Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ask and ye shall receive

My first opportunity today to see the extended 10-day forecast covering New Year's Day. It reminded me of when I received Divine assistance in selling my house in Texas. There was no doubt that it was with His help. After weeks (and weeks...) of continuous rain, the chance of rain on the day of my race is 0%. I did ask for His help with this challenging adventure but did NOT presume to ask for sunny skies and perfect temperature. The fact that that is precisely what is predicted is a testimony to me that it is a lovingly bestowed blessing. My first thought was not to blog this yet for fear of "jinxing" it but immediately following was the thought that that would show a lack of faith. So I am thanking Him in advance for His help and love.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happiness is a warm hug

I was the recipient of a God-wink this morning (ie. a tender mercy). My daughter and son-in-law were scheduled to do temple baptisms at 9:30, which is during our Saturday morning shift at the temple. I'd sent her the sheet of family names earlier but was hoping for a chance to get down there to see them some time during my shift.  When I got my assignment for the day I saw that I was tied up the whole morning with no real opportunity to get to the baptistry. I was at my first assignment when I went to ask the supervisor a question. She was with someone so I waited (ie. eavesdropped...). They were talking about absences for the day and that they were short-staffed in the baptistry...I interrupted and volunteered to help out. She checked my schedule and saw where she could rearrange things to have all areas covered and gratefully sent me down to the baptistry! I helped out there and in the laundry (folding clothes) the rest of the morning and got to assist my kids with their temple visit. It felt like I'd gotten a hug from my Heavenly Father to be able to spend my morning in such service!

Friday, December 21, 2012

of Shepherds and Lambs

I got an interesting text from my (very) pregnant daughter this morning wishing I was there to give her a massage with my oils. That morphed into a question if I wanted to accompany her during labor and delivery. I told her I'd do whatever she needed. I was planning to stay with her other children during that crucial time but maybe Grandpa could do that...after that conversation I was searching through the Ensign looking for an appropriate message to bring my sisters this month and I found a story about a nativity play:
“The shepherds have waited their entire lives for their Savior’s arrival, and now they anticipate the unspeakable honor of greeting Him at His birth. But amid the scurry to embark on this journey of a lifetime, one shepherd remains still. His grandson calls out to him, “Grandfather, aren’t you coming?” His answer teaches a great lesson: “I’ll stay with the sheep.”

This was exactly what I was feeling about Rachel's question. Sometimes our role is to be the star. Other times it is to stay in the background and be a quiet support.  I felt honored to be asked to be by her side this time and be able to greet this new little spirit at its birth but also told her I would be wherever she needed me most. Wherever we serve, it does not go unnoticed. Heavenly Father sees and knows of the righteous desires of our hearts and will bless us for our willingness to serve where called, to help where we are needed. It reminds me of this poem I love by Emily Dickinson:

They might not need me; but they might.
I'll let my head be just in sight;
a smile as small as mine might be
precisely their necessity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Since August I have been treating my high cholesterol with doTerra essential oils alone (no statins, no Red Yeast Rice). Monday I got a blood draw and the results are in: in the intervening 6 months, my HDL went from 60 to 81, and my LDL dropped from 136 to 117. Total number remained the same (227 vs. the earlier 225) but what a huge ratio change for the better! Husband says, "Numbers don't lie--I want numbers like that!" so he began the regimen this morning: One drop of Clary Sage over the liver and a drop of Lemongrass and/or Wild Orange on the tongue morning and evening. Side effects: 0.


What are you doing to celebrate this day, the last of its kind in our lifetime? Husband and I made 12 dozen cookies for friends and neighbors with this accompanying (original) poem:

You are one of 12 on this historic day,
The last in our lifetime of dates this way!
An even dozen to mark the event
Before the hours have all been spent.
To 12 friends and neighbors, oh, so sweet--
We hope you enjoy this little treat.

Have a great 12x3!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I've been searching for over a year for a marathon to run. I've done one half-marathon and several 5ks but this would be my first 26.2 and I had a lot of criteria. That criteria has changed over the past few months. At first I was training in my Vibram 5-fingers so I was looking for a trail run, but then I developed foot pain from running wrong and had to wear shoes with inserts so trail running was out. I was looking for something close by, relatively flat, not on city streets and not on a Sunday. Then in September, Rich and I began our callings as temple workers, which is every Saturday morning. Now I had to look for a marathon that wasn't held on a Saturday as well. Good luck with that, you say? Well, I strongly believe in the promises in 2 Nephi 32:9 so I asked for Help in finding a marathon and then accomplishing the goal to run it. I soon found this one and have felt inspiration and help all along the way as I prepare:
  • I was worried about what to eat before and during that long of a run, and then I got the same advice from two different people on the same day to use Chia seeds. My son-in-law got me a great recipe for chia/honey/lime water and that has proved to be the best fuel for all my long runs so far.
  • I'm not very good about warming up before runs, and I started getting some knee pains. The next day I found in my inbox a video from about the best routine for warming up: The Lunge Matrix. This has helped tremendously with my knees.
  • After I began using DoTerra essential oils on my feet, my arthritis and foot pains have been greatly diminished and actually go away while I'm running.
Tomorrow is my longest of the training runs before the marathon on January 1st: 20 miles. I'm more excited than nervous and am confident things will go well, as I "run the race set before [me]" (see Heb. 12:1).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1 Cor. 10:13

Hooray for me! Everyone is always bringing in goodies to share... Today I was in the break-room with a lone cupcake staring at me--my favorite too: chocolate with vanilla frosting. I picked it up, started to tear away the cupcake liner, then stopped and put it back. It taunted me for 20 minutes, until a co-worker came in and scooped it up and ate it! Yay! I resisted the temptation until it was no longer an option! After work I dropped Rich off at home and just ran in to get a jacket to go visiting teaching. While there I was feeling a bit hungry and remembered I had a coconut candy bar in my desk. I started for the bedroom to retrieve it then remembered the "cupcake incident" from earlier in the day and didn't want to negate that victory, so went out the door without my treat.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rich and I were set apart this morning (6:00 a.m.) as temple workers. In his setting apart, Rich was blessed that he would feel great joy in his temple service; that he would be blessed in his duties at home and work as he served. He was also blessed that he and I would be safe as we traveled to and from the temple each week. In my blessing, I was told my mind would be quickened to learn, understand and retain the things I needed to know. This evening I mentioned to Rich what a wonderful blessing he'd gotten. He said, "Really? What was it?" I told him and then also told him what mine said. He said, "You mean, like the fact that you remembered both of the blessings and I didn't remember any of it?" Yeah, something like that!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TRI retrospective

I got into the Triathlon last year at Joella Peterson's encouragement. We trained together all year, starting in January 2011! It really strengthened our friendship and was great fun. When I started, I didn't even know HOW to swim freestyle. I could only do a few strokes before getting very tired and resorted to the side stroke or backstroke. Then I got a video from the library on how to swim freestyle, which was very helpful. I put into practice all the tips from the video and found I could swim 10 minutes of freestyle! That built up to where I was swimming for an hour just freestyle quite comfortably. Before practicing for the Tri, I didn't really enjoy bicycling all that much. I felt I wasn't very fast and it was a chore that made my legs tired. This year, with my second year of training, I found I LOVE biking! My leg strength has increase so much that biking is effortless and so enjoyable. I went from biking the 13 miles in about 70 minutes (last year) to finishing in 47 minutes this year. The best part: this year I was performing 20 pounds lighter than I was last year! I feel really good about my weight loss and general fitness levels. I'm trying not to be too obsessive about "dieting" but find it is actually a lifestyle of eating better, exercising more and respecting what I put into and do to my body. The nice thing about the Wonder Women TRI is the camaraderie and encouragement we give to each other. It's an all-women LDS organized event. There is not a spirit of competition except with one's own abilities. Everyone you pass (or passes you) gives out encouragement and cheer to spur you on. A great time was had by all. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fear or Faith

Got an email recently from my sister, who is trying to get her daughter and her daughter's family--husband and 2 children--over to the States from their home in Great Britain. Their youngest son is 3 and needs to be in a special school here for his autism, which isn't available in GB. I'll let her tell the latest hurdle (overcome) in her own words:
I have been literally sick with worry about them flying over here. It would have cost them 800 pounds to fly their dog, Tati, (whom Toby is very attached to) in cargo, and she read so much about dogs dying in cargo transport. So she found out that if she got Tati listed as an autism dog, they could take her for free with them in the plane. So she managed to do that with letters from Toby's psychologist but our HUGE worry was how Tati, who has never been on a plane or in an airport, would handle it. The airlines have the right to reject her at any time for any reason, in which case they are stuck at the airport with a dog they have nowhere to leave.  I just got a 2 line text from them saying Tati has been perfect, that they cleared her in the UK fine and already have partial clearance at arrival for her. Most of all, when they boarded the plane, they found out their air hostess has an autistic daughter with an autism dog. She was major supportive. Imagine that.

This is just the latest in a series of miracles that have paved the way for their transition to the States. I chided my sister for her worrying; by now we all know that God is Good, He is there for us, He hears and answers our prayers. It is all in His hands. I can't imagine the synchronized steps that had to happen to get that sympathetic stewardess on that flight at that time...

Friday, August 17, 2012

More amazing oils at work

Towards the end of my hike last night at Tolmie State Park, I brushed up against a stinging nettle bush and almost immediately my arm looked like this. By the time I got home and the welts were huge and felt like they were on fire. I put Melaleuca and Lavender oils on it, went to bed and in the morning they were all gone! There was a tingling sensation in my wrist area--not by where the welts were--like the irritants had traveled down the bloodstream to that point. The more I moved it around, the more the sensation lessened, like when your hand/foot "falls asleep" and you have to move it to get the blood circulating again. Rashes from stinging nettle can last up to 24 hours, so I feel blessed to have it gone so quickly.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A lesson in irony

I've just finished reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I vividly remember reading it in 7th grade for a school assignment and it having a profound effect on me at the time. This time, as well, I read it "by assignment" for an upcoming PageTurner discussion group I'm moderating. Bradbury's seminal work is being highlighted throughout the District in October. The irony comes in the fact that there is controversy brewing around the annual All Staff Training Day keynote speaker in September: Orson Scott Card. OSC is a giant in his field, an award-winning author and playwright, and it is a real coup for us to have gotten him to come. Oh, and he is pretty vocal about his beliefs, which may run contrary to some staffers' beliefs. So at a time when we are celebrating a Community Read book on the evils of censorship, the Defenders of Free Speech and Equal Access, (some) workers in this Bastion of the Right To Read, are making (ugly) noises about OSC's politics. About which he won't be speaking. He's coming to talk about science fiction. And fantasy. Ender's Game. New movie (starring Harrison Ford for heaven's sake!), etc., etc., Amen. You have the right to (respectfully) disagree.

Essentials update

Husband has had pneumonia for a week now, and nothing has helped: Doc gave him Prednisone--nothing. Inhaler--no help. Delsym cough syrup doesn't touch it.
I finally got him to try essential oils (doTerra's Breathe and On Guard blends) in the diffuser and he was dumbfounded! It is the only thing that has stopped the spastic, uncontrolled cough. He was able to rest from the constant coughing and start to heal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Literary Feast

I told my daughter I didn't want a birthday cake this year, as I'm trying to not eat sugar. The day arrived for my party and before I was allowed into the kitchen, I was told I needed to read a book to the kids. Great! I'm a librarian AND a Gramma, so that's what I do! I was handed a copy of The Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle and at it's conclusion, I was led--eyes closed--into the kitchen. There was spread out a feast to please even the hungriest caterpillar! Each item was labelled with what the caterpillar ate that day, and progressed through to his tasty green leaf at the end of the week as a digestive aid. The centerpiece "cake" was a "fruit" cake, of course!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cast your (chocolate) upon the waters...

When I had found this awesome chocolate a few months ago, I shared my find with a co-worker. Today, she and another staff member brought me an assortment of Alter Echo chocolate for a belated birthday gift!! Cha-ching! I was running late this morning and grabbed a meager offering for my lunch (and dinner--have to work late) so this is perfect to tide me over today!
p.s. I just added my "snack" into MyFitnessPal database and one serving is less than 200 calories if you divide it up into 3 servings!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Essential healing

Here's a record of my recent experiences with essential oils so far:

  1. Burned my baby finger getting homemade chips out of the oven. Immediately put lavender and Melaleuca oils on it and the pain was gone. Next day there was a faint white mark, but no blistering and no pain. (8-5-12)
  2. Had an outbreak of skin issues in my outer ear. Put Melaleuca on it before bed and by morning it was more cleared up than it has been in months. (8-8-12)
  3. Had a suspicious "thing" on my forehead, thought was a pimple at first, but it didn't go away for 3 weeks. After a week of Melaleuca, the outer skin fell off and it was perfectly smooth underneath. (8-7-12)
  4. As I was trying to sleep, my right nostril was blocked. I put some Breathe on my neck and in a few minutes I could breathe fine out of both nostrils. (8-10-12)
  5. I had been off Red yeast rice for a few months, then went on it for a week before my oils arrived, to get a good start on lowering my cholesterol. Once I got the oils, I stopped the RYR (7-23-12) and used only Clary Sage morning and night over my liver and a couple drops of Lemongrass in water 2x/day. After 2 weeks of the oils, I got my lipids tested (8-6-2012), and they were the awesome! Total = 202; HDL 71; LDL 120; triglycerides 57; glucose 88; ratio 2:8. My highest without anything was total 275.
  6. Plantar faciitis pain for 6 months (1-30-12). Two days (August 6-8) of Deep Blue Rub and Cypress and I was pain-free two days in a row. Have a bit of residual tonight, but nothing like it was even a week ago. 
  7. Slim & Sassy in my water definitely curbs my appetite!
  8. Had a tooth sensitivity the other day and put some clove oil on it. In 2 days the sensitivity was gone.
  9. I think there is a definite mind/body connection to the efficacy of the oils. Whenever I try to apply oils to Rich's ailments, there is zero effect...He's not much of a believer.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I've become my own Grampa

Looking back on my post about my Grampa, ("eyes on the table, teeth in a cup...") I just realized that might have been a foreboding of my own situation! Rich has come down with some kind of viral respiratory infection, and when Yuki, our Japanese exchange student walked in the door yesterday and saw him coughing on the couch, her first question was, "Don't you have a mask?" We turned right around and drove to Rite Aid and bought 2 boxes of masks. That evening we ALL had masks on! With no spare room available for Rich (or me) to sleep in a separate room, I went to sleep with my mask on, and my ears plugged with my swimmers' wax to not hear his coughing. That, in addition to my usual mouth guard to prevent my night time teeth grinding, and my Dorsi-wedge to stretch out my plantar faciitis. Amazingly, I actually got a good night's rest! Relatively speaking....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Healthy & Happy

5 Things that make me happy:

  1.  (Almost) no plantar faciitis pain.
  2. P90X training (specifically, wall-squats) that have come in handy lately having to access several public restrooms.
  3. Nice weather -> Rich on his motorcycle -> I'm drive solo to work = I get to sing along to MY radio station as loud as I want.
  4. Great lipid numbers without statins or even Red Yeast Rice. The secret weapon of choice? Healthier diet plus essential oils (lemongrass, cypress).
  5. (Finally) a formula for successful weight-loss: 

Monday, July 30, 2012

The mouth of babes

Who wouldn't want to live
with such a cool Grandma??
I took 4 days off this week to watch my 3 grandkids during the day while their mom was at Girls' Camp helping in the kitchen. I'd come prepared with a pile of library books, craft projects, videos, exercise routines (the 9 year-old did an hour of P90X with me every day!) and nourishing meals and snacks. We went to the indoor pool every day from 3-5 p.m., which was fabulous, as the 3-year old went from a non-swimmer to a fish by day two. Driving to the pool one day, I was singing along to my Oldies station ("Good morning, Starshine! The earth says, Hello!") when Chase (age 3) said, "Gramma, you sing good!" Well, no one tells me that, so I took it with a grain of salt, but it still made me feel good. Then later on, the 9-year-old asked me if they would come live with me and Grampa if both their parents died. I said that was a decision that their parents would make and to talk to them about it, but we would certainly love to take care of them. Then I asked her who she would like to live with if that happened and she immediately said, "Nana and Poppa (the other grandparents) because they have a sweet little cat that I am not afraid of." Nice. Okay, then. Keeping me grounded.

Free Association

I was walking through Cabelas the other day and passed these wintergreen mints. It immediately triggered a memory of my Grampa Grant, who had a stash of these always on hand in a little dish by his lounge chair. We even referred to him as Candy Man! Grampa was always reciting poetry (his own and others) and telling the accounts of his trip around the world with Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. His favorite poem I recently discovered was NOT an original, but I will forever associate it with him just the same:

My Get-Up-And-Go has got up and Went!

How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
And think of the places my getup has been!
Old age is golden, or so I've heard said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I crawl into bed,
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table until I wake up.
As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself:
Is there anything else I should put on the shelf?
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
And think of the places my getup has been!

When I was young, my slippers were red; 
I could kick up my heels right over my head. 
When I was older my slippers were blue, 
But still I could dance the whole night through. 
Now I am older, my slippers are black. 
I huff to the store and puff my way back. 
But never you laugh; I don’t mind at all: 
I’d rather be huffing than not puff at all! 
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
           And think of the places my getup has been!
I get up each morning and dust off my wits, 
Open the paper, and read the Obits. 
If my name is missing, I know I’m not dead, 
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

For a Wise Purpose

Just got an email from my sister with this accompanying map. It reminded me of the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation that Martin Harris got from Joseph Smith. God knew hundreds of years before that incident that He needed to prepare a second set of plates to replace the 116 pages that would be lost, so he had Nephi make the Small Plates of Nephi (see 1 Nephi 9:3-6), then he inspired Mormon to include those plates with his abridgment. (see Words of Mormon1-6-7). I don't know when these school district boundaries were made, or what the initial reasoning was to create this little "bump" that goes into Cortland County, but they have certainly served the greater purpose of allowing our Toby to attend a school that will be beneficial to him. I'm glad someone followed the prompting they must have gotten to do it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finding a Rachel in a haystack

The crowd at pageant--a sea of bodies
Picture this FULL of people,
Rich at the right where the stage begins
and Rachel straight back, in the middle
 of the field this side of the road.
Saw this article on the Hill Cumorah Pageant and it had some cool photos, which I downloaded to illustrate the miracle that took place almost 28 years ago now. We were at Pageant with our three (at the time) kids and my mom. Three adults + three kids: easy, right? Each of us thought one of the other of us had Rachel, only a toddler at the time, but, you guessed it, no one had her. I ran like a chicken with her head cut off wildly looking and calling. Rich went directly to the front of the crowd, where the stage began, which had a slight elevation, said a prayer, then looked out over the crowd (it was dusk and the people were milling about everywhere). His eyes immediately zoomed in on her tiny figure at the outskirts of the seating area, all alone. He raced back to her, scooped her up in his arms and wiped away the small tear sliding down her cheek. What a blessing to have found her so quickly (or at all!) in that mass of humanity! We will never forget.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just say, "No!"

"Just once won't hurt." It's just a little bit, it can't do any harm." Word of Wisdom temptations? Nope-- Dairy! After four months of no dairy, and feeling great with no post-nasal drip or congestion, I made a casserole containing Ricotta, Gruyere, and Parmesan. Yikes! Less than an hour later I couldn't breathe out of my right nostril and the post-nasal drip was giving me a sore throat. I stayed home from work the next day due to my "cold" symptoms, but the coincidence of having them come on so suddenly right after my dairy splurge convinced me it had to be an allergic reaction. After two days I was ok, (what cold only lasts 2 days???) with just a bit of mucus still bothering. So I'm back on the no-dairy wagon, sure now that it's not just the lactose, but the casein as well. So glad it's something I can control via diet and not have to be on meds or suffer seasonal allergies anymore!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Simple Pleasures

A fellow librarian is collecting glass jars for an upcoming program so I donated this one I emptied last night. I couldn't believe how thrilling it was to start to peel this label off and have it come off smoothly in one piece, no sticky residue! worth paying extra for this  brand just for that added value!
 Last night I was making muffins at 10:00 pm for a "Welcome" treat honoring a new employee. I'd had requests for "healthy-blueberry" muffins so it was very exciting to discover at that hour that I had all the ingredients for an awesome recipe: (Spelt flour? Check! Coconut Oil? Organic Virgin Unrefined...Check! Agave? Check! Lemon extract? Check!) And they tasted Wonderful!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I was in a meeting at City Hall yesterday when my phone vibrated. I left the room and took the call in the hall. The ID said, "RACHEL" but no one answered when I said, "Hello." So I then said, "Chase?" "Yes." We enjoyed a nice conversation of maybe 3 minutes of what he was doing at the moment and how his day was going. We ended the call with our "I love yous" and I was filled with warmth to know he had been thinking of me and wanted to chat. Much more important than anything I could glean from the meeting at City Hall...
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