Burning Bridges

I thought long and hard before writing this. But I have something to say that may help someone else.

I am not a bridge burner. I love people. Men, women, kids. They all fascinate me. Different beliefs, different socio-economic situations, and different cultures. I love to study the different personalities because it is understanding them that helps us all play well with each other. When I make a friend, it is for life. I give a lot of grace, I ask for forgiveness easily and I forgive just as easily

But there is one thing that will cause me to burn a bridge. I have only done it twice in my life.

If I am with a friend, and find out that they intentional harm another person, I will investigate to make sure that I understand exactly what happened. Then I start looking for my matches. Once I have my matches, I still take a long time to make the decision to burn that bridge.

Once I was with a very good friend whom I had known for about 3 years when she picked up the phone and called the zoning department to “turn in” one of her other friends. When I asked her why she did that, she told me that this other person was not taking the best care of her animals-according to her standards. The issue that I had with this situation is that when I asked if she had gone to the person about the situation, her answer was “no-we are friends and I do not want to hurt her feelings”.

I did not end our friendship that day, but what I found was that I began to pay closer attention to this person, and found other inconsistencies and dishonest behavior.  I do not end a friendship easily, and I do not take it lightly. To be honest, I actually go through a mourning process when I leave a friendship.

The other situation was very similar to the first. This person was extremely competitive by nature and spoke of others in a way that belittled the other person, and built herself up. I did find out that she was the one who turned me in to the zoning department for keeping chickens in my backyard. Even after I found out, I continued to work with her because we hung out with the same community. She will never know- that I know-that she is the one. I believed that I could forgive and forget. But because I remained hyper vigilant to things that she did or said; I discovered a pattern of her attempts to destroy others who she saw as a possible competitor. Now that I have backed away, I wonder what I ever saw in her in the first place.

That being said-my friends will tell you that I am loyal to a fault. I work hard to pursue a new friend, I work hard to keep the relationship going, and I treasure the miracle of each new friend in my life. It is my intension that my friendships are friendships that will last a lifetime. Oh I know that people come and go in and out of our lives all the time, but for the most part; we can still enjoy the fact that we have crossed each others paths.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I Suck at Psych


I am still playing nurse

I am still playing nurse

As a nursing student in Block 4, one of my clinical rotations is to spend time in a Psych ward.

I am supposed to interview patients, remain professional, let them do most of the talking and practice my skills of “Therapeutic Communication” or TC. I am not supposed to divulge too much about myself. I am not supposed to touch the patients, make too much eye contact, or get too personal.

Although I can pass a written exam on this subject, I suck at the implementation of the technique.

Here is a story about a few minutes of my day in a clinical setting. I will not give enough information for you to guess what facility I was at, or who I was with; so this is ok to share.

I was inside of a locked down unit where adults-both men and women had all kinds of psych issues- that they were struggling with. This can be a scary place for an inexperienced nursing student to be.

I walked around, and visited with the patients one by one, most of them looked past me, and showed very little interest in answering any of my scripted questions. I did not really blame them, I am sure that they get this treatment from every nursing student that tries to visit with them. Finally, I went to the long table, and sat down in front of a chess board. One young man challenged me to a game, I told him that I did not play. So he started telling me his story instead. I listened for a long time. When he finished, he started to leave.

So thinking fast, I told him that I had illusions too. He looked at me like I had two heads, and sat down and said “Tell me more…” he was better at TC than I was. So I rewarded his effort by telling him about the tentacled monster; that lived in the pool at night in our old backyard. I could tell that I had his attention, so I continued. I noticed that the other patients were gathering to hear my story.

I turned to them, and told them about how when Steve goes out of town for business; I have to sleep with the lights on, because the noise of the heater kicking on scares me. I told them how Cody has to sleep in my room to “protect me” while I sleep.

What I found is that these people who were not interested in me as a nursing student; where indeed interested in me as a person with fears of my own. Soon, I was telling them stories about milking goats, making cheese, chasing chickens and collecting eggs, fruit and vegetables from my gardens.

Most of these adults were young enough to be my kids. I could tell that they now felt comfortable with me, and they each began to tell their stories. I told them about some sad things that happened in my life, and how  growing a garden was my main coping skill. I clapped, and made a big fuss over the young man that sang “Oh Donna” to me. I blew kisses, I did high fives, and a couple of them asked if they could hug me. Of course I said yes. I started to cry when one of the boys (30 years old) told me how things were getting better for him.  He said “Why are you crying?” I told him that I was happy to see such a change in him. He said “You are magic!”

He did not know it but he was speaking my lingo. I asked him why he thought that I was magic. He said “One of my problems is that I cannot feel happy, and I cannot feel it when someone loves me. But playing with you makes me happy, and I can tell that you really care about me.” “I have decided that I am going to think about you; it will make me happy, and then I will get better.”

Now, you can think what you want, he may have been playing some manipulation game with me, but I choose to think not.

He then asked if I would pray with him. I told him to go and ask the charge nurse if it was ok. He did and she said “ok”. I knew that this was gonna be magic, because my heart was full of love for these people. I knew that God was gonna give me some amazing words. But here is what surprised me. This troubled young man (whom they say blew his mind on drugs) took my hands, and said a prayer for ME! He prayed for my heart, my mind, my health, and my relationship to God. He prayed for my success in school, for my family and for my farm animals. It was so sweet and simple that it truly touched me.

When he finished, I prayed for him, his health, his happiness and healing. When the prayer was over, we gave each other a big hug. I looked around and saw the other patients had all been praying too. Oh my!

After the patients all had their bedtime meds, and all went to bed one by one,  I talked to the charge nurse about what happened that night. I told him that I do not seem to be able to keep my boundaries, and though I truly enjoyed my 10 hours in the pysch ward that afternoon; I know that I would never be a good psych nurse.  He said “I don’t know little lady, I think that you did just fine. Just fine indeed.

Posted in Nursing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Food Growing Networks

I am telling a group how I built my garden beds.

I am telling a group how I built my garden beds.

So what are Food Growing Networks?

Well, maybe it is just a phrase that I just made up. But there is a reason that I did it. I go to the same Super Bowl Party every year for the last 10 years. These are people that I used to go to church with, and we have remained very good friends.

I see the hosts once a month, but I see their friends only 2 or 3 times per year at the host’s parties.

Now, I do not know if you know this about me, but I am a natural networker. I make friends with other people’s friends. I do it on purpose. No, I am not selling anything. I just love people.

When I meet new people, I start talking about growing food. There is always someone in the group that comes over to talk to me and leaves with intentions of building a garden or   getting some chickens. We stay in tough and end up becoming friends and sharing garden or chicken ideas.

So I went to this last Super Bowl Party and one of the children came up to me excited to share that she did indeed get chickens. She was telling me the breeds of each of her pullets and how happy she was with them. I suggested to her parents that she be allowed to join a local chapter of the 4-H.

This is just one of the cute little stories that happen when you are excited about what you are doing with other people.

I now have a group of people that I gather with once a month at my farm to share gardening ideas. I am delighted to say that most of these people I met through someone else. So instead of using my networking skills to try to sell something; I am doing something so much more exciting. I am networking to spread the good word, and the joy that comes from growing our own food.

Silly term really or is it? May we all find ourselves a part of a “Food Growing Network”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Herbs for Healing; Naturally

There are so many herbs for healing to choose from.

There are so many herbs for healing to choose from.

My friends all know that I have started research on the subject of “Herbs for Healing”

I am going to nursing school because I feel a very strong call in that direction. I feel like I am zeroing in on the area that I would like to work in. Many of my friends will not be surprised that I am heading towards becoming a cardiac nurse. But that is a conversation for another day. Today we are going to talk about natural healing.

I am very grateful for western medicine as one of the tools available to us. But I am like most people. I do not just want a hammer in my tool box, I want a variety of different tools that I can use for different things.

The tool that I am after this time is a little more gentle in its approach. It is not only about  preventing problems in the first place, it can also be a gentler way of fixing a problem once it has started.

Do  you remember my Turmeric post? Steve has continued taking the turmeric. He reports that he is less stiff and sore in the morning. But that was my starting point in my search for herbs for natural healing.

While researching turmeric, I  noticed that Mountain Rose Herbs kept coming up in comments about being the most reliable source for organic, fair trade, ethically wild harvested, and kosher certified botanical products.

The more I studied their site, the more impressed I became with the information, the products and the discounts that they provided. I love the fact that I can order in bulk, so that I can save even more by sharing the cost with someone else. This is one of few band wagons that I will jump on; and I have.

I have been spending a lot of time lately on their site; researching herbs for healing the issues that my family has. I am actually having fun with it. I will be sharing here what I learn from time to time.

I also have a banner on my home page that you can find easily anytime you decide to do some research on your own. You will get your own log in. You will have your own account, and get your regular discounts. I cannot see what you ordered. If you end up ordering something through that banner or one of my reference links, then I get “a little something” for sharing the good news of healing with herbs, naturally.

Posted in Herbs | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Are Words Really Healing?

Beets and Cabbages

So much to be thankful for.

You bet’cha.

Magic, or miracle-you decide. I use the word magic a lot. But what I really mean is miracle. So now, whenever you see the word “Magic” or “Magical’; just think “Miracle”” or “Miraculous”.

Where did this come from? I will tell you.

Today while driving to school I called a friend that I had spent some time with yesterday. I called her to tell her how thankful I am for her friendship. I was not blowing smoke. I was just feeling it, and knew that it would bless her to hear it. I told her that I wanted to grow up to be like her. I could just imagine her beaming face as she replied “Well, that is funny; because I want to grow up to be like you!” Her words made me happy too.

How hard was that? It took less that one minute for two people to become very happy.

What followed was a very deep, and tender discussion. I won’t tell you all the details, because it was very spaghetti. You know; one thought lead to another, and most of you will get lost. But we got it! It is like that best friend in high school that knew you so well, that she could just tell what you were thinking when she looked in your eyes. Silly girls! I love it!

We talked about how we are made of energy, and how certain music reaches us to our very soul. I told her that is how I do my best worship-singing in my car-so that only He hears.

She told me a story about a momma camel that was healed through the vibration of music.

I told her that I never go to my garden if I am feeling mad about something. I am very conscious about the fact that I want the plants to feel the joy, and peace that they give me. I want them to know that I am thankful for them, and what they represent in my life.  I do however go to the garden when I am sad, or struggling with something. My garden is one of my coping mechanisms.

So is calling certain friends.

I told her that I choose joy in my life everyday. She told me that she feels that thankfulness is her pathway to joy.

Well, there you have it- we are back to thankfulness 

Then is when the good stuff came out.

We talked about words. About how the energy (positive, negative or neutral) behind a word can be picked up by the hearer. Unlike the nursery rhyme about “sticks and stones”;  words can hurt, and deeply. Some of us are tougher than others. But in my experience words can uplift as well, words can make us happy, or sad. Even the right words said in the wrong manner can hurt.

This was truly a beautiful conversation, and I could have missed it; if I had not opened that door by sharing the thankfulness that was in my heart at that moment.

I believe that we get busy sometimes, and forget about what we are saying, or even how we are saying the good stuff.

It is my goal to be more cognitive (thoughtful) about what I am saying, and how I say it. I want my words to be the magic, or miracle that someone else might need at that moment.

So go forth, find something to be thankful for. Find your joy and then speak to those that you care about. Tell them that you love them, or that you are thankful for them. You could even say something like “You are so amazing, I want to grow up to be like you.” Just see what happens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Gramma Donna’s Orange Julius

Gramma Donna's Frosty, Frothy, Fun Drink

Gramma Donna’s Frosty, Frothy, Fun Drink

Well, not really.

Orange Julius was my favorite thing to get at the mall when I was a kid. I think that they used to put real milk and eggs in them. They used to taste great. Now they put powdered eggs, and powdered milk in them. I do not even bother anymore.

Steve told me that it was his favorite as well.

I notice that there are not as many Orange Julius Shops as there used to be. Funny how that happens.

Gramma Donna likes to make Grampa Steve’s favorite treats to reward him when he helps out around here. I have finally phased out the Twinkies. He says that they do not taste quite the same anymore. I don’t know, I never did like them. I preferred Ding Dongs.

A few years back I found a great real foods recipe for the Orange Julius that we both used to love. Guess what? We both love it again!

I do not remember where the recipe first came from, I have seen it (or something close) on many different sites. I probably changed it a little bit too. Most of the recipes in my favorite files are like that.

So, I used my Vitamix and put in 1 cup of fresh raw goat milk (168 calories) and 1 tsp of vanilla, I turned the Vitamix on low and added 3 Tablespoons of raw local honey (192 calories). Then I added 3 egg yolks (165 calories) ( (laid today by my grass and garden fed chickens). I peeled 2 huge-sweet juicy oranges (160-240 calories) from our orange trees. I broke them up, and put them in the Vitamix. Did I mention that there is lots of fiber in this version? No? Well there is.  I turned it up to 5 on the low speed dial, until it broke up the oranges. Then I added a tray (or about 2 cups) of ice, and turned it up to high.

This made enough to fill two 16 oz drinking glasses 1 and 1/2 times. So 48 oz (ish).

I looked up the individual calories for my ingredients, and came up with a total of 685-759 calories or 114-127 calories for 8 oz. I looked up the Orange Julius and found that their sugar laden version is 212 per cup. Hmmm let’s see…our version has healthier and tastier ingredients for less calories. You choose for yourself, but as for me and Grampa Steve; we will be making our own.

Now that we have orange trees, Grampa Steve has been getting this treat quite regularly.

I did give a range for the oranges because a large orange is equal to 80 calories, But I did use HUGE oranges, it might be a little more.

Posted in Oranges, Raw Milk, Real Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gramma Donna’s Dehydrated Orange Smiley Faces

all ready for the dehydrator

all ready for the dehydrator

I have decided that oranges make me happy! They are bright and colorful, they are good  for you and there are so many wonderful things that you can do with them.

Yesterday my 8 month old  grandson Mason was here. I gave him an orange to play with. Of  coarse he tried to eat it. The face that he made got me laughing so hard, so he did it again, and again. It seems that he loves to make me laugh. It became a fun game. We made faces at each other for quite awhile. Finally, he threw it on the floor and went on to another adventure-like looking at the baby in the reflection of the stainless steel garbage can.

This last weekend, I had a gardening group to the farm for an exchange. I was truly overwhelmed at the generosity of all of the givers. One of the gardeners brought peeled, dehydrated oranges. They were amazing! They looked like oranges, and had a sweet as candy taste, but the texture was like “Cheese Puffs!” Gimme that bag!

So, guess what I have been doing for the last couple of days.

Inspired by Mason-I decided to make smiley face orange slices to dehydrate. I did not peel them, so that they would hold together. It took 24 hours on the 135 degree setting. What I found accidently is that once dehydrated; the peel even tasted delicious!

Dehydrated Blood oranges with our salad

Dehydrated orange slices with our salad



Posted in Oranges | Tagged | 5 Comments