to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Go Raw & Grow Up!

One of my favorite quotes of Markus' is simply, "Grow Up!"

That's it.  Just Grow Up!  Stop blaming other people.  Society.  Doctors.  Your Genes.  Parents. Spouse.

Just Grow Up and start being ProActive in your own life. 

There is no Magical Pill you can swallow to make yourself healthy or fit.  You are the only one who can take action to work towards health.

If you put synthetics, pharmaceuticals & dead stuff into your body, you can't expect to get much Life out of it.  It's your choice.  But if you choose poorly, stop belly-aching about it (and all the aching body parts).  

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Raw Youth

"Why do we become younger with a Raw Lifestyle?
The answer is simple:
We eat less food.
It’s true. Profoundly and simply – the key to becoming younger is eating
less food. The body jumps at any chance to heal itself and become
younger. Eating less food gives our body the ideal opportunity it’s been
waiting for! Compared to cooked and/or processed food, Raw Food is
“less food” in two ways: Less Quantity and Better Quality."

Matt Monarch in "Raw Success"

This goes along with much of what Everette and I have heard and read about recently.  We are not  looking for the Fountain of Youth.  It's just that the connection between consumption of food (type & amount), metabolism and aging keeps coming our way.  Hard to ignore the repetition. 

I popped my head into Rauchelle's place of employment the other day to let her know her ride had arrived (ME!), and her boss said, "How do you keep so young?"  Again.  She's asked that before.  As have many people.  When our friend Thomas arrived in Canada from his Austrian home, we hadn't seen him since last autumn and he said that both Everette and I looked years younger.

Question for You:  Do you think that 'aging' is genetic, or that we can slow down the aging look by how & what we eat, etc?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The T-Shirt Rubber Band Test

From Marla Taviano in "From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife":

"I read about a test you can do if you're wondering if your T-shirt is too tight.  Put it on, and with your finger, press down on the area between your breasts.  Then let go.  If it bounces back like a rubber band, guess what -- too tight.  How many of your shirts would fail the rubber band test?"

Question for You:  Do all/most/some/none of your shirts pass the test?  Do you even care?

I think most, but not all of my shirts, would pass the test.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Recycled Pants Morphed

This is what Rauchelle started with.  A pair of Maret's pants, getting too short.
She added some creativity, and a pair of my jeans that no longer fit (because I've lost over 30 pounds!) and came up with.....
Maret added the smile, and it's a wonderful combination!

Thanks Rauchelle.  Recycling again, saving more stuff from the landfill, and keeping more money in our pocket.  I like that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lost an Anders (and a Mitchell?)

Okay, it isn't serious, but it's exciting!  

Anders weighs 34 pounds.  
And I've released that same amount!
In the past 4 months I've lost 34 pounds!

I have been part of an 11 Week Initiative
thru Raw Food Rehab where I've lost 
20.5 pounds alone in the past 11 weeks.

Am I excited?  
Am I finished?
Absolutely Not!
I'm joining the next Initiative,
& continuing with the Daylight Diet
Not being mastered by food.

Everette took Before and After photos
as part of the Initiative,
and I don't like what I see.
Even yet.
But now I'm doing something about it.
Happier about where I'm headed.
I never felt that fat!
That's what I look like???

It's exciting to watch the numbers slowly decrease on the scale. 
But when I actually compare it to something else, 
other than 34 blocks of butter, 
(which although its gross to think about all that fat, 
I can't actually picture 34 blocks of it,)
I know exactly what it feels like 
to carry that 34 pound son up a flight or two of stairs to his bed. 
 I was carrying that 24/7.
Not any more.

I'm proud of what I've accomplished.
Proud of US!!

Everette has lost over 40 pounds, 
from his highest weight.  
Now he's lighter than he remembers being
even in highschool!!
I've never known him to weigh this amount.

He's looking incredible.

That means that him and I together have lost
a whole 

PS....Everette and I have actually changed our lifestyles over the past few years, but now that he's 'On Board' its WAY easier, and now we are starting to see real changes.  We are doing this for our health.....our own, and our children's.  The weight loss is a measurable result of the changes.

We can't say enough about Paul Nison's book:
The Daylight Diet; Divine Eating for Superior Health and Digestion

How to Peel a Potato Without Using a Peeler

Although we don't eat potatoes any more, I thought this was a cute trivial video.  Just to be In The Know!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fruit Kebabs

A hit for Breakfast this morning, with a really simple dip.

In a food processor, blend 1 cup soaked cashews, 1/2 c fresh orange juice (or maybe a little more!) and 2 Tbsp vanilla.  That's it.

We didn't have enough strawberries, and somebody ate up all the bananas, but as it was it disappeared quickly so it must have been good.  Going to try a raw 'cream cheese' dip next time.

Flurries (Inside and Out)

Everette was busy reading a GA Henty book to Mitchell on the couch, while I was tucked away in the corner with my attention on the computer, and this is what transpired from the playdough Toveli had made the previous night.........

Since we aren't eating wheat any more, I suppose this was a good use of the flour!

Anders clapped his hands together, declaring "Look, it's snowing!"

and then this is what we woke up to this morning.

All Anders' fault, I'd say!!

What happened to Spring?

PS There were also 2 girls involved, but the older one knew early enough to leave the crime scene, and the other managed to escape the photographer (which happened to not be me, this time).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seasonal Eating

Everette and I recently finished reading Paul Nison's The Daylight Diet (highly recommended!) in which he says Hippocrates "often mentioned seasonal eating:  Winter foods are heavier and sustain us longer when the days are shorter.  In the warmer months, the food is naturally more cooling to the body and much lighter on the system.  Summer produce has much more liquid than dense, winter produce. "

Food for thought.

If we follow the Daylight Diet, which means only eating during daylight, and always going to sleep at night with a completely empty stomach, eating seasonal would perfectly fit.

For example, here in Canada, it gets dark during winter months at, say, 4 pm.  So eating should be done before 4pm.  If I usually go to bed at 10pm, that's 6 hours I haven't eaten before hitting the sack.  If I've eaten root vegetables (winter foods) it will have taken a bit more time to digest these heavier foods, and they will have sustained me longer in those 6 hours.

During the summer when sunset might not be until about 9 pm, it would be recommended to be eating lighter fruits and veggies which are in season.  If I still go to bed by 10 pm, I shouldn't be eating just before sunset, but it also should be at least 4 hours before I hit the sack.  So I shouldn't be eating any later than 6 pm.

Interesting, that during the hot days, when we are in tune with our bodies, we like to eat lighter meals where the food has high water content which helps hydrate us and cools us down.

I have a problem eating 'in season'.  Much of the foods we like to eat aren't local in this colder climate.(not much different when we are back in BC)  They are what used to be considered 'exotic' but now they are almost staples.  For example, here in Cape Breton people don't grow kiwi, oranges, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, etc.  But they are pretty staple produce here.  They are all very juicy fruits (except the bananas), all grown in hotter climates, all with longer heat seasons than here.  Maybe that would explain why we are cold the majority of the time living here?  Maybe we aren't eating enough heavy produce?  But, I don't know many ways to prepare heavy winter veggies without cooking them.

One reason I was keen on learning to ferment veggies was because they seemed naturally to lean towards the winter veggies like carrots, turnips, cabbage, etc.

We've tried some raw squash recipes, and none of them have been hits with us (yet) except for zucchini 'sghetti.  Oh, Everette does make an awesome 'Massaged Kale Salad' with avocado and lemon which is incredible, but the children don't like it.  I didn't eat much for veggies at their age, so I'm not surprised.  Kale is kind of thick and requires quite a bit of chewing.  But, oh I love it now!  And it's great in juices and green smoothies.

We also use quite a bit of nuts and seeds, which I would consider are 'winter' foods. 

So, if any of you have great suggestions, I'd love to get some help.  I know in alot of places winter is over.  Not so confident about that here, yet ;)   I'm looking forward to summer, because we have no problems with all those summer fruits and veggies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Is this not gorgeous, or what???

That was lunch, or breakfast, or supper, or dessert.  We've had this kind of thing for all of the above.  Totally raw, and scrumptious.

PS. the blob (!) is a raw caramel

'An American Dream'

What to do on a cold winter/spring day? 

Cuddle and watch entertaining videos and dream of a warmer place and time is an option!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maple Sugaring

We made it out to Haveracre Farms on Saturday to see how maple water is processed into maple syrup.  It was a gorgeous day for a family outing.

You can see the blue hoses running through the forest, with branches off to tap into the individual trees.  11,000 of them.  We were able to walk down the little access road to see them.  It was such an incredible day to be out, and Jason, the owner of this business, said the sap was running at high volume for such a warm day.

These blue hoses then connect to a larger pipe that runs down the hill to a few different tanks.  Here's one, where we were able to watch the sap water flowing. 

All of us were surprised at how clear the water looked.

The ground was quite muddy. 

'Washing' our shoes off with the snow before we climbed back into the van.

 After going through reverse osmosis which removes about 75% of the water, it enters these chambers in a boiler, heated by wood, then it goes to another boiler with several chambers but this one is electric which enables the temperature to remain more constant and controlled as the syrup becomes more concentrated. 

This is Jason, the man who runs the show.  After being in the second boiler it will be released into this container in batches where Jason checks to make sure the concentration of sugar to water is correct, along with the temperature.  Then it goes through a filter to eliminate any impurities, then piped over to.......
the bottling station.  It goes in piping hot, sterilizing the bottles.  You can be sure we got the glass bottles vs the plastic.  Can you imagine the toxins that gas off when that boiling sugar water hits it??  Yuck.

And on our way home from Antigonish, we were treated to........

watching what we think was an old barn burn down.  It was spreading to the surrounding grass, and as we drove along the highway, firetrucks were coming from all directions.  We had originally thought it might have been a practice fire for the volunteers, but soon discovered it wasn't.  They must have called trucks in from all the neighbouring communities. 

Okay, so back to the Maple Syrup.

Since we are eating High Raw, and syrup obviously isn't raw, one might ask why we bothered going, and why we bought some of that sugary stuff.  Well, maple syrup is like one of the top symbols of Canada, and somehow we'd managed to miss this event every year we've been out here.  We just had to go see a working farm.  And engaging as many of our senses as possible, we agreed to include our tastebuds.  So we caved and had buckwheat pancakes with syrup for Sunday breakfast.

But the real reason I buy maple syrup is because of this following recipe.......

Garlic Balsamic Dressing

1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c balanced oil (if I don't have any, I use whatever healthy oil I have, like flax, or sesame, etc)
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp dried basil
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp prepared mustard (I like dijon or homemade)
pinch celtic salt and black pepper (or better yet, use dulse flakes instead)

Whisk together to use for a dressing.  You can whip it to make as a dip.

This is our family's favorite salad dressing, which for some reason we've been affectionately calling it Sludge for years now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not to Pay Back

Listening to Dr. Charles Partito on Paul Nison's site talking about colon cleanses and herbs (mulit-part video).  Fascinating stuff, some of which I've never heard of, or at least not from his perspective.  Something new to consider, ponder, question, evaluate.  Anyways.....

Dr Partito believes that no matter how healthy of a diet we eat, we need to supplement.  For several reasons.  Depletion of nutrients in our foods, poor assimilation, etc.  But one comment he made that really struck me was basically that he said our foods were meant to keep us in health, not to pay back for nutritional deficit we've created earlier in our lives.

Everette & I were just talking about this very issue the other day while driving.  How timely this video was.  Thanks, Paul, again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ear Candling

I heard about ear candling years ago, and we even bought a set of special candles to do it 'sometime' but just never got around to it.

The Day Has Come

We actually got around to giving it a try.  A couple of days ago Everette put some olive oil into his ear which is supposed to help loosen up waxes.  And we got all our paraphernalia assembled.  Everette was the guinea pig because he has the most issues with his ears.  He has some definite hearing loss, likely due to loud tools in logging and construction, and he also has been suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ear) for more than a year.  Maybe 2 years now.

So, here he is, head on table with his head on fire!!  (just kidding) 

The candles are hollow in the middle, and the lit wick creates a vaccum pulling toxins/wax out of the ear and up into the hollow candle.  The bottom of the candle is tapered to go into the ear opening, and it collects debris mostly just above this spot.

You use two candles per ear, and each ear is done in four consecutive sessions.....basically, burning half of the candle, exchanging it with the 2nd burning candle, you clean debris out of the 1st candle, then replace the 2nd candle with the last half of the first candle, clean debris out of the 2nd candle, then switch the candles again for the final half of the 2nd candle.
So on the right side you can see 4 piles of yellow/orange 'stuff' from Everette's right ear.  Each pile is from each of the 4 stages.  On the left are the 4 piles from his left ear.  The right ear (with the ringing) certainly had more debris come out.

Here's what it looks like close up.  Penny for relationship in size.

Okay, so there you have it.  Maybe you've heard of ear candling, or maybe not.  None of us had any idea what really to expect because we'd never seen it done before. We'd heard both those in favor and those set against its use.

Oh yeah, we cleaned out the debris, then we burned the rest of the candle to see if there was any thing like this yellow stuff collecting inside when it wasn't against the ear.  We had no build up at all.  Nothing.  So, to us, it appears that the debris came from the ear, not the candle.  But, hey, we don't claim to be scientists.  It was just our experience.

What's Our Verdict?

Well, Everette still has the ringing in his ear.  He doesn't notice any improvement in his hearing.  So, it doesn't appear to have had any success for him.  But like I said, the candles burning alone didn't create debris.  So, where did it come from? Holistic Healing says there's.....

Better Ways to Clean Your Ears

Recommended home treatments for removal of excessive earwax:
  • Placing a few drops of oil (mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin) inside the ear canal to soften the wax.
  • Using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide drops are helpful in the removal of wax.
  • Ear syringing, using a solution of warm water and saline. (Caution: Avoid having your ears irrigated if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, tube in the eardrum, or a weakened immune system.)

Question for You:  Have you ever had ear candling done?  If so, what were your results?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Smoothies

I'd be totally surprised if you hadn't heard of Green Smoothies.  But, you might not know why they are so highly recommended.

Green Smoothies were made popular by a lady named Victoria Boutenko who is well known for her involvement in the raw food movement.  After having helped each of her family members and herself recover from various dis-eases and ailments, she shared her knowledge through "Green for Life", and "12 Steps to Raw" and her other books.  She totally believed in eating raw foods for health, but soon realized that for many people eating raw, there was an element missing.  Victoria discovered it to be Greens.

Most of us are lacking sufficient green leaves in our diets.  Victoria says that during the industrial revolution people started to process and can foods, changing the dynamics of their diet and health.  We are  now the 7th generation since then, eating more processed foods and not eating enough greens & other vegetables.  Subsequently, we are lacking zinc (along with other nutrients) from greens, therefore we don't produce enough stomach acids to digest our foods properly, which ultimately undermines our health.  If we can't properly digest our foods then we can't assimilate all the nutrients we need out of it, and then we 'need' more and more food to obtain the nutrients we require, but by then we have over eaten calories, and we have way over-taxed our digestive system which causes a downward spiral in our energy and health.

Green Smoothie Challenge

 If you aren't drinking Green Smoothies on a daily basis, start with committing to having at least 1 Green Smoothie a day.  If you already have 1 a day, then up that to 2.  Try and drink a quart a day of Green Smoothie for at least 3 days, and see how you feel.  You don't need to change the rest of your diet; just add Green Smoothie to begin.

A more serious Green Smoothie Challenge would be to commit to doing it for 2 weeks.  Keep a journal during this time, to see how you feel as your health begins to improve. 

You may have heard of Superfood Smoothies, which have their place.  But they aren't the same at all as Green Smoothies.  For better absorption, refrain from adding other ingredients to your smoothies.  Keep it simple.  Just greens, fruits and water.  That's it!!

There's lots of recipes for Green Smoothies online, or books like Victoria's 'Green Smoothie Revolution'.  When starting, you can use more fruit than greens.  Be sure to make it palatable particularly for children who care about taste, not health.  Over time you can sneak more and more greens into it, but start out slowly to ensure it's a big hit!!

Just adding a Green Smoothie to your already existing diet, no matter what your diet is, can greatly improve your health.  By adding 1 quart to your current diet, it will increase your hydrochloric acid which will improve your digestion of all your foods.  Hydrochloric acid seems to decrease as we age, especially as we eat a SAD (Standard American Diet) and our bodies become more and more acidic. 

Green Smoothies are satiating, and can help you stay clear of fatty and salty foods.  Start the morning with one and, even if you are a raw foodist or a vegan, it can help you stay on track with your health, and help you not to over eat on nut butters, avocados, etc.

  It's easy, simple, and economical.

Juicing vs Blending

There is a huge difference between juicing and blending your foods.  Juicing removes all the fiber, which gives you virtually nothing now to digest, giving your digestive system a break.  You are able to ingest high amounts of nutrients (from a volume of vegetables that would be difficult to eat if chewing) which quickly get into your bloodstream and nourish your body.  This can be great for rapid detox, particularly when you have more serious health issues.  However, you should seek guidance if you are dealing with serious health issues and want/need to deal with them quickly through natural means.

Blending your foods keeps all of the proponents intact, but breaks them down.  The blender ruptures or cracks open the cell-walls to make those nutrients readily available to you.  If you were to just chew them, you break open less of those cells to make nutrients available (and most of us don't masticate our foods enough, to begin with!).  That's why you'll get way more nutrients out of your food by blending them.  However, that means that your foods are oxidized, so you don't want them to sit around for the day while you sip away, nor store for any length of time in the fridge.  Too much of the nutrients will be lost to the air rather than put into your thirsty body.

Making a Green Smoothie takes very little effort, but you'll get big gains.

Nobody in the world will claim that green vegetables are bad for you!!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Apple Butter

'Aunt Beatrix' brought us over a tub of apple butter awhile ago, and our children love to have it on Rye Crisps.  But as you can see, Laars decided to forgo the crisps and put it on his lickable fingers.  He hid behind the island while mama was on the other side, distracted,  putting lunch items back into the fridge. 

I remember hearing a story of a young family whose children were often doing mischievous things, and the mom learned to pick up the video camera or the regular camera and take pictures and have a good chuckle or laugh, rather than freak out about it.

Good choice, Linda.  I'm trying to follow that pattern.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just As I Am

I grew up attending a big city church in Vancouver, BC where almost every Sunday evening we sang the hymn "Just As I Am" as a call to the prayer room.  I could sing all the stanzas by heart back then, but a few of the phrases escape my memory at present.  It's been decades since I sang that song.

Anyways, laying in bed in the mornings usually with Laars pressed against my back, trying to lay still so not to disturb him, this  is my quiet time of reflection, of meditation, of worship, of listening.  Once the household comes alive in the morning there isn't usually quiet time to hear my own thoughts, to hear my hearts cry, to connect with the yearnings stirring within me.

I believe I can hear Holy Spirit speaking to me during the events of the day, some of them at least ;) but when life gets busy and noisy, like any conversation, its harder to hone in on just one person speaking when the room is full of many people talking. Thus, I like to hear Holy Spirit talking in the morning, in the moments before the sun has even peeked its head above the horizon.

In my journey these last few years, a large part of which has included disconnecting from the institutional church meetings and structure, I have grown more and more comfortable of just being.  In contrast to all the doing.  So, even laying in bed quietly, without Bible and pen and paper, without 'worship' music on, with just me and my Creator, I am really comfortable with that now.

I was always afraid of 'being led astray', when hearing something but not able to measure it against the Bible.  But I am confident that Christians have made a god of the Bible, and have negated that Holy Spirit speaks to them, individually.  We have chosen the letter, rather than the person.  We are unsure of listening to Him speaking to us one to one, and have defaulted to listening to a pastor, or to what is written.  But He has already written His ways on my heart, and He speaks to me daily, fresh and alive and current.

I don't need to fear.  Fear used to be a near-constant companion, wearing many different masks. But perfect Love casts out all fear, so I don't choose to live in that familiar fear place any more.  I choose to live inside of Love.

That's my quest.
A learning.
  An adjustment.
 A journey.

I live inside of God,
and He lives inside of me. 
I don't need any of the doings. 

I Just Am.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Laars L.O.V.E.'S My 'Mama Belly'

No, there isn't another baby filling it up.  But its somehow an attraction to my little Laars.   These days he seems magnetically attracted to my belly.  Why?  I don't know.  But I think it's sweet.

Like many mama's, particularly those that have had many pregnancies, my belly is not smooth and sleek.  I have wide stretch-marks; ribbons of honor for all the babies that have blossomed from within.

Maybe it feels like kneading dough with his toes.  I often find him kneading my belly with his feet as he awakens in the morning in our bed.  Later, his hands slip under my shirt for a soft poke into my belly while I'm working in the kitchen.  I sweetly shoo him 'out' while his eyes twinkle at me and a grin spreads across his mouth.  Like a little game, he comes again, usually while I'm working, as if he's hoping I won't notice.

  How could I not notice!

That Little Boy Has My Heart 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vitamin D for All

You must have heard by now, over and over and over that many of us are deficient in Vitamin D.
There is a reason so many people are talking about it, and trying to inform us of how best to acquire the needed Vitamin D.  Our health depends on it.

The studies are showing over and over that many (if not most) of our dis-eases are caused from a lack or deficiency of this vitamin.  So you need to take note and follow with some action to make sure that you aren't one of the deficient ones, setting yourself up for dis-ease.

Here's some articles to read to inform yourself, if you haven't already done that.
Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency Sweeping the World
'Epidemic' of Vitamin D Deficiency
Demand Soars for Vitamin D

Some say that too much of the information about Vitamin D is circumstantial rather than scientific.  Believe what you will.  (You will anyways, regardless of what I have to say.)

But I believe that there truly is a link between sun exposure and our health.  Plenty of doctors, like Thomas Lodi know beyond a shadow of doubt that cancer rates along with other dis-eases increase for populations that live north & south of the Tropics of Cancer & Capricorn, respectively.

One study found that sunlight exposure lowered the risk of breast cancer by 30 to 40 percent. Dr. Robert Arnot in his The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet,  claims that national rates of breast cancer occurs at a much higher rate in colder, cloudier northern regions than in sunnier southern regions.

There was a ten-year epidemiological study done at Johns Hopkins University Medical School that showed that exposure to full-spectrum light is positively related to the prevention of breast, colon and rectal cancers.

In our culture today we tend to spend the vast majority of our time 24/7 in buildings or vehicles where we lack fresh air and sunshine.  The farther we live away from the equator, the more we hide inside, or when we do go outside we have more skin covered because of the colder temperatures.  The rays of the sun are weaker at these latitudes also, which would require us to spend even more time exposed to the sun to acquire the same benefits as those near the equator.

Don't think that I am suggesting long periods of time spent with unprotected sun exposure.  We must practice common sense (which isn't common any more).  But if we learn to listen to our bodies, and live productive lives we won't be laying exposed on a beach for 4 hrs near the equator at high noon, sweating away trying to get a good tan (with or without suntan lotion)  That is not a 'normal' thing to be doing.  Besides the topic of immodesty, it is unproductive and lazy.

I am sure that living here in Canada, my family members do not get enough vitamin D from the sun, which is obviously the best natural source.  Although many of us spend long hours playing and working outside during the summertime,  the warmer months where arms and legs are exposed just don't amount to very much out of 12 months.

So, what's the solution?  There are a couple of suggestions, each requiring your own diligent research to find out what works best for you and your family situation.  Some natural sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, fish oils and vitamin D supplements.There is liquid Vitamin drops (make sure its Vitamin D3), and now there are even nano-sprays.  There are sun-beds you can use at a day spa, or even those you can set up in your own home.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Draw-back of a Healthy (Raw) Diet

It's Free, This is Heaven

This 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to her interest in health food, and exercise.
When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi.
As they "oohed and aahed" the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.
"It's free," Peter replied, "this is Heaven."
Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth.
The old man asked, "what are the green fees?".
Peter's reply, "This is heaven, you play for free."
Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.
"How much to eat?" asked the old man.
"Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" Peter replied with some exasperation.
"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.
Peter lectured, "That's the best can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."
With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly.
Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault. If it weren't for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pee in the Shower

Ok, here's a cute tip from Skinny Bitch.  A simple way to save water ;)

Pee in the shower. 

How simple is that?  It's really not a big deal, while you have the water running anyways.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just Being There

Kelly at Generation Cedar wrote a post this week which made my heart sing.  I so believe in what she wrote, about the importance of being there for our children.  Being available.  Quality time can never replace Quantity.  The knowing that Mom (& Dad) are there, just in case.  Whenever there is a need, big or small, physical or emotional or spiritual.

" He has a myriad of needs in a day–small to us, maybe, but gigantic to him. Bumps and bruises, potty issues, “problems” to solve, things to learn, expressions to find, and he is feeling around with every fiber of his being for the one, constant motion in his life that will walk beside him through these monumental stages."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toveli's Day Today


Hard to believe it's 8 years ago already since our
'Good Happiness' 
joined our family, 
out of the womb.

I remember her birth so well.  The moment I realized I was in labor.  The anticipation of Everette getting home from work.  You know how it is......I was at about 42 weeks, and every day could have been 'the' day, but Monday was when my midwife had to go to training all day long, and Everette had to get a tiling job completed for a client.  It was then, about 9:20 am as their work days had begun that I called them to say that I was in labor. 

My 2 most recent labors had been really fast, like 49 mins & 1 1/2 hrs, but they were at the hospital and after AROM, so we didn't know what to expect.  Of course, thats an exciting part of labor & childbirth.  One just never knows!!

It wasn't until I was actually in labor that Everette said we could have a homebirth (my dream).  Fortunately, my midwife, Joanne, was so supportive of our freedom to choose that she had already agreed to come see me at the house and decide while in labor if I would stay home or not.  Of course, her and I had already made plans for a homebirth but we weren't going to pressure Everette into it. 

When Everette saw Joanne bring in all her medical stuff, he felt much more comfortable about the whole thing.  Oxygen.  IV's.  He started to relax.  And then when he got to go to his own fridge for a snack during labor, he was thrilled to stay home for labor.  And when he helped Joanne pack up her stuff at the end of the day, and she was the one to drive away while he re-entered his own house to find all his children and his wife tucked in their beds, all snug under the same roof with newborn daughter tucked snuggly in our own bed....he was SOLD on homebirthing.

Our first homebirth.  
Born on our bed.  
Fuzzy shoulders 
rolled up fat as she descended 
and got stuck temporarily on her way out,
but when Daddy caught her 
the warm fat oozed between his fingers, 
filling his hands and heart with such warmth. 
He still fondly remembers that moment.

Today, Toveli is anything but fat,
but she certainly is warm and cuddly. 
Her smile can melt you.  
Her eyes sparkle. 
She dances and twirls like a real ballerina.
Graceful like a princess.  
She doesn't wear dresses as much as she used to,
but is still very much a princess.

Toveli picked a menu of Zucchini Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce. Mitchell shows you how long one of those noodles is!! 

For dessert Toveli picked having a raw fruit fondue.  The caramel sauce was just soaked dates (about 1 cup), lime juice and some celtic salt whizzed until thick and creamy in the blender.

The chocolate sauce was coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao & stevia. 

A big hit with the family, and so pretty.  A guilt-free finish to a healthy birthday celebration. 

Maret has a love of art, creativity and giving.  And so she worked for days on creating a shadow box and puppets as a gift for Toveli.