Sunday, August 30, 2009

Overcoming the Blues

Saturday I bought some beautiful sunflowers and some red flowers of which I'm uncertain of their identity. I'm always delighted with the colorful selection of beauty in Mr. Chandler's flower booth at our local farmers' market. These were no exception. I brought them home and chose to display them in my only blue vase (which is normally in the back of the top cabinet on the top shelf because, as you know, blue is not my favorite color). After all it would make a great post for Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally.

Of course, with my passion for wellness and a blog that features suggestions for holistic health and wellness, I had to find a way to bring that in also. Consider these sunflowers would definitely be a sunny and uplifting spot in an otherwise BLUE day. The number of people suffering from the blues to mild or severe depression seems to be growing continuously. Perhaps it is our over committed lifestyles, relationship challenges, poor health, problems with the children, finances -- There are just so many challenges that will steal our joy and even cause an onset of depression in our lives. Where do we turn to combat the blues or worse. As my blog them goes, King Solomon words surely apply here: "Tranquility is life to the body.... (that Scripture finishes with ) stress is rottenness to the bones."

In my reflexology practice I'm saddened by the number of individuals who are finding it necessary to take medications for depression and anxiety. Some of these are some very young adults. While these medications may be helpful they also carry side effects. You hear those listed on every drug advertisement which bombards your senses as they are broadcast straight into your living room. Are there other options? (Please see note below.)

When you are feeling down, is the first place you turn to the Lord? I pray it is so. There is no burden we carry that is too big for Him. Jesus tells us, "Come to me all you are are weak and weary and heavy ladened. Cast your cares upon Me, because I care for you." He'll take care of the worries and stresses that easily take us down when we fret about them and take them on in our own strength. God through nature and human touch has also provided us with some amazing natural resources for improving our lives.

In the photo above you will notice little bottles of essential oils. Allow me to share with you how these may be helpful in cases of blues, depression, anxiety and similar challenges.

*Peace and Calming® -- The oils in this blend (tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli and blue tansy) may help it be effective for dealing with various problems related to the nervous system and emotional balance. This blend of oils is perfect for calming nerves or emotion at the end of a long day or in times of stress. (Apply to navel, feet, back of neck or wear as perfume.)

*Hope(TM) -- The single oils in this blend (melissa, myrrh, juniper and spruce) have the ability to help support the body physically and mentally to give us hope. Those oils when inhaled together may give us the feeling of going forward with hope and achievement. It reconnects us with a feeling of strength and grounding. It may also help relieve depression and suicidal thoughts. (Apply on outer edge of ears, chest, heart, temples, nape of neck feet and wrists. Wear as perfume or cologne.)

*Joy(TM) -- This blend is a beautiful complimentary blend of oils (lemon, mandarin, bergamot, ylang ylang, rose, rosewood, geranium, palmarosa, roman chamomile, and jasmine). When inhaled it brings back memories of being loved, being held, sharing loving times, feeling and opening those blocks in our lives where perhaps we have shut down to love or receiving love or love of self. When there is grief, the adenoids and the adrenal glands shut down; Joy opens these glands. (Rub over heart, ears, neck, thymus, heart chakras, temples, across brown and wrists. Put in bath water, wear as cologne, or put two drops on a wet cloth and put in the dryer for great smelling clothes.)

Also, reflexology is an incredible natural therapy for helping to overcome depression. An article at GoToSee, a complementary therapy website in the UK, presents the case for this so well I won't even begin to describe it here. You are invited to visit their website to learn so much more about the number one benefit of reflexology to reduce stress and bring a sense of tranquility to the body. May I strongly encourage you to take a little side trip to this site especially if you or someone you know suffers regularly from depression, anxiety or just the plain old blues. While there are no guarantees, some of my clients have reduced the amount of medication they are taking after receiving regular reflexology sessions. (Please see note below.) You may also learn more about reflexology at my Footsteps In Eden site.

*The descriptive information on these oils comes from the book, "Reference Guide for Essential Oils" by Connie and Alan Higley. The oils are proprietary blends from Young Living Essential Oils.

PLEASE NOTE: This post is informational only. My reflexology registration with the state of TN is under the department of Health Related Boards. I am in no way advocating that anyone go against physicians' instructions or stop medications. I am not a medical doctor and I do not diagnose, prescribe, or alter medications. That is outside the scope of my practice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rescuing Orphans -- A Thankful Thrusday Offering

A heart of thankfulness and gratitude is a great measure of health and wellness to the body, mind, and spirit. Grace Alone host Thankful Thursdays. I have seen others posts for this meme, but have not posted there before -- I'm not sure I have even visited. That's my loss for sure. Today a post for Thankful Thursday caught my attention and I was drawn there to the theme of thankfulness with the thoughts of rescue in mind. I'm so glad I did.

For those who have visited Alive! recently you know that my son and his wife are on an adoption journey to "rescue" two children from their very difficult circumstances in Ethiopia. We haven't met these precious children yet or even know who they are. What we do know is that there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia because of an every growing HIV/Aids crisis, drought, & famine. While family is important to the Ethiopian people, these millions of children have no one left with the means to care for them. Two of them will soon be welcomed with love by our family. The anticipation is great and the needs to see this through are also great.

Adoption, unfortunately, is a very expensive undertaking in terms of dollars needed to actually bring the children home to their "forever families." Through my love and passion for fabrics, embroidery, and creative endeavors along with the financial need these charming bracelets and treasure pockets were born. Notice in the photos that we've added a darling little charm of Africa as a reminder to the wearer that this is benefiting the family's adoption. The treasure pockets you see in the background of the next photo were originally created as a way to fund my reflexology schooling a few years back. Two to three hundred were sold. Sixty or seventy have been waiting around for their opportunity to contribute to another great cause. God is so good...always providing opportunities.

Now combine these lovely creations with my reflexology practice. The display you see here is on my dining room table where all my clients stop to pay for their reflexology sessions and to book their next appointment. Since my practice is part-time seeing 7-8 clients in an average week, I'm very excited and THANKFUL on this THANKFUL THURSDAY to report that these earned $150 just this week toward the adoption. It's very exciting to be a part of this "rescue" journey. Praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in all these lives!

Please, if you will, read more about their story at their Ethiopia's Calling blog. They are having a giant yard/garage sale at Amy's parents' home in the Chicagoland area this weekend. Thank you for praying for them for beautiful weather, motivated shoppers, and a very successful event bringing them steps closer to being united with the children God has waiting to join their family.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Essential Oils to Kill the Insects that Eat Your Plants

This is very exciting. Those of us that know the potential of essential oils have been aware of their potential to be an highly effective pesticide without the toxic effects to humans and animals and the environment. Now National Geographic is reporting it as news in their Green Guide. They are calling them "killer spices." I'll call them essential oils. The article refers to both. You may read the whole story here. This is such valuable information.

Wonder what took them so long to figure this out? Cedarwood (discussed for many interesting reasons in a post a day or two ago) has long been used to line closets and chests to keep insects from eating their way through clothing, linens, etc. Citronella is sold in candles and sprays, which often contain other more toxic ingredients in their formula as well. Those are just two common ways essential oils from plants are used for the critter battle already. And without the side effects of the toxic chemical solutions. It makes me almost sick to even walk down the aisle in the local "do-it-yourself center" where these are stocked. Think someone would have gotten it sooner.

You may find that growing these plants in your garden may be beneficial for insect control. To purchase small amounts of these oils (in highly concentrated form & which may be significantly diluted) for your own gardening needs, please visit Heaven Scent Essentials website.

My Blues for Today

I've begun to make a habit of posting for Blue Monday over at Smiling Sally's blog. If you've read the few I've posted you know that blue is more of a challenge for me. Perhaps that is why I'm feeling an urge to continue to share with you in this venue.

This week I spent a few days in the Nashville area visiting my son and his family. Of course, that includes my very special (and only) grandson, Isaac. Please notice that in our photo moment here he is wearing blue, and you see just a hint of the blue and green design that decorated my white tee. Also, note this is a very relaxed and happy gramma, too. It was a privilege while there to swap reflexology sessions with a fellow practitioner -- oh such a blessing for my own health & wellness & tranquility. And you know that subject is one for which I am passionate.

Isaac's mom and dad have been diligently working to raise the funds needed for their adoption plans. You might enjoy reading (and following) their journey at Amy's blog: Ethiopia's Calling. This week we sorted children's clothing for one of two big garage sales they are having, we collaborated on a letter sharing their story and their financial and prayer needs with family and friends, learned more about a benefit cruise that a friend/travel agent is organizing on their behalf, and became even more excited about the Bracelets for Ethiopia that this Gramma has been creating for another fundraiser. Sharing a photo of a few of the blue ones here. They will soon be available in my Etsy shop.

When leaving on Saturday the weather was so beautiful. The thought of being cooped up in the car for 3+ hours just wasn't very appealing. Part of living a healthy lifestyle, however, is in taking whatever circumstances and finding the beauty in them. The Lord sure delivered with some very dramatic cloudscapes in the blue, blue sky. Thinking that my fellow travelers on I-40 in West Tennessee must have thought I was a little off driving and shooting photos at the same time. . . and must admit it was a bit scary, but worth capturing the moment!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quietude & Cedarwood - Places of Wisdom

"Quietude, which some men cannot abide because it reveals their inward poverty, is as a palace of cedar to the wise, for along its hallowed courts the King in his beauty deigns to walk."
- Charles H. Spurgeon

You may recall that King Solomon built the temple and his own palace of cedarwood. But do you know the aromatic influence of cedar's aromas besides being an enjoyable treat for the olfactory sense?

In his book, Healing Oils of the Bible, Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D. says this about the aromatic influence of cedarwood:
Solomon built his temple and palace out of the Cedars of Lebanon. Thus, his places to live, govern, and worship all had the vapors of cedarwood in the air. Cedarwood oil contains the highest concentrasion of sesquiterpenes of any known substance (98%). Sesquiterpenes oxygenate the brain and support clear thinking, which is what wise rulers need to have. Perhaps King Solomon was wiser than we thought. Perhaps he knew of the aromatherapeutic benefits of cedar and applied that knowledge in building his palace and temple.
Steward also mentions, "the scent of cedarwood can help clear many buried emotions, including feelings of pride or conceit."

Cedarwood therapeutic grade essential oil, which may also be helpful for a variety of health challenges including anxiety, arthritis, congestion, coughs, systitis, dandruff, cellulite, and sinusitis among others is available from Young Living Essential Oils.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Massage Reports Multiple Benefits of Reflexology

Massage gives thumbs up to reflexology for multiple conditions among them sleep challenges, irritable bowel, depression, constipation, menopause symptoms, and side effects of chemotherapy. All of these reports are supported by research studies on with real people.

These are health challenges that have been faced by many of my clients. Seeing first hand the benefits they have experienced from regular reflexology sessions (1-4 weeks apart), I was most excited to come upon this article and to be able to share it with you. For you or for a friend or loved one struggling in these areas, this article is worth the read.

Looking for a reflexologist...well, if you're in the Memphis, TN area please give me a call. You'll find the number on my Footsteps In Eden website. Other areas of the country, the websites of Reflexology Association of America and the American Reflexology Certification Board contain referral lists by state.

Photo from Stock Vault.

Look for the Tranquil Places Just at Hand

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer hosts Outdoor Wednesday. This is my first contribution, but I've seen many beautiful photos posted there. A trip around many of these may offer a few moments of tranquility in the midst of a busy day. Sitting at my kitchen table (sometimes with my laptop)the photo above is the view from my breakfast nook picture window. The setting (there's a park right behind our home) is a most relaxing spot to work and enjoy life at the same time. Blessings like this one, because it is so close at hand, often go unnoticed as we hurry through life. What are the little blessings around you today...the small spots of tranquility in your life...that if taken for granted may be missed so quickly and easily?

Remember to stop by Susan's blog, leave a few comments, and take the time to smell the roses there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My "Ruby" Sanctuary

The Ruby Tuesday carnival hosted by "Work of the Poet" has caught my attention as I've gone visiting so many new blogs out there. While participating in "Blue Monday" has been a sweet blessing, ruby is much more a color of choice in my surroundings (along with purple and gold and green and rust and black and even a touch of orange -- just imagine all of that together).

Important to a great night's sleep is an inviting "sanctuary" calling out to you each evening. A couple of years ago after finding this great print for the bedspread, the reds were just calling out to be highlighted. A passionate ruby wall is framing our bed. The serenity of green grace the remaining walls. Now add the peaceful scents of lavendar, orange, sandalwood (to name a few you might experience here) and sleepytime music playing softly in the background, and I love the tropical paradise we've created. Usually a quite tranquil spot in which to retire for the evening. Loving inviting you in for a little tour.

Work of the Poet

Do you Believe a Tax on Sodas Would Help the Childhood Obesity Crisis?

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the US. Does that disturb you? It certainly is scary when you think of all the health problems associated with the extra pounds, and these children will be at risk at a very early age. The figure is that about 30% of American kids fall into this category and the number is rising. Some of them are severely obese. Sadly, I remember as a child that the few fat kids were pretty much the object of other kids' jokes as well -- at the very least, they were not usually among the popular kids and rarely chosen for anyone's team. In this Washington Post article you can read about this growing problem and some initiatives being taken to address it.

Another article in the Washington Post that came to my attention this week focuses on one aspect: SODAS! There are those who would like to place a stiff tax on sodas sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. While I'm not sure exactly what my opinion is of this idea, it might at least give parents a reason to pause and reflect on the choices they are making to feed themselves and their families.

Memories Stored in a Little Blue Box

My blue contribution to this week's Smiling Sally's Blue Monday. Blue is a always a challenge for me. Except for turquoise and the deep teals, my space doesn't come to life in the blue family. This photo, however, holds an especially fond "blue" memory. Sweet memories are balm to the soul.

Before sharing a little explanation of its current use, and my sweet memory about this box, please allow me to digress for a paragraph here. It's all a part of the story.

From previous posts you may know that my son and d-i-l are adopting two children from Ethiopia. The cost of adoption is quite high -- While most adoptive families are willing to make some enormous personal sacrifices to bring their children home, they just don't have big enough piggy banks to meet the financial requirements without help of family, friends, and even some they don't know. As a family we have some pretty creative fundraisers in the works. . . what you see here is just a glimpse of the makings of some pretty bracelets that will soon be showing up in my etsy shop with all profits going to their adoption fund. (Hope you don't mind that I shared this tidbit here.)

One of the big things that David and Amy have done since they married six years ago, and are still doing to an even greater extent, is shopping the thrift shops, repurposing many items they already have and keeping life simple. That thrifty attitude is catching on big with many people today after being lost for a time in the prosperity we enjoyed for so many years as a country. I remember that the attitude permeated everything my mother did in her life, as it did in most of the members of her generation having lived through the great depression. The memories attached to this precious blue box are a great example.

This was mom's greeting card box. She originally purchased it when I was a small child (and it did originally contain greeting cards). She kept that box in the middle desk drawer always filled with cards that she found at a bargain price somewhere. She rarely bought a new box -- probably more like she found a bin where she could get 2 dozen for 50cents on clearance. I remember this box always full with lots of choices for any occasion, and I remember the box being opened often to choose a special sentiment for friends and family whether it was a birthday, a new baby, an anniversary, or other encouragement. Mom enjoyed brightening others' days with cheerful greetings often accompanied by one of her handmade gift treasures.

Why I kept this little blue box, I'm not really sure except perhaps for one of the cherished and happy moments memories of a somewhat tumultuous childhood. Mom's penchant for repurposing (all though we just often weren't very appreciative of that facet of her personality at the time) may be the very reason. As I've been cutting small fabric pieces for these handmade treasures as one of my contributions to the adoption $$$, I was looking for something around the house to repurpose that would hold all these little pieces and keep them from becoming a jumbled mess. Voila! This little blue box is exactly the right width for these little strips of fabric and keeps them and the memories neatly at my fingertips while working on one at a time. Fifty+ years later this blue box is still in use, and I believe mom would be quite pleased.

As I've been visiting around others' blogs this morn as well, leaving my thoughts and comments, I realized that this just might fit in with Today's Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spending Very Special Time with a Very Special Little Girl

Robin at Around the Island hosts Summer Stock Sunday. Sharing my special morning with sweet little granddaughter, Mikah.

A pleasant summer day, Mikah and I enjoyed Thursday morning at the Memphis Zoo. Quite enlightening to take time to just "smell the roses" through the eyes of a child. Her 3 yr. old perspective always amazes and refreshes me!

Mikah was a bit leary of the standing too close to the flowers. There were a few bees.

The giant pandas were a must see. This one was taking a snooze while we visited him. What a rude host. Mikah doesn't seem to mind, though.

Always looking for a playground with "monkey hangers" -- or just old fashioned monkey bars -- is a challenge. Mikah loves them! She thought this single bar was almost a monkey hanger.

When asked her favorite part of our adventure, Mikah said she loved it when the sea lions splashed her. . . and splash her they did!

After walking to all corners of the zoo for 2 1/2 hours, Mikah quieried me, "Gramma, we are really walking long. Will we ever get back to your home?" In the parking lot she was sure, "Your car is hining (hiding) Gramma. Now I know we will never be able to get back to your home." So cute. We did find the car, of course, and we did find our way back home. In this photo she is resting her very tired little feet.

Prevention and Naturopathy Offer Another Option to the Healthcare Issue

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the little saying goes. There may just be something to the ounce of prevention plan.

So much controversy surrounds the healthcare issue. There is probably no one in this country that would say everything with our current health care system and the pharamaceutical companies and health insurance companies is AOK. Right now the pendelum seems to be swinging between the extremes. All the screaming at town hall meetings and the heated discussions on facebook and other social networking media makes for some interesting entertainment, but hasn't resolved much of how we will actually be taken care of. I for one am very concerned. Not knowing at all the future of healthcare availablity in our country is only one part of the issue. Whether healthcare is availabe or not, I believe that our health is something for which we must personally take responsibility. We eat the Standard American Diet, get little exercise except our fingers walking on the keyboard, and we live in a toxic laden world. This is a pretty good Rx for being sick and needing healthcare. Is there another side to this pic we might consider?

The one area that keeps flashing images in my mind mind is that of prevention and holistic remedies. Keeping our bodies healthy and in optimum condition in the first place would, most likely, reduce the necessity to seek out medical attention. Eating locally grown (usually closer to organic) and organic foods, finding a form of exercise we love and fits our lifestyles, and doing our best to remove toxic chemicals from our homes are a few means to that end. Naturopaths, Bodywork specialists, herbalists and more have some pretty amazing therapies to offer to further enhance your wellness experience.

When medical intervention is called for where do you turn? The chic website has a whole article devoted to holistic remedies vs those of traditional medicine. Yes, the holistic remedies are a bit slower. However, while pharmaceuticals quickly address symptoms, the root cause is often neglected only for the condition to return again later. Personally I've had some experience with this resently.

First let me say that I am extremely thankful for the pharmaceutical drugs that saved my life when I was delicately and barely hanging on to life several weeks ago. Once the symptoms were addressed and my body's systems were somewhat stable, however, it was time to address the real culprits that had invaded my body. The bacteria that had entered through a seriously infected allergic reaction gone bad were still there. We found so many testimonials of the cellulitis part of this whole mess I was dealing with coming back over and over again when the phramaceutical drug rounds were completed.

My desire is for a permanent healing. For that I consulted with a naturopathic doctor who suggested some natural antibiotics and diuretics. While my recovery has been very slow, I have seen some improvement every single day. After about nine weeks the infection is almost gone, and I believe it is a complete healing rather than the temporary fix I was experiencing with the pharmaceuticals. This will be followed up shortly with a detox program.

I am not a doctor, I do not practice medicine, I do not diagnose or treat illnesses. I have shared my own experiences and a few of my personal opinions along with a link to an article that has investigated some health condition specific traditional vs homeopathic remedies. I see this as the future for those truly interested in living a long and productive life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Special Joy In Blue!

Just for Blue Monday . . . we divert our attention for a moment from thoughts on health and wellness to precious people and things that grace my life. I believe that in the larger pic, faith, family, memories, and enjoyment of life are the greatest contributors to true health and wellness. So, here's my contribution today to Smiling Sally's Blue Monday.

Just love this pic of my mischievous little granddaughter in her pretty blue Easter dress . . . this would not be a complete story, though, without pics of our other two precious little ones. . . one is wearing a spot of blue. Well, the other is spinning in her matching (to her sister's) purple confection. (These dresses were a real joy to create adding to my personal wellness quotient.)

This little guy turned 1 on The Fourth of July. His family is on the adoption journey, and he will soon have siblings from Ethiopia. While visiting ALIVE!, look for more on their story.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pockets of Treasure for Two Ethiopian Orphans

Etsy store, Lynn's Treasure Pockets, has reopened. We've reposted a few expired items and are so excited about our latest inspiration. It's coming soon. Hint: A delightful looking for this precious and inspiring gift idea.

I recently read that the church is dying because Christians fail to make Christ ALIVE! Extending our hand to the poor and needy is the call of the Christ Follower's life.
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27 (NLT)

So where do these two thoughts merge? An earlier post this week featured our son and d-i-l and the adventure on which they have embarked: Adopting two Ethiopian orphans. When you shop at Lynn's Treasure Pockets, you join the journey. All profits from sales in this Etsy store will benefit David & Amy's adoption fund.

The Father has not left us as orphans --

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, 'Abba, Father.'" Romans 8:15

I especially love the way this is worded (and in context) in THE MESSAGE:

"This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!" Romans 8:15-17

In that same spirit of reaching out to the orphan and widow as commanded and as Christ has done for us, we're looking forward to your participation in uniting these two precious orphans (children of our Heavenly Father) with their forever family.

Thank you for joining us in bringing this family together, and for sharing this post and the links with your friends.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms May Respond Well to Reflexology

Did you know that Restless Leg Syndrome may be caused by a mineral deficiency, a Vitamin B deficiency induced neuropathy, or even hormonal imbalances. While I was looking into this for a client yesterday, I was amazed at some of the things I discovered about this most annoying and frustrating challenge to a great night's sleep. Here is an article that discusses many of the potential causes.

One of my favorite aromatherapy sources suggested that the condition has many similarities in nature to ADD and ADHD. This seemed to be in the area of mineral deficiencies also. Loads of nutrients from fruits and veggies were suggested along with mineral supplements. Would you like to learn more about the specific suggestions in this source? Join my facebook page (see right hand column.) Leave your message there. I'll be sure to get back with you in a timely fashion.

What really jumped out at me was the Vitamin B deficiency neuropathy. Testimonial evidence shows REFLEXOLOGY to be a major blessing for the nervous system. Many practitioners believe that reflexology works by directly effecting the enormous numbers of nerve endings found in the feet and stem from all the various organs, glands, and parts of the body. Bottom line: it has offered great help to many with RLS challenges. You'll find a discussion of reflexology for sleep challenges including RLS on Reflexology for Relaxation and Better Health.

Just a little P.S. here. Be watching for "Wisdom for Well-Being Wednesdays," in development stage. This will be your opportunity and forum for sharing your life wisdom for the betterment of body, mind, and spirit.

Kitty photo from StockVault

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Three Will Become Five

Our son and his family -- David, Amy & little Isaac -- are on an adoption journey to bring home two orphans from this extremely impoverished country. Please take time to visit their blog, Ethiopia's Calling to learn more about the challenges faced by children in this country and about their adoption story. Trusting the Lord that their one-child family will soon be a three-child family. Including mom and dad that is definitely 3 or more! (Check out the end of the post for the significance of 3 or more.)

We are all called to reach out to the poor and needy. When we answer that call, special things happen in our spirits that allow us to touch the heart of God. There is no doubt that there is a deep sense of spiritual wellness in that place.

The costs involved in adoption are great on many levels including financial. You may learn about some of that on their blog. We will be suggesting so many ways you may choose to be a part of bringing these children home to their forever family.

There are two big garage sales in the works right now. If you're in the Chicago or Nashville areas I would be happy to share the details on those. I'll also be sharing opportunities in the coming weeks and months in which everyone, if feeling led, may participate. Come back to visit often and watch for exciting happenings (Here is just the beginning.)
  • The MOST important thing: Prayer, prayer, and more prayer -- for the children, for Amy, David & Isaac as they prepare to welcome these children into their family, and for the finances needed.
  • Reopening of my etsy store (all profits will benefit their adoption fund)
  • A link to coffee roasters who are combining their passions for fair trade coffee and orphans of Africa -- individual adopting families will benefit from the sales of the coffee
  • Many other creative concepts still in development
Will you be one of a very special group of friends who is called and will answer, in whatever way big or small, to unite this family? Looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

I've just discovered The Gypsy's Corner blog, which I am enjoying. Tam, the blogs creator has offered a place to share: Three or more Tuesday.... Please visit Tam's blog, leave a comment. Add a link to your own post. Leave a comment or two on ALIVE! as well. They are always appreciated by all of us who take the time to share.

Old Old Tray Treasured in my Reflexology Studio

Diane's blog, "A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words," hosts Second Time Around Tuesdays. Participation requires a link to a post about something new to you, but has been around awhile -- perhaps a long time. You may have found it at a yard sale, thrift shop, by the side of the road . . . .

I'll have to say, my contribution wasn't found in any of those places, and it is not even brand new to me. In fact, it's been around my whole life. The tray in this picture has become a treasured piece (at least to me) in my reflexology studio. I love the detail in the stamping and the textured look of the tray that was given to my parents as a wedding gift in 1947. It's had a very active life over all these years. My mother used it to serve indoors, outdoors, any time there was an opportunity. My bro had it for awhile, and used it all the time. Not sure how it came to be mine, but I cherish its presence and the memories it evokes in my heart and life almost everyday. Pleasant and cherished memories bring joy to the heart. When a heart is joyful it has life! More on Joy in another post. (SMILE)

Your comments are treasured deeply.
If you haven't already, please drop by and leave a comment and/or a link at Diane's blog, too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Follow ALIVE! on Blogger

Finding my way back to my blog after this two month absence and recovery, my hope and prayer is to create a network of friends sharing each others thoughts and inspirations. I believe that is what this blogging business is all about. It does take a bit of extra work. Now that I have finally joined the wireless world, that task should be a bit easier. (Interpretation: I can sit in the living room where my husband watches his high testosterone laden programming, but conveniently be tuned in to my blogging endeavors instead. Works for me.)

So far today since adding the follower gadget, I have two followers. Welcome Terry and ClassyChassy!

This beauty of a butterfly (I just love butterflies!) is from

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Blue" for the Blues?

Returning to ALIVE! yesterday, one important item on my agenda was to go hopping...checking in with a few I follow, and discovering a few more linked to those. You know, I believe that's a great way to make new friends in the blogosphere world.

One new friend is Smiling Sally. I'm following her now, and will be adding her blog to my favorites list. "Blue Monday" is Sally's own fun way to interact with blogger friends. Be sure to visit.

A mention of her "Blue Monday" posts drew my attention to her "home." I'm not sure why. Purple, orange, teal, coral, caribbean sea green, brown . . . those are my colors. But recently I bought a bathing suit in brown with big blue flowers. Then I purchased some awesome blue lagoon batik and made a skirt to complement it. An old (but beautiful) necklace and bracelet with a couple shades of blue was the inspiration for another sewing project -- a deep rich blue dress. And then, of course, I love my blue jeans!!!!

How does all of this fit into my health and wellness blog? Well, let's talk about one of my very favorite blue treasures, Australian Blue™ (therapeutic grade) essential oil from Young Living Essential Oils. Sweet smelling Australian Blue™ derives it's sweet aroma from a blend of Blue Cypress, Ylang Ylang, Blue Tansy, Cedarwood, and White Fir essential oils. Among the potential aromatic benefits of this beautiful blend of oils are its abiities to be calming and balancing to the emotions and quite uplifiting and inspiring as well. Doesn't Australian Blue sound like the perfect antidote for the blues?

Additional notes here: Its aromatic influence may also help calm anger and bring about self-control. If that's not enough, you may apply it topically for its potential to relieve minor aches and pains. Some folks use it as perfume. Inhale Australian Blue's™ sweet scent...First prepare your olfactory senses for a most delightful treat!!!

The sense of smell is so powerful and brings back memories stored for years as well as prompts our quick reactions even before we have an opportunity to consider them. The sense of smell is the only of our five senses of which this is true. Inhaling the beautiful scents of aromatherapy oils have the potential to provide some amazing benefits for our total well-being: body, mind & spirit. A few of them travel with me always wherever I go.

ALIVE! -- Returning to the Blog World

Last post on health & wellness or anything was May 26th. After a 2 month hiatus, perhaps a little explanation is in order.

With thanksgiving to an awesome Heavenly Father who provides healing and makes us ALIVE! in Him, I'm still here to give Him the glory.

A fine line between life and allergic reaction gone terribly bad in early June, found me in the hospital receiving super gargantuan mega-doses of the drugs I prefer to avoid. With a diagnosis of strep induced toxic shock syndrome and celluliltis, I'm very grateful that these were available as a life saving measure.

For someone who just doesn't do sick well at all, the patience it is taking to arrive at complete recovery has been challenging indeed. The first month was just a blur. As I've begun working again and keeping the grandchildren a bit, I'm slowly getting back into my routines. That means ALIVE! will come back to life!!!!

Looking forward to sharing more great thoughts on life and living it to the fullest -- making the most of each new day, and finding ways to stay healthy and well in body, mind, and spirit. Meet me here. Kindly, leave comments along the way.

*Photo from