building fence

building fence

My daughter needed some more room for her bobby calves, so we all went out on a semi nice day and put up some more fence. Unfortunately we, or THEY I should say, had to hammer each post in one by one. I got to stand back and enjoy the scene. my husband decided all he needed to do was supervise for this one =)

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And My New Years Resolution Is . . .

This new year is the time many people reflect back over the last 12 months and decide what it is that may need changing.  Change is the only constant they say. Many feel the newness of a fresh start, a do-over, a clean slate.  A promise of better things to come, of bettering oneself and one’s circumstances is the attitude of many this time of year. It is good to have moments like this, to stop “life” and bring into clear precise perspective what you are, what you want to be, and how to bounce over to be … well, whatever it is you inspire to be.

Habits are formed early on in life.  Most are just circumstantial.  We get up in the morning and get something to eat or drink to break the fast of a hopefully a good night’s rest. If you are school age, school attendance is the common day’s activity, for adults it is the “job” we have chosen. You may not realize this but you have actually chosen where you are right now, either a tradesman of some kind,  teacher, carpenter, banker, office manager, delivery driver, baker, writer, salesman, farmer, rancher, or stay-at-home mom.  Your choices culminated to produce your life as it is.

I will interject here that the housewife/stay-at-home-mother is the most honored and important of any profession.  Not because I was/am one, but because of the herculean task that it is.  The task is nurturing copiously curious minds and bodies into reasoning, caring, God-fearing, intelligent young people who move on to become adults in our society.  The mom who stays home is the “keeper” of her home; is responsible for the atmosphere, the condition, the peacefulness, the safety, and healthfulness of her home.  She seeks no accolades, no prideful prestige, no recognition from statesmen or dignitaries, no honor of any kind.  Her job is done mostly behind the scenes in quiet loving sacrifice.  Anyone choosing this is truly the one who should be “making the big bucks”.  However it is a job that is not paid in coinage, but in the knowing she did the best she could with what she knew, in seeing the outcome or fruits of her labors.  This is also true of the mom who works outside the home.  She does however have less time, energy, and focus to devote to the family.  So hats off to moms!!  She deserves twice the salary of Tom Cruise!!

Wow that was a side trail.  Habits. That is the train track I was on, so I’ll get back to it :).  Yes, habits are formed early in life.  How we take care, or not take care of our belongings, how we speak, how we, well do anything is formed early.  And to our detriment some of our habits are bad ones.  We tend to think of smoking as an example of a bad habit, and so it is, but what about a frown on our face all the day long.  I have met people who I think must not smile for days on end, and that is sad.    Our attitudes are also habits formed.  Habits can change, that is the great news!!!!  We can change.  We can change anything we choose to change.  However we need some basic “tools” to proceed and perpetrate a change.

The number one New Years Resolution is to lose weight. That is a good goal and one that is in the right direction.  However, the goal of just losing weight is bound to fail.  There are certain factors to be implemented for a plan to succeed.  And you must have the right plan in the beginning.  Weight loss is not the right goal.  Moving the whole body into a healthy state should be the goal. 

Let’s say you wanted to build a new house.  There are of course many aspects to consider, many other people to employ, and countless decisions to make in implementing your ideas of what is wanted into reality.  If you focused just on what the outside walls will be and the color of them, what will be the result?  If you ignore the foundation, plumbing, roofing, rough-in carpenters, light fixtures, flooring, wiring, insulation, cabinets, and so on and so on, a probable failed attempt at a new house is emanate.

Weight loss is just one aspect of moving toward being healthy, having vigor, pep, and stamina.  So before you begin a “diet” that will probably fail either in the middle or end, think about this:  LIFESTYLE CHANGE IS THE KEY TO BEING HEALTHY!  Going on a diet is not sustainable.  Because when you go “off” the diet the weight will pile on easier, believe me.  Do yourself a favor and NEVER use the word “diet” again!!!!!!

How does one set about changing one’s lifestyle, you ask?  Well the first thing to do is take stock of where you are now!!!  This is your starting point, the beginning.  You can’t go back, you can only go forward!  Lay out what it is that is most important to you and work on changing that this month.  Maybe it will be something like not drinking soda at all this month, only on Sunday Dinner with the family will you allow one soda to be enjoyed and savored.  Replacing 1 hour of TV watching with walking, yoga, cleaning up a mess that has been darkening some remote corner of the house, (don’t ask me how I came up with this one 🙂 ), or just deep breathing and stretching is very wise.  Choosing to eat for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack a couple of cups of veges or fruit is quite smart.

Healthy living involves the whole life circumvented and evaluated, removing those things that are hindrances to gaining health.  Here are some ideas:

  • Change the way you think about food, Eat to live do not live to eat.  Think “Will this bring nutrients to my body?”  This is the number one key in my opinion.
  • Allow some cheat days, Sunday is mine.  Sunday Dinner is the one meal I eat whatever I want, and dessert too!!  Notice I did not say HOW much I want.
  • Limit your portions to a reasonable size
  • Lower your meat consumption to three to four servings a week that are about the size of a deck of cards
  • Clean the house and take measures to maintain it (whoever lives with you be it children, siblings, or others should be required to pitch in)
  • Remove anything that you have not used in 2 years or more
  • Take time to breathe deep and move the body with some form of exercise at least 3 times a week, for the ladies I love Ellen Barrett (this cleanses the tissue and helps organs function better)
  • Search recipes that are healthier, the internet such as it is gives no one an excuse
  • Switch the regular snack food with healthier choices – nuts, fruit, veges, granola, oatmeal all organic if you can
  • Plan what to do with your time the same as you would a monthly budget
  • Budget your money – Dave Ramsey is a superb resource to use.  Money is a resource that should be controlled by you, not you controlled by it!
  • Set reasonable goals that are attainable
  • Don’t try to change too much at one time, little changes that stick are better that changes that don’t
  • Say “I Love You” more often
  • Purge the people who won’t support what you are trying to do from your daily life  – not altogether just limit time spent with those who are a hindrance
  • Serve others – true joy comes from serving others
  • Grow some outdoor veges this year, in pots is you have to!
  • Buy some fresh herbs and use them in cooking
  • Use herbs for healing instead of over-the-counter pharmacy drugs
  • Pray, give thanks, and serve daily
  • Get sunshine when you can, put sunblock on after you have been in the sun for 15-20 minutes
  • Enjoy where you are right now!!!!
  • Laugh more

You can see what I mean by all this, a lifestyle change is what is needed to be healthy and weight loss is just one aspect of that.  Actually you could say it is a result of it!

So my resolution is to be healthier for myself and my family!

Hope this is helpful and gives hope, Happy New Year!

Love Life and Breathe Deep,

Angela

Word of the Week

It’s Monday again, and just so you know there are only 13 more Mondays in 2013!!!!  Boy where has the time got to?  Well for today anyway here is a word for your pleasure?… or consideration?… or just because.

ALTERATIVE \ˈȯl-tə-ˌrāt-iv, -rət-\

Definition – a tonifying herb that restores proper body function and vitality to the blood by correcting impure conditions and improving its composition.  Essentially meaning an herb that is tonic to the blood.  Sometimes old herbals refer to alteratives and blood “sweeteners” or blood “purifiers”.

Blood is actually a liquid tissue and has specific functions in the body.  So any herb with an alterative action will help correct  and improve the function of the blood itself.  Impurities often occur due to a malfunctioning of the organs of elimination. We have four primary eliminative channels: the bowel, the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin.  Before an herbalist suggests an alterative, they need to know which organs are involved  in causing the constipation of the blood.  Some alteratives are stimulating and toing, and some are relaxing.

Some of the best used alteratives are Echinacea, Burdock root, Chaparral, Garlic, Plantain, Red Clover, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Golden Seal, Nettles, and Yellow Dock.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle

I have used all of these in herbal tea, capsules, tinctures, and fomentations with excellent success.  Red Clover is a sweet tasting tea and easy to grow and dry for later use.  Employ alteratives for any infection, blood poisoning, animal bites, anemia, ulcers, inflammation, cancers, or malfunctioning organs.

Red clover

Yellow Dock is a super blood builder, and loaded with lots of iron, sometimes as much as 40%!

English: Rumex crispus, Polygonaceae, Curly Do...

English: Rumex crispus, Polygonaceae, Curly Do…
Yellow Dock

Love Life and Breathe Deep, Angela

I did not die, I just took an Extremely long vacation from the computer:)

I know it has been quite a while since I have shared with you all! Life has definitely been happening around this household. My husband quit his sorta secure job to be his own boss, and the most exiting part is that all of our children are employed by the business!! He started a roofing/construction company named, you guessed it – Specker Construction. I have been busy too. In the spring my Dad had bypass surgery, so I was at their home quite a bit helping Mom with whatever needed to be done. Growing a garden and putting up the produce takes massive time slots from ones life. Please don’t show me another tomato or green bean for a while:) Giving classes several times this summer, and I still have one to give this Saturday, has also taken a lot of time. Then more recently, my Dad went back into the hospital, ICU to be exact, for …. well we don’t know what happened to him. Doctors are intelligent people, but what they don’t know is whole lot more than what they do know. So after 7 days, 3 rounds of different antibiotics, being poked dozens of times he was released weaker and more worn out than when he sought their help. I have him taking flax seed oil, spirulina, cayenne, and lots of good food. The physical therapist comes several times a week to walk with him and give him some exercise.

Tomatoes!!This is a 6 foot table!!

My grandkids are such a joy to my husband and me. We love having them over to spend time with them. Seeing them grow is a miracle unto which I wasn’t focused on with my own children. I guess that is why grandparents are special, they are experienced, wiser, and less stressed.  Notice I am speaking of myself too, ha ha!

So here I am in September of 2013 blogging after a long and busy absence. I plan to actively post now. We purchased a new computer for the business, our old one being more than 6 years old and irritatingly slow. WOW!! What a difference it is to have a new, fast, sophisticated piece of electronic equipment!! I actually enjoy typing now!

I’ll leave you with one herb to have on hand this winter – Red Raspberry. It is one of the first herbs I use in a cold/flu, icky sick tea. Red raspberry cleanses the mucous membranes of the alimentary tract. The actions are astringent, tonic, stimulant, alterative, stomachic, antiemetic, parturient, cathartic, antiseptic, and ant abortive. It contains alpha carotene, alpha tocopherol, ascorbic acid, boron, calcium, chromium, manganese, niacin, pectin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, fiber, iron, magnesium, malic acid, selenium, silica, thiamin, and zinc.

Raspberry (red)

Uses for Red Raspberry: constipation, nausea diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, pregnancy, uterine hemorrhage, parturition, uterine cramps, labor pains, cholera infantum, hemorrhoids, vomiting, colds, fevers, intestinal flu, bowel complaint, thrush, sore mouth, ulcers, and wounds. So you can see why it is such a great herb to use, and it makes a real tasty tea.

As always, Love Life and Breathe Deep,

Angela

AMERICA, AWAKEN!

America God Bless Flag

America God Bless Flag (Photo credit: cobalt123)

 

America Awaken!

 

Times pass, seasons go,

But there is something that you should know,

No matter how or when, or why,

We do not hear the battle cry.

 

Do you want this message from heaven?

Then from me to you it is given.

Our liberty, built by God in heaven,

And paid by blood for a country risen.

 

English: Depiction of the story of the bellrin...

English: Depiction of the story of the bellringer ringing the Liberty Bell upon being told of American independence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Let freedom ring!” was the battle cry,

And, “Sing praises to God on high!”

We were strong and we were ready,

But did not hold the truth so steady.

 

As pride crept in and labor lost,

We did not see this holocaust.

Two towers fell and lives were taken,

But not permanently was America ’waken

 

Crippled and beaten by our corruption,

Five senses creep to our destruction.

What becomes of our great nation,

We shall see through our preparation.

 

So now you know of these great inner matters,

We must hold on before it shatters.

And to go back to a way we were,

To love and to labor, this I’m sure.

 

Let liberty stand against all odds,

And just to get rid of all the frauds.

Though ignorance and greed still abound,

It will not be forever around.

 

English: Picture of the painting during the si...

English: Picture of the painting during the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the 1700’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To know what liberty is worth and cost,

Is to know that we’ve been lost.

Many times in every day,

We continue our hatred play.

 

Through snow and hail, rain and wind,

We do not know that we have sinned.

This Great Awakening America needs,

This Great Awakening now she pleads.

 

Stand with me, brothers unto the end,

To see God’s judgment upon them send.

People live and people die,

But this truth is from on high.

 

This truth we have, I have no doubt,

Forever will be in, throughout.

NO MORE LANDS AND LIBERTIES BE TAKEN,

THAT AMERICA BE ONCE MORE AWAKEN!

 

By Gregory S. Specker

 

 My son wrote this poem when he was in high school.  He is now married with two sons of his own.  I came across it the other day when searching for something else, you know how that is:).  It really touched me, just as it did when he wrote it.  I hope it speaks to your heart in some way.  If it does, let me know how.    Have a blessed day!

Love life and breathe deep,

Angela         

 

Time, Love, Life

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : D...

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : Des crocus violets, avec leurs fleurs fermées. Italiano: Infiorescenze chiuse di piante del genere Crocus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Spring to all! It has been such a long time since I shared that I feel like the long-lost relative no-one sees or talks to. But a lot of things have been happening! After the holidays, we have worked on the basement. We have not touched the stacks of boxes since we moved, soooo there was a lot of going through stuff and more stuff and yet more stuff. Time is an odd thing to me, we use it up and wonder where it goes. We spend time planning how and where we use our time. We even plan who we pass the time with. Sometimes we just don’t think about time as it is going by, or time seems to drag on and on, and other instances time does not move fast enough for us. Time is a resource that all of us, no matter where we live, what work we do, how much money we possess, have the same amount of in each day. We can’t buy more of it, or get rid of it. We can however share what time we have with whom and where we list. And rarely do we keep time to ourselves, unless you live alone with no-one else in your life. I think of the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. He was totally alone for years (I forget how many, 4 or 6 maybe?). However, even then he was still connected to the rest of the world because he was aware and knew of their existence. We are all connected that way. It is a spiritual connection. We feel elated when we learn of someone’s triumph over a trial, and we feel grief when we learn of someone’s strife and devastation.  I believe this is what is meant by the statement “the love of our fellow-man”.

Love is a very peculiar thing too.  It is only seen with our eyes by the writings of people who feel it, or by the actions of someone exhibiting it.  Naturally we would admit that it can be spoken, and it can.  “I love you” is the quintessential catch phrase for Valentine’s Day.  Love can have an actual physical effect on our bodies namely our heart, the symbol of love.  I am reminded of the phrase “It breaks my heart”.  Love is powerful.  The scriptures explain love in the term “charity”, saying “… charity is the pure love of Christ…”  and in I Corinthians 13:4-8 we  read “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemlly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.  Charity never faileth…” .  Love of our fellow man is the true motivation behind every good deed, and it emanates from the heart. We feel good when we act out of love for one another.

We have a love for our families that is special too.  And that is where much of my time has been spent lately.  My father began to have chest pain in the latter part of February.  For 2 weeks he could not walk very far or do the work he had been used to doing on the house my parents are building.  He went to his doctor and was then sent to a cardiologist.  Well without going into tidbit info, he had an angiogram, which showed  his main left coronary artery was 99% blocked!!!  We were all shocked and dismayed.  He was taken by ambulance about 4 hours after this to another hospital where he was informed he needed bypass surgery – now – right now – this instant!  My dad was scared, very scared.  We all were of course.  But there was a glitch we learned we had to deal with.  Since he had just had the angiogram a few hours earlier, which included my dad taking some blood thinners in case a stint could be employed to “fix” his possible blockage, the surgeon said my dad would bleed, a lot!  And he would need a lot of blood platelet transfusions, like around 20!!!  Well as you can imagine this news put us all over the cliff with fear.  Life is so dear, and yet until you’re faced with the immediate loss of it, I am afraid we think little about it.  Life is fragile and strong.  Everything wans to live.  Plants, animals, and people fight to stay alive.  And yet sometimes life is taken in an instant without notice.  My dad is a religious man and a deacon in the church.  He was surrounded by several family members (his er room was actually full), and as my uncle, who is an elder, was about to do an administration my dad asked his nurses if they would like to stay and join in the prayer.  I will never forget this moment, it is indelible in my memory, here was this tall, large, older man, in a hospital bed in an ER room with gadgets hooked up to him, he is visually scared, and somewhat out of breath, and as he begins to speak, all is quiet and still.  He tells the nurses exactly what is about to happen, how this elder was going to anoint his head with consecrated oil and lay his hands on his head and pray for him and the doctors as we are instructed in James chapter 5:14 – “Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick…”. When he finished he was calmer and everyone else was too.  The prayer was said while those all around stood linked hand in hand, tears came and peace came too.  After the prayer, the surgeon came in and the nurses began their prep work, we gave our kisses and hugs, and began to transfer ourselves to the waiting room.  Someone asked my dad how long the surgery would be and his reply was “It depends  on how sharp the doctor’s knife is”, he was doing better, still nervous, but better.

We waited five hours.  Around 2:30 in the morning, the surgeon comes out with amazing news.  NO bleeding!!!!!  Only 1 unit of blood needed to be used.  The operation went wonderful, the veins used to do the bypass were in super shape and he only needed 2 bypasses not the 3 or 4 suspected.  He came home a few days later, and I was there every day helping any way I could.  Time seemed to not exist those days and weeks I spent going to city to the hospital and then over to Mom and Dad’s.  But life and love were both there, reminding me of what’s truly important, what really matters.

My dad is doing great and getting around more and more.  He is still healing, physically and mentally, but each day he is pressing forward.  I told him he has to stay around and get better so he can teach his great-grandsons how to fish:).

Life, love, and time: what strange things we all have and how often do we really contemplate them?  I mention two of the three in every post I publish, at the end. I urge whoever took the time to spend reading what I share to:

Love Life & Breathe Deep,

Angela

Get Moving!!!

Years ago I started working out on a regular basis.  I have always enjoyed different workouts and have done lots of different ones.  I even used to do Jane Fonda’s Advanced workout in the 80’s. I watched that one recently on YouTube, and wow . . .  wow . . . I can’t . . . don’t know how . . .fast, they moved so fast.  I did not remember it being so fast.  A lot has changed in the workout world since then.  I still do workouts today, it’s healthy, it gets the blood moving, the lymph moving, cleanses the muscles and internal organs, and the sweating rids the body of toxins.  I read that last sentence and I have to say – eww, doesn’t sound appealing at all!  However, working out is still very healthy and everyone should do it!  Everyone can to some capacity, even residents in nursing homes bowl with the Wii game system!!  So, there is no excuse, Get Moving!!

I have posted my favorite workout videos before, the Ellen Barrett workouts.  They are designed for women, but men could do them.  Men probably would prefer something more “manly” though.  The point is, is to find something you love doing, then you will actually DO IT!

Some genius posted Ellen’s workouts that aired on Fit TV on You Tube.  Zen Sculpt and Slo-Robics are the titles.  I have them on my computer and I do them every week now.  Here is the link for ya:

http://youtu.be/j9L-JjeIOJ8  this is Zen Sculpt

http://youtu.be/gChzusc9QUU this is Slo-Robics

Here are the three videos I have of Ellen’s.  She has many more, browse You Tube or her web cite www.ellenbarrett.com to see what all she has.

Get up and get moving, you’ll feel better, I promise.

Love life and breathe deep,

Angela