter of stuff. Once the room is the way you want it, its easy to say…ewww, why do I have this?

So, I have set a one room/one week goal. I aim to do a room a week. I think that the hardest two rooms will take that long, and the rest should be much quicker. I intend to take a day to steam clean each room also, so I have to allow for a day to move it all out and a day to clean it good, then I can start sorting and re-organizing it. Oh the freedom is wonderful. Everyone who comes in my house goes out with a big bag of stuff and it feels GREAT!

So, I ate a meal one time, I was over-stuffed, like too much food on Thanksgiving. It was awful, disgusting, and I hurt for hours. It ruined my appetite and I never ate like that again. I had dieted for years to no avail, but after that binge meal, my appetite changed so much that I lost thirty pounds naturally and have been stuck at a very healthy weight, maybe even a tiny bit underweight, since that day in 1994. The clutter in my home feels like that meal, like I am overstuffed and I never want to feel this way again…out it goes, anything that I haven’t used or can replace for under fifty bucks (within reason, obviously, I am keeping my wedding dress…).

I am making my husband take accountability for all the crap he and his family have shoved to the side over the years, and if he doesn’t want it he has to call his mom or it goes to goodwill. If I am not tied to it, he better claim it if he doesn’t want it to be re-homed or trashed. I am putting my foot down. He is gone at work all week, and I am responsible for the bills and budget, the meals, the home. I cannot manage it like this, and I am really unhappy trying, so here it is. Do you want it or should it go in the trash? Decide today, or I decide for you. I am so happy that he is being supportive in the whole endeavor, and I cannot wait till my home, the entire thing, feels as serene as my office does now. If I get rid of 200 pounds of crap per room (which I have far exceeded with the office) I will lose almost 2000 pounds of crap this next few weeks. Can you imagine? That is a lot of junk. I think I will get rid of more than that, but that is my goal! It might be hard to get rid of two hundred pounds each in the bathrooms, but I can make up for it in other area’s I am sure!

ANd, as for keeping up the energy to keep going with it…wow that Apple Cider Vinegar does good things. I spent a couple weeks drinking it, feeling kinda crappy, detoxing, and tired and grumpy. I now feel a WHOLE lot better in many ways, but I am sleeping like a champ. I have always slept well, but usually not till two or three am. Now, I am tired at ten thirty at night. I get up at five or six am, work hard all day, and get tons done, and fall into bed exhausted at ten o’clock, to wind down and wait for my child to sleep so I can. It’s amazing how normal and regular I feel. I also LOVE that. My dishes are done every night, I don’t look around saying, “I don’t feel like dealing with this today”. I am attacking the chaos in a nearly manic way, and staying charged, rather than binge cleaning and burning out. I have sustained. I am not binge cleaning, well, kinda, but not really. I stop to eat, I sleep the most normal hours ever, and I clean when I am awake. My aim is to get it cleaned and sorted enough that I can sit on my couch and put my feet up and sip a cup of tea without feeling anxiety that I should be cleaning. I have a two month goal. I will keep you all posted. Meanwhile…many blesssings my friends! Till next time…

 

Finding the way

Hello, and good day to you all! It’s been a while, as usual. Life is busy the first week of school, and I cannot deny that the end of summer burnout was really getting to me. So much running, people to see, places to be. Ugh. How I long for the crisp mornings of Autumn and the quietness that comes when everyone gets settled in for a new school year! Well, they are here! Oh Yes! I am thrilled. Today, it is crisp, fall, a grey day. Hard to tell if it is smoke from all the fires, or clouds, though. I am hoping its mostly clouds. It feels like a weird season for everyone. Most are displaced, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, or lacking focus. I find a great sense of peace knowing that  I am not the only person feeling so discombobulated these days. My faith is strong, and yet I wonder, “Why so many challenges”? I have about a gajillion things I am dying to do, and I feel clumsy at every one of them at the moment. I am trying, but the results feel forced, and I am unsatisfied. Example. I spent the majority of yesterday focused on a long, intricate bead project. I put genuine care, effort, and thought into the project, and when I was done, it was a huge failure. The previous night I made another, simpler, piece….turned out fabulous, except it is too short for anyone other than a young child. I made hummus for the first time, which wasn’t the best I have ever had, nor was it the worst. It was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, I accidentally bought diet Pita bread. It is about a third as thick as real Pita bread, and works just great if I fold it up so it’s thick…it’s just slightly disappointing, you know? Its been like that, just slightly off, for a couple days now. I am trying to just breathe through it, and know that this too shall pass.

On the upside, I have been having a host of health issues, as you all know by now, and well, I tried apple cider vinegar (ACV). It has made a huge difference, and man, it’s tasty. I crave it. BUT, the real deal here is that it is working. Things that have been ailing me as long as I can remember are healing. I feel different, better…but I still feel like I am detoxing. It is a slow effect. It takes a long time, months I believe, of drinking it regularly, to see real results…depending on how alkaline your body is or is not. I have been drinking it for a little over two weeks now, and holy smokes, the changes. I should mention that I CRAVE it. If you have never tried it, it is not what you would imagine. Its just a couple tsp. raw ACV in a glass, with a couple tsp. honey, and then I add warm water. reminds me of a hot apple cider, and its yummy, and making a huge difference in my well being so far. I will admit, I got really crabby at first, but for the most part, that is waning. I assume it has to do with detoxing, but any way you look at it, it seems to be worth it! I am convinced that it is a forever part of my diet, and one of the secrets to longevity. It’s amazing what it does for arteries, and diabetes, and well…the health benefits are just amazing! One of the things it works on is nerves. I have nerve damage under my arm, and it HURTS all the time, like it has been rubbed raw. I know no relief for it, but when I drink this AVC, it goes away very quickly, and stays gone for longer each time. I can make it almost a whole day now with little or no sensitivity in that area. Profound! I feel as though I should make a page specifically for health stuff. I have tried a lot of non traditional health care options, and I think I have a lot to share on the subject. Maybe I can help someone who is just as baffled as I was. For example, I used garlic, in combination with other things, to heal an abscess in my tooth. It worked like a champ, and within a couple days, the abscess surfaced, and proceeded to heal. The day after it felt good enough to stop applying the garlic, I came across an article saying that scientists have once again proven that garlic is more effective than antibiotics. Imagine that. God’s medicine works better than man’s. Strange concept, huh?  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134203.htm

Do a search, there is lots to read, but how exciting is THAT! I needed to use garlic for three days, with other things, of course, and it was healed. Antibiotics, I would have had to take three times a day for ten days, and they disrupt the natural levels of yeast in my body, as well as cause all kinds of other ill effects. I am happy to have garlic! Its funny, I had read, use garlic, use garlic, but everywhere I read said it would hurt, make me cry, bring me to my knees, so I avoided and avoided it for two or three days. Instead, I packed the area with cayenne pepper, and a mixture of salt and baking soda, alternately. Finally, one day, I realized that if I could handle those two things packed into my abscessed tooth, I could probably handle the garlic, and I got right on that. Two days later I was good as new.  Applied garlic for one more day just to be sure, and no problems since. And, can I just mention, garlic is WAY cheaper than pharmaceuticals are!

I am happy that Fall has arrived, that the mornings are crisp and the afternoons hover in the 70’s. Lovely. Just perfect! This is my favorite kind of weather. I love listening when the occasional fall thunderstorm rolls through, and the thunder echoes off the mountain walls. I look forward to the process of putting my garden to bed for the season, and that is right around the corner. I look forward to moving the few cold hardy things into the greenhouse and seeing what will happen. I am really excited to get to work on some crafts and writing and such, and start doing some of the stuff that will get me to RMRR. I am excited to see what the season may bring! As routine starts to fall into place, I am feeling peace slide back into my heart! It’s time to make a plan and set some short term goals. I have decided that it is only through a series of short term goals, that I will reach the long term goals…so, today I leave you with a wish of many blessings, while I flutter off to make my path for this season. I sincerely hope that each one of you finds a little renewal of peace today.

 

The time has come…

The time has come for so many things…

I struggle to write this week. I am a positive person. I don’t dwell on the negatives, and I see the best in the darkest of situations. That is why I struggle to write. The times we live in have brought me to a harsh realization that the end of life as we know it is here. I don’t jump on Y2K or 2012 bandwagons. I have never had a doomsayer attitude, but I feel a sense of heaviness as we move into this period. It is a bittersweet feeling, as I also feel a sense of relief that Jesus will do a great job with the Earth, however, I had a scare today that shook me a little. I have been in this place where I am desperately aware of how bad our food source has become, I am aware of the distinct changes in the weather patterns and the amount of disease around me is at an all time high. I have never known so many people with so many mysterious illnesses. I am blatantly aware of the police state we are currently living in (although most Americans have no idea that we are in this place), and I am growing more conscious daily of the “revelations” around me. I want to discuss all of this, yet how do I, for fear of being labeled a doomsayer.

The time has come for Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. It is here and we are so close to being ready to get started on that adventure. The savings account is almost to a place that allows us to step outside of our small, restrictive, but owned home, and into a rental that is going to cost us a WHOLE LOT more than our current home does. An overwhelming, intimidating, amount. I pray for the perfect rental, that has what we need to do the work that God has in mind for us. I pray that I can stay focused on His will and not get to caught up in my own excitement. Oh, how I pray, that He sees horses in my life! I am so excited about the prospect of having a huge garden and some chickens next spring! I am watching my little container garden grow thinking of what I can do with a real chuck of garden. Oh the daydreams I have for a garden when we buy a ranch. Meanwhile, I will be happy to care for someone elses ground as it exists for a while.

The time has come for me to get my self esteem up off the floor and start selling some of my homemade goods. People like them and my self esteem is the only thing holding me back.

The time has come for me to do the work that was intended of me. I see my self from a very different perspective now. I see some of my special qualities coming out, when it is happening. I see the skills He has given me, and the gifts and blessings, on a daily basis. I realize that He takes my dear little friends cancer, and uses it for good in so many lives, and in my life, He used it to show me how much I am capable of…it was quite shocking, still is, and I can see clearly several lessons in it. He used it to show me some of the more important things. Things that I know, but took for granted, like finding time to visit a friend. Realizing that money doesn’t mean ANYTHING in the grand scheme of things, and learning that God blesses the poor. Grasping that concept in a new way. I felt led to start a Womens Bible study, and while nothing profound has happened, I feel like there are several women who are pretty active in the group, which indicates to me that there was a need. I think the gift that surprises me the most is the profound ability to work with kids. Traumatized ones especially. I love kids, always have, but went through a brief period where I was convinced I didnt really care for them. I find it ironic that I now feel compelled to step into almost any situation to soothe a hurting child, parents present or not. I have no problem walking right up, and looking some kid in the face and saying,  “Wow, you seem really frustrated, is there anything I can do to help, or can you see what you are doing to your mom? Try to use your good kid manners for ten more minutes while she gets through the store K?”  Kids just need to be talked to a certain way. We don’t give them enough credit for their ability to make decisions and choices, and we give them way to much credit as far as being resilient. They really do harbor a lot of hurts that we don’t acknowledge from childhood, we just don’t see the results till adulthood, at which time it can be very hard to fix. I find myself consoling upset children in the strangest of places, and when it works, parents look at me like who are you?

It is an odd feeling, but if I made one moment of that child’s life make sense, if only for that moment, I am happy. I never, ever envisioned myself to grow up to be a person whose entire life would be to work with traumatized people and animals and help them heal themselves. Crazy wild blessing. So flattering and humbling all at once. What a gift! I have also learned that parents are only working with the tools that they have, and when I see a parent misbehaving, I have learned to remember that little mantra, and realize they are probably doing a better job than their own parents did with them. We all work with the tools we have. I find that working with traumatized children is very much like working with traumatized animals. We need to move slow, be un-intimidating, but firm and strong. We need to ask their permission and wait for it to be granted to move forward. This can really take a long time sometimes, and other times it comes so fast. The biggest thing the two have in common is that when you “train dogs” to be successful, you don’t really train the dog, you train the handler what kind of body language to use, what kind of control to exhibit and when to let the dog have control. The same holds true for parenting training. You aren’t fixing the kid, you are giving the parents the tools the kids need to thrive, to learn to process and express emotion rather than act out for lack of better way s to express their “pain”. Both animals and children will act out when they do not have a calm alpha. Children need control. Just like adults, they need to know they have some control over their world. They need consequences that fit the “crime”, not punishment. They need to be validated, and told that their feelings are valid and matter, with no ‘but’ attached. Children need to know that they are respected to learn what respect is. They need to make mistakes to learn how to make good choices, that is the reason they are given parents for 18 years of guidance, after all. Screaming at your child and sending him to his room wont fix it, but having a good, sit down one on one discussion about how a particular behavior makes you feel, and finding consequences that fit naturally will stick with them for a lifetime.

How on earth did I get on that tangent? I was thinking about a girl whom I helped the other day. I was at a therapists office. She is the person whom I am licensed under, and I was in her waiting room, when a little girl came in a kicking and screaming and saying NO NO I DON’T WANNA TELL. Her dad kept saying, you wont be in trouble…she just kept screaming louder and louder. After a few minutes, I cautiously stepped out and said something to the effect of I know I am crossing a line here but can I try something. Her dad looked at me like “be my guest”. I opened the conversation with the little girl by asking her if I could ask her a question. She said yes but kept crying. I asked her if she was feeling scared to tell the therapist something. She told me she was and I asked her why. I listened to her answer, she had quit crying before I asked my second question. I got her answers, and reassured her that I could totally understand why she would care so much about what therapist would think. We used names of course, but for privacy, that seems inappropriate here. I also told her, hey, you know what? I have known therapist for almost thirteen years, since my boy was smaller than her, and he was actually bigger than me now and he still loved to come here, and I know a secret about her. She doesn’t get mad at kids. not ever. she helps them understand why they are feeling the way they feel, but she doesn’t even know how to get mad at a kid. By this time the girl was up, playing, smiling, climbing and ready to be there. I told her if she had an more concerns she could come find me, and I went and sat in peace and thought about what had just happened. Her dad seemed so incredibly grateful. I am certain that I made a difference in their day. I have no choice but to thank God for a gift that one day not so long ago I would have sworn I would never have. I recall sitting in Church thinking, Oh please don’t call me to the daycare. I really don’t have much tolerance for kids. Oh how wrong I was. Oh how funny God is!

Hmmm, I started todays post, with an overflowing heart. I have been longing to write for so long, but fear that the end times concerns within me would reflect as negative thinking has held me back. I open up this blog every day planning to write, and cannot  make myself do it. Today, it all comes gushing out. had no intention of talking about kids, at any point in the day did I plan to write about children, or gifts, and yet, here I sit, spilling it all over the keyboard.

A close family member has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, another very close friend, like a nephew, got Kawasaki disease last week. Two girlfriends have gut health issues far worse than mine, and one close friend is allergic to everything, including her own sweat. Not literally, but when she gets hot, her whole body gets covered in purple hives…big, itchy ones. The food source is tainted, and we are all getting sick because of it. I cannot wait until my garden veggies come to fruition. I hate buying veggies in the tore any more, and I rarely crave meat. I am not a vegetarian by any means, i just don’t require a lot of meat for my own tastes. I prefer veggies, and boiled eggs and cheese for protein. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good steak, but they are so heavy and hard for my body to process, that my cravings for them are few and far between. I have found that my body readily accepts soups, any time of day. I assume that is because they are so broken down that I don’t have to work hard to digest it.

I found a great source for beads on the internet and have been on a crafting kick. I am so incredibly thankful to be released from that rest, and creativity is flowing through my veins like the woman I once knew. Now if this darned heat would just break! Gardening is also at the top of my priority list, as well as making sure we have a good “nest egg” ready before we jump into this ranching business.

I could not be more thrilled at the notion of having a foster child. Of giving stability, safety, and comfort, to a child who does not know those things. Oh how I long for that day we get our first foster child. I will cry myself to sleep with tears of gratitude that first night. I have a spay/neuter event that I have not focused enough on, and I am going to be hustling this week to get my volunteers and food put together…

Well, my friends, I suppose I have stolen enough of your time today. Have a blessed day…