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Archive for the ‘Nuggets and Blue Jeans’ Category

 

From the moment I first sipped Red Rooibos tea, I was hooked. On the lookout for a tea with interest, I had found one. Rich in taste, full of flavor, and loaded with antioxidants, this tea has a lot to offer.  That was several years ago.

While taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the 2012 West Coast Women’s Show, I made a point of paying a visit to Liz Bandelin’s Tega Tea booth. A welcome stop after spending the last few hours enjoying the endless displays of just about everything a woman could want – jewels, clothing, cosmetics, skincare, food, drink, entertainment and adult beverages.

The world slowed down as I enjoyed the tea tasting, along with a little flavorful chat. I treasured the moment.

I was pleased to see new additions to Liz’s already rich combinations and varieties – Chocolate Mint, Chai, Orange Spice, Lemon Hibiscus, Wild Berry and Green Rooibos teas to name a few. Based on my tasting, I decided to purchase the Winter Berry Blend and the Tropical Sunrise. I was already looking forward to a cup before retiring later that evening.

Tega Teas are the #1 ranked fair trade teas in Canada.  To learn why and to learn more about Rooibos and its many health benefits, go to    http://www.nu-tea.com

My next stop of interest –

Epic Cosmetics and their Clear 60 Minute Skin Care line.

We “mature” women are always on the look out for that special something – the miracle in a bottle that will fix it all. Well, maybe not all, but if it erased even a few years of lines and wrinkles (oh, it almost hurts to say that word) we are all over it.

Now, having said that, this “miracle in a bottle” must pass several very stringent tests. Having educated ourselves in the fine art of healthy living, we “mature” women, have become very discerning.

Not only does this miracle in a bottle have to be effective, it must be natural and toxin-free. No more sacrificing inner body health for outer body beauty. Those days are long gone.

Mladen and Tanya, a local scientist and his beautiful wife, work tirelessly to bring us this “miracle in a bottle”. Clear Skin Care is 100% natural, safe and toxin free, highly effective and loaded with anti-oxidants. Clear Skin Care is making its mark and flying off the shelves of local stores.

Did I mention it is effective? You see, I discovered this skin rejuvenating serum a year ago.

I haven’t even touched on the skin clearing capability this remarkable product has. Chronic problems like psoriasis, eczema, hives and various unknown skin conditions are erased or eliminated within hours or days.

Here’s a little secret. It’s not just for woman, nor is it just for the “mature” woman. Check out their website at  http://www.epic-cosmetics.com/

The treasures one can find at the West Coast Women’s Show are endless. If you missed this year’s show, be sure to make it a priority next year.

What do Tega Tea and Clear 60 Minute Skin Care have in common?

Me for one.

 

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Safe, effective and beautiful

That’s what I find Cheri Watson’s natural mineral cosmetic line promises… and delivers.

Accents Cosmetics is the name of her company.

Needless to say, I love the products; so much so that I feel compelled to re-write my former article.

Some of my readers may recall a post I wrote in 2011, where I introduced you to Cheri and Accents Cosmetics.

Since one of my missions in life is to  live as toxin-free as I possibly can in today’s world, I am so thankful for the efforts and dedication of people like Cheri – people who strive to bring us the very best in quality and purity. People who don’t quit just because the competition is fierce and the market is slow.

Thank you again Cheri.

Here is Cheri Watson, owner of Accents Cosmetics  about to give me the ‘makeover’.

Cheri about to give me the makeover – 2011 Carrie ©
I love the product so much, I use it confidently everyday.
I know that I am actually feeding my skin nutrients…period.! No chemicals, no additives, just good stuff.
Here are some juicy tidbits to consider…
Did you know:
  • Most women absorb up to 2 kilograms of chemicals through their skin from their toiletries and cosmetics over the course of a year!
  • The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that  884 chemicals used in personal care products and cosmetics were toxic!
Those are troublesome stats. 
A little bit about Cheri…
Cheri Watson  began to develop  Accents Cosmetics in 2004. She started her business in Mission, BC. As of fall 2011 her products are now manufactured in Vancouver, BC.

For those of you who want more details…

What does “manufacturing” entail?

Cheri purchases the raw materials from the US, which she uses to make the variety of colors for foundation, blush, eye shadow, and lipstick.

Here’s where it gets personal.

If someone wants a specific color of lipstick, and she doesn’t have it... she will make it for you!

As for her mascara... it is formulated by a Master Herbalist (local).  Cheri has the sole rights to this masterfully crafted recipe. The added touch;   lavender scent.

Having tried several other natural mascaras, I find this one to be my absolute favorite, with minimal smudging and smearing – and so easy to remove, yet stays on all day (if I don’t cry) LOL (now I’m sounding like a commercial)

The reality is, in today’s world of information, most of us aren’t looking for more information.

We’re looking for experts who we can trust to deliver the very best possible.

My expert cosmetic adviser – Cheri of course.

Contact me if you would like more information – Email Me

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A friend and I met for tea this morning and she reminded me that today was the last day of January!

2012 Carrie ©

The comment caught me off guard for a moment. 1/12th of the year is already behind us!

“Where have the last 31 days gone?” I asked myself. Before I could answer, my friend said, “the next thing you know, it’ll be Christmas.”

I gasped, and then quickly recovered, realizing we really do have almost 11 more months to prepare.

Every year many of us declare that December suddenly just “appeared” on our doorstep. How stupid is that? It comes around every year, exactly once every 12 months, or every 365 days; accept for this year which will be 366 days. There are no surprises here.

So this year, I am making a decision. No more surprises.

This year I am putting in my calender that I will start to organize myself today, so that I’m ready for December.

What will that look like?

Does that mean I will do more busy stuff to prepare for Christmas?

Here’s what that might look like, and NO, I do not intend to do more. It merely means that I intend to get the most out of the season, and I will not be caught off guard for the umpteenth time.

More questions come to mind…

Does that mean that I won’t still get the most out of the other months and seasons of the year, because I’m preoccupied with that one month of the year?

Enjoying the beauty of the moment - Jan 2012 Carrie ©

On the contrary, this will be a reminder  to enjoy the moment and season that comes with it.

Does that mean I will spend more money on Christmas?

Most certainly not. I intend to have the time to thoughtfully decide what it is I want to spend on Christmas, and, what I don’t want to spend on Christmas.

Another way to make the most of this wonderful month of the year is by intentionally thinking about who I want to spend it with.

Umm, not sure where aunt Susan fits in… but we’ve got almost 11 months to figure that out.

What about the preoccupation with gifts?

Throughout the year, many fabulous craft fairs and trade shows pop up  just about everywhere in the county. If I’m thinking creatively and ahead, gift giving can actually be fun to do.  I still believe that it’s the thought that counts, not the “how much did it cost?”.

So, that’s my decision.

2012 Carrie ©

January, you’ve done well. As you can see, I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy this season.

February, I have a very good reason to look forward to your extra day.

Yes, I’m ready for the rest of the 11 months.

December, 2012 is starting to look pretty inviting.

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Sweet red beets.  This year my organic garden has a perfect crop of red Beets.  I am so happy!


Red Beets in my garden - Carrie ©

Why do I love my beets so?

Because red beets:

  1. are sweet and juicy ( I never realized how delicious raw beets are)
  2. are anti-carcinogenic
  3. are high in antioxidants
  4. increases oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400%
  5. were traditionally used to battle leukemia
  6. have been shown to inhibit colon and stomach cancer
  7. help reduce serum cholesterol
  8. help to normalize blood pressure
  9. are a powerful cleanser and blood purifier
  10. help to keep your arteries elastic
  11. help to prevent varicose veins
  12. are high in folic acid
  13. stimulate the function of liver cells
  14. protect the liver and bile ducts
  15. are highly alkaline
  16. help to relieve constipation
  17. are anti-inflammatory
  18. help in detoxification

If you are not use to consuming beets, give your body time to get accustomed to it. This is a powerful food.

(Warning: you may experience red stool!)

Beet juice is so powerful that it you may feel dizzy during cleansing. This discomfort is normal as toxins are being eliminated. It is advised to drink plenty of water to help in the elimination of toxins.”

Harvesting my Red Beets - Carrie ©

Ways we enjoy our sweet red beets:

  • Washed, peeled and sliced into thin slices (served with home-made dip)
  • Grated fresh or diced and added to one of our many varieties of fresh salads
  • Juiced
  • Washed and steamed for no longer than 15 minutes
  • Beet leaves are filled with nutrients as well. Washed and steamed or added to  juicing

2011 Carrie ©

Beets prepared for steaming - Carrie ©

Red beet and carrot juice recipe

  • 1 whole Red Beet (leaves included if desired)
  • 2 medium sized Carrots (green tops included if desired)
  • 1 Apple

Juice and drink immediately.

This is one of my favorite “get started” in the morning juice recipes.

You’re sure to enjoy this next recipe…

Beet and cucumber salad recipe

1 whole raw beet, peel and diced

1 small/medium cucumber diced

1 small sweet onion diced

add dried or fresh dill

add 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Sea Salt to taste

a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash

mix

Let sit in the fridge for a day

Serve with a meal or enjoy alone

Drink plenty of water.

For more detailed information about the benefits of red Beets,

http://bit.ly/oSo3bV

http://bit.ly/qg0VN

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation


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Finally, the lazy, crazy, ‘dog days” of summer are here.

Where did that term ‘dog days’ originate?

Answer: ancient times.

In the summer, Sirius, the ‘dog star’, rose and set with the sun.

During late July, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather.

They named this period of time… ‘dog days’ after the dog star.”

Lazy, crazy, dog days of summer – Carrie ©

Looking at Fido here, lazing in the hot mid afternoon sun,  ‘dog days’ of summer doesn’t need a star to originate the term.

This adorable puppy merely raised an eyebrow while being photographed.

Too hot to move, but happy for it, it’s a dog’s day for sure.

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Recently bill C – 474 was defeated.!!

This bill, Bill C474,  was a safeguard for our Canadian Farmers!

Bill C-474 was a private member’s bill that would have required an analysis of market harm before new Genetically Modified (GM) varieties are released.

Most people want to the assurance that the food they eat is REAL, wholesome, and good for them.

Baskets of REAL, fresh organic foods - Carrie ©

How can we be sure that what we are eating is just that?

REAL – and good for me.

If you are concerned about what you eat and what you feed your family,  you may want to consider going organic.

How does one “go organic”?


Zucchini growing in my organic garden 2010 - Carrie ©

This article,  Back to simplicity-basic, nutritious, wholesome food”, tells you how.

You’ll find a list of practical steps to help you on your journey to “go organic”.

Every effort is worth the effort. Your body will thank you. Your family will thank you.







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The weight loss secret for today is vitamin D.

healthy living and weight management

Yes, vitamin D is proving itself to be a key in weight loss.

Vitamin D has many significant health benefits, one of which is weight loss.

How does vitamin D have an effect on weight?

  • Our bodies need sunshine to produce vitamin D.
  • Lack of sunshine causes lack of vitamin D.
  • Lack of vitamin D can cause weight gain.

To learn more about the link between vitamin D  and weight,  check out Vancouver healthy living examiner;  Vitamin D and weight loss.

For information on adequate amounts of vitamin D check out this article, What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and can vitamin D help?

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Happy Valentine’s Day to

all my friends and followers

Valentine's Day card 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - Carrie ©

Have a wonderful, stress-free, happy day and pass it on.

Ideas to help make your day a good one:

What women want for Valentine’s Day

or……….

How to express your love on Valentine’s Day

visit my site as Vancouver’s Healthy living examiner.

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Light therapy and how it helps fight SAD

In my previous post, we learned how vitamin D is an effective solution to (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Today we will look at another treatment for SAD light therapy.

According to Mayo Clinic light therapy is proven to help persons suffering from SAD.

 

Carrie outside office - getting light therapy

Carrie © - Getting a good dose of light therapy

If you live in the West – Vancouver and the lower mainland, you’ve probably heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Perhaps you are one of those persons who struggles with this condition during the gray, gloomy winter months.

Some of the symptoms may include fatigue, depression, lack of sleep, moodiness, and weight gain.

I for one am one of  ‘those persons’ who needed to kick up her vitamin D intake and have some sunlight around me.

This is the second winter that I have a lamp in my office and natural lighting in my kitchen.  I take 5 – 7,000 units of vitamin D per day.

I needed that!

So how does light therapy help?

Light therapy mimics sunlight.

It helps to regulate both melatonin and serotonin, bringing the body back into balance.

For details on the relationship between light and hormones please read my article on Examiner.com titled,  “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and light therapy”.

Light therapy works best when used on a daily basis, starting in fall and ending in springtime.

Also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy, light therapy is widely recommended by doctors and naturopaths.

A note of caution:

Persons affected by SAD may also be suffering from other conditions. Talk to your doctor, naturopath or mental health provider to find out if light therapy is right for you.

Suggested sites:

Seasonal Affective Disorder-The SAD season

Seasonal depression need not ruin the holidays

Light therapy for the low-light months

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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Ted Williams, no longer homeless, got a little emotional in his interview with CBS News “Early Show”, yesterday. He is looking forward to reunite with his 92 year old mother, whom he has not seen for years. A touching story.

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The top breaking news story today  is a story of HOPE.

Ted Williams, a man with an amazing golden voice, was homeless yesterday. Today he has numerous job offers, one of them from Cleveland Cavaliers. Besides a full time job with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans has offered to pay a mortgage for him. WOW!

Watch this story here:

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To one and all – a Merry Christmas Eve. 

Soap Stone Carving- Nativity - Carrie ©

Tonight we’re making a beef dish called “Rolladen”.

It is of German origin.

My “Rolladen” recipe:

Ask your butcher to slice thin strips of top quality beef (no fat) about 6 inches wide, 8  inches long, and a mere 1/8 inch thick

Spread a little hot mustard on one side

At one end, place a small pickle or pickle piece

Crush fresh garlic and sprinkle over the meat

Do the same with bits of real bacon

Add some sauteed onions

Roll in up and use 2 toothpicks to keep together

Put into a glass casserole and add:

About 1/2 cup water

1-2 Tbsp. virgin olive oil (use a brush to cover the meat with the olive oil)

Salt and pepper

A few shakes of Mrs. Dash.

1or 2 bay leaves (place in the water)

Bake slowly at 325 degrees

This meal goes great with garlic mashed potatoes or dumplings.

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Twas the Night Before Christmas

(inspired by a true event)

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1  Carrie ©

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone. He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 2 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “Spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 3 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely empty  streets and a fast disappearing, single set of footprints, that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2010 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

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As I was working on one of my latest art pieces, I found myself smiling.

This was often followed by a soft sigh.

Why? My lightening fast mind kicked in and reminded me that it’s at these moments that my body produces significant amounts of DMAE.

That I was involuntarily producing an anti-aging hormone brought another smile to my face.

Yes, the anti-aging DMAE hormone we all long for…  at least those of us who care. Those who realize we are coming apart at the seams… somewhat.

Before I get on to the DMAE anti-aging – easy to acquire youth hormone… let me add an aside.

A big Thank you to my faithful readers… those who’ve checked in on my site during the summer/fall months.

My usual, at least once a month post, dragged out to be every other month… but I have not forgotten you.

That darn organic garden just took over…weeds and all.

Some important tasks, like blogging, were left for a another day.

Actually I loved the gardening – even the weeding.

A little piece of heaven in my otherwise whirlwind of a world. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Well, now that ‘nother day is here.

I’ve put the garden to bed for the winter and it’s time to get back into things like blogging and painting.

What makes me smile…

“Milking Rosie”

The story behind Milking  Rosie.

As a child, I would visit my grandparents’ farm on a daily basis. I especially loved to hang around at milking time.

One aunt would often conscript me to hold the cow’s tail to keep it from swatting her in the face.  That tail had a nasty sting as I soon discovered.

Cats and their kittens came out of the barnwork, and waited patiently for a squirt of warm milk. They got pretty good at catching the stream.

Milking Rosie sketch - (oil painting to follow) Carrie ©

Etched in my memory, this experience always brings a smile to my face – the kind of smile that supposedly  immediately increases the levels of DMAE in your body. (anti-aging !!!)

Happy thoughts, laughter, giggles, anything that makes you sign and go ‘ahh.

Think on these things and your internal fountain of youth will begin to bubble and then pour.

(Check out my post on “God Gave Me Laughter” for more on what happy thoughts can do for you.)

https://nuggetsofgold.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/god-gave-me-laughter/

In my research, I discovered that anchovies, wild salmon (not farmed) and sardines contain DMAE.

Rosie, was a Jersey cow.  Jersey cows are quite beautiful, I think.

Anyone who has met a Jersey will be captivated by their eyes. Big, beautiful, soft, and gentle with thick, long and curly eye lashes. (to die for eyes)

Jersey cows produce much more cream than other cows. Rosie gave us plenty of rich cream to turn into butter.

Making butter the way we did, was the perfect arm muscle toner/builder. (another sure fire way to up your DMAE – good healthy exercise)

Today we set aside time to lift weights and count to 10 or 20. Back then we had to shake the container until we had butter. A lot longer than a count to 10 or 20.

My thought for the day – seek out those things that make you smile and make some butter.

As for me, I’m planning to have several more “smile” moments thoughout the day.

And, I think I’ll have Wild Pacific Salmon for dinner…again.

As for making the butter…perhaps tomorrow.

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Snow.  There’s nothing more inviting than a fresh snow fall. I love to walk in it, play in it, look at it and take pictures of it. A walk around the neighborhood is all it takes for a few good photo memories.

 

Santa Bird House

Bird House Basket

Snow Perfect

Checking it out

Fallen Tree in the Park

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Breakfast in my garden - Carrie ©

I took this Month’s Theme photo very early one hot July morning. Chairs that were meant for the garbage dump, now nestle invitingly among  the Sunflowers, Cukes and Nasturtiums.


Cukes and Nasturtiums are two great Companion Plants.

How do Nasturtiums make good companion plants?

Their job in the garden is to excrete a strong essence into the air and soil.  This will help you in your fight against aphids, white fly and also root pests. This essence is secreted into the soil where it works for you to deter plant pests.

You can also plant Nasturtiums between all cabbage family plants, fruit trees, melons, pumpkins, potatoes.

Nasturtiums are very healthy to eat.

These flowers are high in vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and are a powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial, antioxidant .

Try adding them to a fresh green salad – you’ll discover a peppery, juicy taste which is quite delightful.You can eat the hot pungent seeds as well.

I enjoy munching on a few Nasturtium flowers along with some Sugar Snap Peas and a juicy carrot, while working in my garden.

Blue chairs under an umbrella- Carrie ©

Natures flower arrangement in an old chair - Carrie ©

I love this chair. The brilliant orange/red flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. They are sure to visit me, when I visit the garden in the early hours of the morning.

Blue chair amongst wild flowers- Carrie ©


Some things I learned this summer:

  • the garlic and onions I planted throughout the garden worked amazingly well. Very few bad bugs and worms to speak of.
  • plant rosemary by the beans
  • don’t plant garlic around the beans
  • the cabbage family likes dill and vice versa
  • watermelon is hard to grow in this climate
  • pumpkins take a lot of food and nurturing – big takers
  • beans and peas are givers, giving back nitrogen to the soil so move them around in the garden each year.

Extravagant poppies - Carrie ©

Love Lies Bleeding - Carrie ©

Rustic sunflower - Carrie ©

Brilliant pinks - Carrie ©

Broccoli bunch - Carrie ©

Just picked and perfect - Carrie ©

Baskets of blessings – Carrie ©

Romaine and strawberries- Carrie ©

Zucchini - Carrie ©

Dill amongst the peas - Carrie ©

Garden Path - taken in July - Carrie ©

This 100 ft. by 20 ft. organic garden turned out to be one of the best things that could ever happen to me .

I’ve been planning to get back into some sort of  ‘get back into shape’ program for the past year or so…well, I found it. Not only do I have the most amazing, bountiful, beautiful garden,  (Thank you God – you are the amazing master gardener), but I also am on an exercise program that I actually enjoy.

What to do for my exercise program during the winter months?…that’s another blog.

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For the past few weeks I’ve been digging deep and getting my roots into organic gardening.

First things First...My husband planting a few raspberry bushes

After  putting stakes around our garden section, my husband (far right) promptly dug up a spot in the middle of the garden for his favorite fruit, raspberries.

Our garden spot, approximately 20 feet wide by 100 feet deep.

Pretty ambitious I know…but I grew up with BIG gardens, and had my own little (almost organic) garden for years… so am well aware of what I am committing to.

What’s the story behind this

Organic Gardening Community?


A friend with a farm, and a 6 acre  field, is the impetus for this inviting Organic Gardening Community. This year will be the first of organic gardening for most of us.

A lot of Googling, along with wise advice and teaching from organic garden specialists, is making this experience not only interesting but also quite invigorating.

Let’s just say I am having a lot of fun getting into shape in more ways than one.

Course I’ve had to take several Epsom salt/ lavender baths and drink my Xango Mangosteen juice and Black Cherry juice faithfully…all great detox, high anti-oxidant solutions,  for those achy sore joints and muscles…

A week or so later…and with a lot of good old get down dirty digging, here’s what we accomplished.

Herb Garden in progress

Then our daughter got in on the action. We took her Chevy 1/2 ton up to the top of the field and gleaned some rocks for my herb garden.

A few days later…The Herb Garden is almost complete

Now things are beginning to take shape.

I promised you a Community Organic Garden with a TWISTit’s coming…

To my herb garden, I added some high quality organic mushroom compost and began to plant. I planted strawberries right at the top. I also gleaned some thyme and sage from my home herb garden and transplanted them among the rocks.

I couldn’t resist picking up some pansies to remind me of what’s yet to come…
Now back to the real work.

May 1st - Gardeners 'making hay' while the sun shines

Can you picture a more beautiful garden setting???…I am really beginning to feel like a farmer now.

So far I’ve got the beans and peas planted, pickling cukes, a variety of lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and garlic ( garlic I planted all over the garden to ward off the vampires and other such nasty garden pests), rosemary along with carrots, and leek, onions and chives.

The poles with chicken wire are for the beans, peas and pickling cukes.

I transplanted some flowers into my flower garden  just in front of  the herb garden.  I can’t imagine a garden without Lavender…so I added some of that as well.

Laughing Bunnies - Carrie ©


One bright morning, I found bunny tracks on one of the beds… so immediately a gardening friend researched how to discourage rabbits from loving our gardens… a few plants they don’t like are lavender, garlic and catnip.

So I planted all three.

I do hope the laugh won’t be on me.

Also I discovered, you can sprinkle garlic powder around the plants – this is supposed to work quite well.  I might give that a try if the other doesn’t do the job.

As much as I love bunnies, you don’t need my lettuce… there’s no shortage of clover and healthy non-sprayed dandelions out there for you little critters.

And here is a site with a long list of plants rabbits don’t eat.

So What’s the TWIST ??

Every Tuesday evening, about 25 (and growing) of us community gardeners meet in the loft of the barn for dinner and digging.  We eat, get the updates and training, share our knowledge, and go dig in the dirt.

As a community, separate from our individual gardens, we will be planting potatoes and corn of which we’ll share the fruits.

We all take turns bringing the soup, buns and dessert. The loft has been transformed into an inviting and unique meeting place… or just a place to hang out and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea and tasty torte, after gardening for a few hours. With hot running water, a sink, oven, tables, chairs, and couches, we are well pampered farmers.

You don’t find all this in your everyday garden community.

Our  friend and owner of Little Farm Products has a very creative imagination and generous heart. The opportunities are endless.

That’s the TWIST.

Next time…all about Complementary Gardening and Gardening with the MOON.





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Panda Bear, pencil sketch - Carrie ©

True to my word, I searched my closet for photos of my Newfoundland dogs.

Our two  Newfies, Panda Bear and Dandie Lion,  are called Landseers (Black and White). The Landseer was named after an English painter, sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

For more of Edwin Henry Landseer’s paintings check out the Encore Editions site where I found this painting. Delightful artwork. Encore Editions

Called “Newfoundland and Woodchuck”

“Their big head and kind, gentle expression makes them very adorable and dignified”, as my daughter put it.

Beautiful, dignified, and true to their nature, these dogs were every bit a Newfoundland at heart. How we loved our Newfies.

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion playing soccer - Carrie ©

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion, Someone has a ball! - Carrie ©

Playing in the Back Yard with our son - Carrie ©

I’ve decided to dedicate a page to Panda and Dandie.

A  page where I get to tell stories about all my furry and feathered friends.

I’ll be sure to sneak in a bit of informative stuff as well.

You’ll find these animal stories here: Panda and Dandie’s page

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Theme of the month …

My favorite dog – the Newfoundland

Panda Bear was one of our two, very much loved Newfies. He was the big boy, Dandie Lion, she was a lady.

Today, my story is about Panda Bear.

I was told that Newfies have a sense of humor. I wondered about that… how can a dog have a sense of humor.  I soon discovered they do.

On one occasion, Panda being in a playful mood, snuck up behind our 11 year old daughter who was day dreaming, gazing out her bedroom window.  I was watching from a distance wondering what Mr. Panda Bear was about. I watched as he moved towards her in a deliberate, quiet stalking manner. Then, without warning, he gave her a quick nip in the butt.

Even I didn’t expect that.

He promptly (as if it was all well thought out) jumped onto her bed and barked loudly in her shocked face.

“Come and get me” he challenged.

Standing on the bed beside her he was every bit as tall as our daughter. If one didn’t know him, one would have been quite concerned.

Once recovered from the shock, our daughter began to laugh and of course I joined her. We laughed, really laughted and Panda laughed with us.

Panda was the king – he ruled the neighborhood. He was a good king. He ruled with kindness, he was fair and just. His neighborhood subjects  rarely gave him any trouble and if they did, it was not for long.  If discipline was needed, he gave it without doing harm – using his size and commanding voice – perhaps a good chest plant or maybe a chase around the park.

I think I have a hundred stories I can tell about our Newfies. Perhaps another story another time…first I need to find some of those photos taken before digital – hidden somewhere in a shoe box in my closet.

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I am proud to be a Canadian. I love the spirit of that prevails over this Winter Olympics here in our beautiful country.

Check out this site for some of the most beautiful, amazing photos of the Opening Ceremoniesreally… this is worth your time.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/02/opening_ceremonies_for_vancouv.html

My husband and son got to hang out with the crowd at the waterfront when Gretzky lit the cauldron. This was their experience…

Olympics 2010 Vancouver, BC, Canada

Olympics 2010 Vancouver, BC, Canada - photo taken by our daughter - Minde W. ©

The streets of downtown Vancouver were almost empty only minutes before the cauldron was lit.

As the news spread that Wayne Gretzky was carrying the torch to the waterfront,  thousands of patriotic Olympic enthusiasts flooded the plaza.

When Wayne Gretzky arrived, it looked like the crowd was going to swarm him, but instead they opened a path for him to head toward the cauldron.

When he lit the cauldron and the flames lit up the sky, thousands of young Canadians spontaneously began to sing the national anthem, OH CANADA.

What impressed us most was this…the youth boldly wearing their patriotism.

It was our youth that lead the crowd in singing “Oh Canada”.

Keep it up Canada.

And keep it up Olympian Athletes – You are doing us proud.

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For those of you who didn’t have that perfect Christmas – here’s to you. Neither did I.

I spent my Christmas in agony perpetrated by an inflamed molar.  I know, poor me.

11 on a scale of 1 - 10 Carrie ©

11 on a scale of 1-10 Carrie ©

In my state of great discomfort, I picked up my sketch book. I started sketching what I saw from the, all be it little, but nevertheless, comfort of my bed.  I soon discovered that sketching helped to control the pain somewhat.

I still had a couple of days until the dental appointment.

I sewed these Raggedy dolls for the kids before they were born. Carrie ©

Teddy bookends  – Carrie ©
Compassion Bear – Carrie ©

Sitting in emergency waiting to get some meds, a dozen handsome firemen came through handing out these adorable teddies. My husband who is always on the look out for freebies, asked for one for me. Seeing my plight they had compassion one me.

Time is a healer and eventually, with it went the pain - Carrie ©

Skates for our son, waiting to be wrapped - Carrie ©

Yes, this is an experience I don’t wish on anyone, but having said that, it is a pain that will go away, and soon my jaw and mouth will be all back to normal once again.

On December 24th 2004 our family lost a loved one. That pain still lingers at times – especially at this time of year.  Yes, the pain has lost its edge, and for that I am thankful. The good part is that I have the hope and peace of knowing I will see him again someday.

Acknowledging the fact that difficult circumstances come and go regardless of the time of year, I will continue to look forward to Christmas whatever it brings.

Nativity Scene

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Is it just me or does Christmas seem to come around much quicker these years?

A couple of weeks ago, when the reality hit me that the Christmas season was fast approaching, I had a momentary feeling of wanting to just skip it ALL this year…that overwhelming feeling many of us are familiar with…I have so much to do in so little time, with so little money.

Then I did a little reminiscing and thankfully the Christmas spirit came upon me once again.

For those of you who need a little encouragement I invite you to come and reminisce with me.  I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Scenes from Christmas past spending time with family….

Come inside where it's warm - Win ©

Building a Snow Church

Building chapels in the snow - Carrie ©

A morning of family cross country skiing - Carrie ©

Scenes along the way - Bench by a temporarily abandoned campfire - Carrie ©

10 acres of cross country trails to explore - Carrie ©

The sleigh ride - Driving Diamond and Silver - Carrie ©

6 month old St. Bernard - came along for the ride - Carrie ©

Diamond and Silver enjoying every bit of their workout - Carrie ©

Antiques hidden in the snow - Carrie ©

I think - a manure spreader from days of yore - Carrie ©

A classic I'm sure - Carrie ©

Where are those sugar cubes? Carrie ©

Pencil Crayon by Carrie © - Rescued Percherons

It may be cold outside, but the fire of friendship is warm and inviting - Carrie ©

Christmas is about relationships and building memories that will carry you through the tough times – sure to come to everyone at some time or another.

Our homemade nativity scene - Carrie ©

This nativity scene the kids and I made when they were little. They’re all grown up now, but we still haul these little characters made from spools and cloth out every Christmas.

Our tradition – on Christmas eve our family tells and acts out the Christmas story of Jesus birth. We each take a part and the characters to go with that part.

The parts about Mary soon to deliver her first child,  and Joseph having to travel by donkey to Bethlehem for taxation. Caesar had ordered it and they must go… we tell of how there was no room in any inn because of this, but then they find the stable where they will be warm and safe. That night Jesus was born.

Then comes the part about the shepherds watching their sheep by night, and then the angel of the Lord showing up – suddenly in a brilliant flash of light, and how he tells them not to be afraid but to go and see the baby that was born, the son of God come to bring peace to all men – to save them from themselves and their own destructions…and the angel is joined by a host of angels singing and praising God. All of heaven is in a state of rejoicing.

We move to the Wise men and tell how they followed the star which led them many many miles, all the way to the stable where Jesus was born. They brought him most precious valuable gifts of Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh…

We light the final candle in the advent wreath…

And then… we open the gifts…

Christmas is complete once again. I sit silently in my comfy chair, alone now among the lights and the glow of the flickering candles, and I am thankful. My heart is calm and full of gratitude…for my family, my friends, and most of all my God who did the unthinkable – sent his only son Jesus to earth so that I, you, everyone, could have a relationship with Him. Now that is what it’s all about. And that is why I celebrate Christmas.

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Major Chicken invites you to let YOUR voice be heard.

Check out the new Chicken Cannon site.

We splatter famous and infamous politicians and celebrities

Click here http://bit.ly/gi1WQ and select your ammo for the Chicken Cannon.

Then select on of the following as your target

David Letterman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,  Bernie Madoff,  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, ACORN, Michael Moore, Michael Vick, Barack Obama,  Perez Hilton, Bill Maher

Then let the fun begin

Watch them get splattered.
Then do it again. And again. And again.

Tell your friends.

The Peckobel Canon is an arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and the Chicken Dance song.

contact us at ChickenCannonPro@gmail.com

Watch ACORN get splattered here  (on YouTube)  http://bit.ly/wnnkL

Watch Obama get splattered here (on YouTube) http://bit.ly/3WrrGS


Major Chicken

NOTE: One of my husband’s productions. A fun and innovative way to express yourself in a safe and non-threatening way. Good for a few laughs. My part in this all…coming up with Major Chicken of course.

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The tasty, nutritious asparagus falls under the category of super foods in my books.

Asparagus photo

Here’s what I learned about asparagus.

Asparagus is:

* Rich in proteins

* High in fibre low in carbohydrates and calories

* An excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C and A as well as many other minerals and B vitamins.

* Calcium and magnesium are found in the idea ratio of 2:1.

* Good for your heart

* Good for your gastrointestinal tract and colon

* Good food to help with depression

* Considered a diuretic

* Has anti-inflammatory effects

* Helps detoxify the body

* Good for nursing mothers – stimulates milk production

* Has anti-fungal and antiviral qualities

* Helps prevent bladder and urinary track infections

* Great for your capillaries – helps with preventing bruising and varicose veins

* Suppose to help stop hair loss

Almost too good to be true? That is an impressive list. And that’s not all I found. I left plenty of the supposed health benefits out – because it did sound just a bit too good to be true and would require that I spend a lot more time researching.

Having said that, I think we’ve got the picture.

How to best prepare asparagus. Lightly steamed is the most nutritious. This only takes a few minutes so don’t walk away from the stove. Use glass or stainless steel pots. When done, the stems should be a bright green color and still have a crispness to them. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt or Mrs. Dash and serve with a meal – or eat it all by itself as a snack.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family. Other vegetables in the lily family include leek, onions, and garlic.

I think you would agree that Asparagus is an excellent food to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. Sometimes people avoid eating asparagus because of the smell excreted in the urine subsequent to ingestion. An amino acid called asparagine found in abundance in asparagus, is the reason behind this. Asparagine helps the body to cleanse itself of waste material.

A couple of good resources:

http://bit.ly/m2Bhv

http://bit.ly/2VrK7x

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.

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This is the time for berry picking in British Columbia. Our personal favorite berries are Cherries, Blueberries, and Raspberries.

This year was an exceptional season for  berries. In no time we filled our buckets to the brim with the berries – picking has never been such a pleasure.

This year topped it off with an abundance of cherries from just one tree, unlike any other year I can remember.

Cherry picking1 09

Up the Cherry tree

Eatin' and Pickin' them sweet cherries

What are some of the health benefits that these berries provide?

Blueberries…

…contain antioxidants that are thought to help our bodies fight free radicals.  They also contain vitamins and a significant amount of  fiber.

Studies on rats have found that blueberries slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity. The studies also showed blueberries to improved learning and memory.

Japanese researchers demonstrated the usefulness of blueberries in improving weak eyesight and lessening eye fatigue.

Bowl of Blueberries

Cherries…

…are an effective and fast-acting for eliminating swelling and pain. Not to mention they are delicious to eat. Eating just a few cherries a day helps to the body to deal with uric acid levels, keeping them in check. Cherry juice is just as effective. (Note my previous blog on cherries –  What do Exercise and Black Cherries have in common?)
Cherry picking 2

Raspberries…

…are a good source of antioxidants and may even have 10 times more antioxidants than tomatoes or broccoli. Raspberries contain some very specific antioxidants that are found in few other sources.

Raspberries

So enjoy those rich nutrient filled, tasty berries while you can.  You can always freeze some for those harsh winter months. We’ve got plenty in our freezer to hold us until spring.

You can find more information on these berries at:

http://www.naturalnews.com/blueberries.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/019978.html

http://bit.ly/37sl6m

Crab apples anyone? No, they are not a berry but since they are one of my husband’s favorite fruits, I’ll mention them. They are a good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C –  good for jellies and Jams, and for those who like a tart treat, they’re all yours.

Crabapples from our very own tree

Crab apples from our very own tree

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Hi everyone

I’m enjoying some holiday time while the sun shines.

I’ll be back.
A few snapshots of my garden before I run off to Mill Lake park to do some sketching with a friend.

Daisies growing in my garden - Carrie  ©

Daisies growing in my garden - Carrie ©

 Stargazer Lilies and Coriopsis - Carrie  ©

My Stargazer Lilies and Coreopsis - Carrie ©

Purple Voluneers - Carrie  ©

Purple Voluneers - Carrie ©

Does anybody know the name of these volunteers?

Herbs and Lettuce - Carrie  ©

Herbs and Lettuce - Carrie ©

Fountain and Fish Pond - Carrie ©

Fountain and Fish Pond - Carrie ©

Someone stole the fish!!! We think it might be a Kingfisher.

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Chuzzle’s Incredible Journey is written for ages pre-school to Grade Two. A Mother and daughter effort – written by Minde Wachsmann, illustrated  by Carrie Wachsmann (myself).

Chuzzle cover blog

Chuzzle, a young adventurous porcupine with many endearing qualities, embarks on a journey to find his dear friend Whuzzle. Chuzzle and Whuzzle used to play together everyday when they were neighbors.

Then Whuzzles and her family moved far away, past the Little Stream, through the Deep Forest, beyond the Green Blue Pond, and up the Giant Big Hill.

Chuzzle missed her very much. One day he decided he was now old enough to venture out on his own. Saying goodbye to his parents, Chuzzle packed his lunch and bravely embarked on his incredible journey to find his friend Whuzzle.

You can read the complete story at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

My daughter  and I have cooperated in writing and illustrating several short stories.

Illustrating this story was exceptional fun. I got another opportunity to use my  Wacom Tablet – a Christmas gift from my husband. Thank you dear.

Minde created the visuals for the characters – then I developed her  concepts into the images used in the story book.

Chuzzles leaves homeChuzzle leaves home – Carrie  ©

I sketched, then pencil crayoned the sketches. I scanned the sketches and detailed them using Photoshop and Wacom Tablet. Using my digital Nikon camera, I took photographs and used them to create backgrounds.

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie  ©

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie ©

I’ve been studying some tutorials on http://deviantart.com which I’m finding very fascinating as well as helpful.

Here’s the photo I took of a burned out tree stump. I used it to develop the night scene in the forest.

I’ve learned to always have my camera ready cause I never know what treasures I’m going to find. (my moto: treasures are hidden in simple things)

Burned out tree stump

Burned out tree stump - Carrie ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie  ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie ©

You can read Chuzzle Incredible Journey at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

Available in Ebook form.

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cut up mangosteen

What’s so impressive about mangosteen juice?

This juice beverage uses the WHOLE mangosteen fruit.

Mangosteen fruit is known throughout the world as The Queen of Fruits.

“There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward to anyone who could deliver to her the fabled fruit.” (Wikipedia)

One of the things I learned was that  this juice uses every bit of the fruit.

Remember what your Mom said about the best part of the apple and the potato and the carrot being in the peel?

The best part of the mangosteen is found in the peel.

The peel of the mangosteen is called the Pericarp.

This is where most of that good stuff is found.

That good stuff is called Xanthones.

What are these Xanthones?

“Among the powerful phytonutrients found in the rind of the mangosteen, xanthones stand alone in their impressive benefits. Scientific studies suggest xanthones may promote well-being.”

Xanthones in Mangosteen

“Researchers have identified dozens of biologically active xanthones in the mangosteen fruit. Today, researchers are just beginning to uncover the powerful scientific properties behind the mangosteen fruit.”

http://www.xango.ca/science/xanthones

Are you curious?

Want more information about mangosteen juice?

Contact me at:

carrie@wachsmannstudios.com

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.


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Summer has definitely  arrived. This past week we’ve enjoyed 30-35 degree weather. (85 – 95 degrees F) I say it’s too hot to be serious about working. Sitting in my little office with merely my fan for air conditioning, I’m thinking of everything but computer stuff.

Some of you may be having images  of a nice cold beer right about now.

Actually, I’m still thinking about last weekend and our weekend retreat at beautiful Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre.

Ferns in the woods - Carrie

Ferns in the woods - Carrie ©

The forest was  filled with inspiring images.

No, I’m not talking about me… I just happen to be in the picture… surrounded by inspiration.

 Where oh where will it lead? ©

Where oh where will it lead? Carrie ©

An Amphitheater! Do I hear Shakespear?  - Carrie ©

An Amphitheater! Do I hear Shakespeare? - Carrie ©

Nothing like a little suspense-sion to test your fitness

Nothing like a little suspense-sion to test your fitness Carrie ©

These ladders are not as easy to climb as it may appear - ©

Me Jane, you Tarzan? A swinging ladder is not as easy to climb as I make it appear - Carrie ©

Steps that lead to the river - Carrie ©

Steps that lead down, down, down to the river - Carrie ©

It’s days like these that remind me why I love British Columbia.

Tuck shop in the centre of Stillwood Camp - Carrie ©

Tuck shop in the centre of Stillwood Camp - Carrie ©

Conference Centre 1 - Carrie ©

Conference Centre - Carrie ©

Conference Centre 2 - Carrie ©

The multi-purpose gym and meeting room. The silo houses a rock climbing wall. Carrie ©

A fine dinning hall & with a lot of fine dinning - Carrie ©

A fine dining hall & a lot of fine dinning here - Carrie ©

OOPS… I forgot to get a picture of the pool.

Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre  is located in Cultus Lake, British Columbia. You can visit it online at: http://www.stillwood.ca

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Yesterday I took my art class to a friend’s farm where we sketched Plein Air.

En plein air is a French expression which simply means “in the open air”.

Down at the farm, sketching in the open air

Down at the farm, sketching in the open air

It is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_plein_air

Although we were sketching, not painting, we were outdoors and “in the open air’. The sketching lessons will lead us to the next step which is, painting outdoors in the open air.

Here are a couple of my sketches.

The smells of spring mixed with the smells of horse manure added to the enthusiasm and inspiration of the day.

Sketching at the Farm 1 - Carrie ©

Sketching at the Farm 1 - Carrie ©

Sketching at the Farm 2 - Carrie ©

Sketching at the Farm 2 - Carrie ©

After several hours of sketching, we were served coffee and dessert. What a treat that was.  We basked in the warm sun, up on the deck off the loft of big red barn, and talked about our masterpieces.

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Below, some sketches I did during a Life Drawing sketch session.

This wedding dress was hand made by the woman who wore it on her wedding day.

Notice the intricate detailed lace and beadwork on this exquisite dress.

 Wedding Dress 1 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 1 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 2 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 2 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 3 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 3 - Carrie ©

Scooped back bodice with covered buttons. Simple yet elegant skirt and full length train.

Maybe there’s a market for “Wedding Sketching”???

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Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Bee Propolis – What is it?

Bee Propolis is the sticky resin-like substance found in the beehive. The bees gather resin from trees and plants. They use this mixture to stick the hive together, and seal it.  This substance also protects  them from bacteria and disease.

As my dentist friend once said – “You don’t see any Kleenex flying out of a bee hive, do you?” No colds or viruses in that bee hive.

Bee Healthy - Bee Happy

Bee Healthy - Bee Happy

Propolis is well known to have a natural antibacterial effect. More specifically, Propolis has antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties to promote helpful bacteria, and kill harmful bacteria.

Propolis is dark in color, and is a rich source of minerals, amino acids, fats, trace minerals and bioflavonoids.

“…It is high in B-complex and contains vitamins C,E and Provitamin A. It is rich in amino acids, fats, and is a source of trace minerals such as zinc, manganese, copper and iron.

A rich variety of flavonoids are present in propolis. Research has shown that flavonoids are responsible for the major antibacterial effects of propolis“.

http://www.bodyenergyclub.ca/shop/bee-happy-propolis-650mg-200caps/product_info.php/products_id/3115

I’ve been using Bee Propolis for years now. Our natural medicine cabinet is never without a supply of Propolis.

I started using Propolis when the kids were little. Our daughter had so many ear infections. That stopped entirely. When I had a cold, it would last for weeks. Never again. I have had a cold or two  since but they lasted for a few short days.

Here’s some really GOOD NEWS

From  the National Institutes of Health

A study using the MRSA (ATCC 33591) strain…

shows Propolis to be effective against MRSA. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17931063

Propolis has no known side effects (apart from some cases of allergic reactions to bee products)

Propolis can also be used in conjunction with antibiotics.

More Good News:

Bacteria and viruses do not develop a resistance to Propolis.

Propolis has been found to help:

“Fight many diseases

Regulate blood cells that clump together

May help reduce strokes
Control free radicals
Prevent damage caused by heavy metals (lead, mercury, caladium)
Enhance immune system
Promote healing
Reduce pain, inflammation, and fever
Act as an antibiotic without side effects
Speed cell growth
Stimulate cells that destroy invading organisms
Skin irritations
Cuts and burns
Psoriasis and eczema
Acne
Absorption of certain nutrients”

http://www.bodyenergyclub.ca/shop/bee-happy-propolis-650mg-200caps/product_info.php/products_id/3115

http://www.hiveproducts.com/Hive/Propolis_Home.html

http://www.infiniteunknown.net/tag/mrsa/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17931063

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.


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5 Life Drawings - The Bather  -  Carrie ©

5 Life Drawings - The Bather - Carrie ©

Life Drawing - The Bather - Carrie ©

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Some of my sketches from this month’s “Life Drawing” session.

I belong to an artist group called the Central Fraser Valley Graphic Guild. Once a month we meet and sketch a live model.

All you need is a few pencils, a sketch book, and someone to draw.

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Outhouses are interesting. Mostly, they are interesting because they bring back memories.

Outhouse - Win Wachsmann ©

Outhouse - Win Wachsmann ©

The most interesting of memories would be the ones connected to 30 below weather, dead of winter, 8:30PM and it’s very dark outside.

My siblings and I pack on our warm parkas, wool mittens and fur lined high-top boots. Our little legs make their way down the snow-packed narrow path to… you guessed it… the outhouse.
This was the bedtime ritual.
As you can imagine, not something I particularly looked forward to.

I am certain you can imagine what the worst part of that memory would be!

Try sitting on a block of ice with your little bare bum!!

Inside looking out - Win Wachsmann ©

Inside looking out - Win Wachsmann ©

Another interesting outhouse memory is connected to  Halloween. Halloween in the country had it’s own terror. The naughty boys of the town would rampage the neighboring farms and tip over all their outhouses.

All except for ours. My Dad was very proud of his outhouse construction. It was the one outhouse in town left standing.

In the country, outhouses remained the toilet of the house, long after city folks hooked up to the modern indoor flush toilet system.

In fact, today I can go to my friend’s farm, and if I have the hankering, I can use one of her outhouses – she has a couple handy.

Outhouse #1. One of the prettiest outhouses I’ve known. Brightly painted with a lace curtain to cover a small window. I step inside and notice the decor. It’s been touched by the hand of creativity.

The little red outhouse

The little red outhouse

outhouse decor

outhouse decor

And when I am finished, I step back outside and there, beside this little outhouse is a container of water, a basin,  soap and a towel. Now how convenient is that?

This little outhouse has been the source of healing from those past chilling memories of years gone by.

Outhouse #2.

outhouse-evita-111

And when any of my other friends come to visit this quaint little farm, I’m sure to introduce them to the  two little red outhouses.

This is more like it.  We took this while on one of our trips into the interior of British Columbia. This one’s seen some interesting times I’m sure.

Outhouse photo taken on one of our trips through the Mountains

An early 1900 Outhouse, Silverton B.C. ©

Other names for toilet are:

(Taken from “Sweeter as the Years Go By” written by my good friend , Hilary Jackson who’s traveled much and seen many toilets)

John – rather crude but we still know what the john means.

Powder room – silly but a feminine touch

Rest room – makes one wonder why anyone would want to rest in the toilet.

Water closet or W.C. – is a term used in Europe. W.C. also stands for Wayside Chapel.

P.K. is a term heard in Africa. It stands for piccanini kia, or little house.

Loo, Lav and so on it goes

Outhouse – is just what the word says.”

Enough of that… I have to go see a man about a dog.

For more outhouse photos check out:

http://nuggetsofgold.weebly.com

Go to the “Story Telling” page.

You won’t be sorry.

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Cabin fever refers to the reaction that takes place when a person is  shut in, for an extended period.

Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, laughter, and excessive sleeping. (Wikipeda)

I figure it’s time to announce SPRING. I’m sitting snug in my little office, listening to the wind howling, recalling the snow and rain earlier today, and wondering what will the weather be like tomorrow.

Regardless of what tomorrow will be like, I have decided to announce Spring.

To quote a church bulletin board. “Faith is – the Robin that sings before the dawn.”

My announcement of Spring comes with a new “theme” for Nuggets of Gold blog. The Sunflower theme.

One winter I was starving for sunshine. I sat down and painted these sunflowers.

Sunflowers - acylic  by Carrie ©

Sunflowers - acrylic by Carrie ©


I did a little research on colors and how they effect us.

I found that Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. (among other things)

Orange evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. (among other things)

So, until Spring opens its doors to deliver us from what we call Cabin Fever, put an orange on your desk.  Or you can drop in and visit my blog whenever you need a “color” fix.

You can learn more about how colors effect our mood at:

http://iit.bloomu.edu/vthc/Design/psychology.htm

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The story behind this piece is about Mel and Irene, and the Percheron horses they rescue.

Pencil Crayon  by Carrie ©

Rescued Percherons - Pencil Crayon by Carrie ©

The Rush’s farm is a sanctuary for these large magnificent draft horses. There is little use for these horses in our day and age, and so they are often left unattended in the farmer’s fields. Lack of care and attention results in a very powerful, wild and unmanageable animal.

Mel is a true horse whisperer. He rescues the Percherons from their ultimate demise, and takes on the challenge of taming these powerful beasts. With both patience and love they become useful and gentle creatures.

Each time I visit the Rush’s Percheron farm I have an opportunity  to go for a sleigh ride drawn by two of these powerful work horses. The first time it was Silver and Dollar who were hitched to the sleigh.

carriedriving-1-mb-2007

That day Mel told me of the latest acquired young adult Percheron named Diamond. Diamond had spent his entire life out in some farmer’s field. He was wild and tough and full of fire. No one could touch him. Without attention his life would be a short one. With great difficulty they were able to catch him and have him transported to the Rush’s farm.

When I first saw Diamond, he was running free and wild in the fields at his new home. Mel stated that at this time, all attempts at getting near to the horse were futile. He had been with them for several months.

A year passed and I once again visit the farm. Mel had just hitched up two beautiful black Percherons to the sleigh and we were ready for another ride through the acres of snow and bush. He handed me the reins. I took them and felt the thrill of the ride in a whole new way.

Mel tells me that the horse on the left is Diamond.

Diamond and Silver

Diamond and Silver

Diamond! I was astonished. This horse was gentle and intelligent, attentive and  eager to work and loving every minute of pulling the load behind him.  Diamond had been transformed.

“How did you do it?” I asked.

Mel told me how they had finally lassoed Diamond and then wrapped the end of the rope around a significantly large tree trunk.  (About a foot in diameter). Seemingly effortlessly, Diamond pulled the tree from it’s roots and dragged it around the field until he was exhausted.

Only then were they were able to bridle him and bring him to the barn. The battle of the wills had been won.  Diamond’s natural gentle nature and love of companionship rose to the surface under the kind and expert hand of The Horse Whisperer, Mel.

I love that story.

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Do you have a special “coffee shop hangout”?   I do.

Perhaps you meet with a friend or two, or perhaps at times it’s just you and a book or your laptop computer.

It's not just about a great cup of coffee

Pencil sketch and Photoshop by Carrie ©

I’m talking about a place where the smells and sounds, the feel of the place draws you back time and time again. A place that makes you feel like you’ve escaped from whatever it is you need to escape from.

I figure it’s not just about a great cup of coffee…it’s about connecting,  about stopping to smell the roses… or the coffee in this case. That’s what it’s all about.

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AT LAST…. The Children’s Story – THE RYDER is now an E-book.

The Children's Story - THE RYDER

The Children's Story - THE RYDER

Several months ago I embarked on a new journey, the journey of blogging and internet marketing. This journey has taken me onto many unknown paths, as well as  opened up many new and exciting doors.

The journey has just begun.

The Children’s Story site is meant to be my Children’s Story Library, where I will be continuing to add new and adventurous stories for “the young at heart” to experience and enjoy.

I want to make you laugh, I want to make you cry,  I want to make you seek and to find, and I want  to stir your soul to embark on your own adventurous journey.

Writing, painting and film are my passion. I want to share my stories with others, in as many ways as possible.

Take some time and visit The Children’s Story site at http://thechildrensstory.traffic4pros.com

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The unexpected snow storm began yesterday morning and continued on through the night. This is what we woke up to.

Rocky is eager to go for his walk

Rocky is eager to go for his walk

Bald Eagle the back yard

Bald Eagle in the backyard, taken from my patio door

snow-fall-feb-09-patio-1

snow-fall-feb-09-patio-2

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Ginger Root, used as an ancient remedy for upset stomach, indigestion, and motion sickness, is more than just any spice.

When used for motion sickness, I have found it to be every bit as effective as Gravol,  without leaving me groggy, wanting to sleep the day away.

I discovered that every Cruise Ship Kitchen has fresh Ginger available for those who don’t have their sea legs.

Ginger is also a wonderful food additive. A little Ginger spice goes well with chicken or stir fry, makes a great, rich tasting cookie, and a zesty cup of tea.

To make the zesty cup of tea, I take a Tbsp. of fresh shredded Ginger, add to boiling water, and add a little honey. Sometimes I add juice from a real lemon. (great if you’re fighting a cold)

I think everyone agrees – there’s nothing like freshly home baked cookies.

My mother used to make this  Ginger Cookie recipe.

If you've been at that computer for more than 3 hours, you need to take a break! Go bake some cookies.

If you've been at that computer for more than 3 hours, you need to take a break! Maybe go bake some cookies.

_

Ginger has been used to cleanse the body of toxins. One way it  will do this is by expelling toxins through the skin, so… if you find yourself breaking out in a light sweat after drinking your zesty tea, that’s a good thing.

If you are PMS-ing and have one of those headaches try a cup of Ginger tea. This has worked for me many a time. Add to that a neck and shoulder massage, and the chances are you will soon be feeling much better.

Some studies suggest that Ginger is effective as an alternative therapy for Osteoarthritis.

AND...Ginger is also used as an aphrodisiac. There’s more…

You might find these sites helpful (information includes recommended dosages and restrictions)

http://www.wellnesswithrose.com/77superfoods/freereport.html

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-ginger-root-4366.html

http://aafp.org (American Academy of Family Physicians)

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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“Hold fast your dreams!

Follow your dream path

Follow the path of your dreams ©

Within your heart

Keep one still, secret spot

Where dreams may go

And, sheltered so,

May thrive and grow”

Louise Driscoll

Keep those dreams alive.

For this piece I used pencil crayon and photoshop.

original - pencil color

original - pencil crayon

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Once again my husband has had a successful mouse hunt experience.

Look what he brought home for me for Valentines!

Cupid Mouse

Cupid Mouse image from "Mousehunt"

Mousehunt is a clever interactive game found on Facebook. Be warned – it could be addictive.

http://apps.facebook.com/mousehunt

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Written by a friend for his wife ….. with permission to share.

A Recipe

For all you Romantics out there...

For all you Romantics out there...

Mix

Sands of sorrow

Sands of time

Add

Today

Tomorrow

Your life

Mine

Stir

Your heart

My soul

The truth

Bake

Not to harden

But to hold firm

The flame of my soul

The love of my life

by Arie De Lint


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(Beware – this information could change your exercise regime as you know it!)

Answer:    Sore Muscles

Simply put, Exercise makes them; Black Cherries get rid of them.


Give me your best shot - Lactic A

© Give me your best shot - Lactic Acid

When you exercise, your muscles will inevitably become sore.

Black Cherries, used as a remedy for sore muscles and  inflammation,  are an age-old remedy.

I’m discovering that Grandma’s remedies are proving to be more than just folklore.

Some years ago a grandmotherly friend of mine put me onto Black Cherries when I complained to her about sore muscles after exercising.

It worked then and works for me today!

Black Cherries contain powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins (anthocyanins are found in red/purplish fruits and vegetables)

Weapon of Choice - Black Cherries

Weapon of Choice - Black Cherries

Diets rich in Cherries:

• help the body get rid inflammation and sore muscles

• help with cholesterol health

• help with weight management

• are good for the heart

During my research, I discovered that February is both American Heart Month and National Cherry Month – that should say something about this Super Fruit.

In the months of the year when Black Cherries are unavailable, the best source is Black Cherry Concentrate. (can be found in your local health store)


Ways to enjoy the benefits of Black Cherries:

• On a cold winter day, I add 1 tbsp of Black Cherry concentrate to a cup of herbal tea.

• On hot summer days, I mix  1 tbsp of Black Cherry concentrate with water, add a tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice and a couple of ice cubes.

• Or I might just sit out in the sun and help myself to a bowl of them sweet cherries.

So, no more excuses. If sore muscles are holding you back from exercising, give this simple, 100% natural Super Fruit a try. It just might work for you too.

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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I’ve just entered the “Thinker of the Week Contest” and you can too.

Check out this site for details   http://mylifethinking.come/life

If you think you’re a thinker – you’ll appreciate this site.

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Got SUN anybody?

My Office - space available  for rent

My Office - space available for rent - © Carrie

Right about this time of year, pretty much everyone I know is longing for the sun. Some of you are blessed enough to be able to escape to warm and tropical climes.

I’m certain you won’t be reading this.

This is for those of us who have to endure the long dreary winter months of rain and gray skies.

What did my research tell me?

Vitamin D is the SUNSHINE Vitamin

With the aid of sunlight, vitamin D is made from cholesterol in the skin, liver and kidneys.

* Studies are showing that Vitamin D deficiency may be a possible cause for SAD, or may be  associated with feeling tired and depressed.

* Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D often  increases one’s sense of well-being, and  sleep patterns improve.

* Studies also show an association between adequate Vitamin D and weight loss. It is proving to be helpful in the battle of the bulge.

“Excess body fat absorbs and holds onto vitamin D, making it unavailable to the body. The absence of vitamin D creates interference with the functioning of a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain that you are full and should stop eating. In addition, overweight people tend to spend more time indoors. This also deprives them from further D as the ultraviolet rays of the sun spur the production of D.”

http://www.brighamandwomens.or/healtheweightforwomen

(I’ve been told that most people put on a few lbs. during the winter months. I thought it was nature’s way of keeping you warm!)

* Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory hormone

* Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption

During winter months my Naturopath recommends 2000 IU or more per day, depending on individual needs. (Always check with your health practitioner before starting on a new health regimen). He told me that  on any given day spent in the sunshine, one can take in up to 20,000 IU!

This winter, the blues remain with the weather.  I personally am in good spirits – yes, I still long for the sun, but I’m not obsessed about it.

Quote:

“As a clinical regimen, I recommend taking 1000 to 3000 IUs daily Monday through Fridays and taking a “hormone holiday” each week on Saturday and Sunday.” – Diana Schwarzbein – www.Life-With-Confidence.com

Here you will find one of the best articles, in my opinion,  on Vitamin D written by Catherine Pratt

The article is called Benefit of Vitamin D

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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I had 45 visits to my blog yesterday because of Alphainventions.

Thanks  Cheru Jackson and Alphainventions.

http://www.alphainventions.com will bring visitors to your site.

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MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane)

Why do dogs eat grass?

Why do dogs eat grass? © Carrie

MSM is part of the Amino Acid Chain and is necessary to produce the correct enzymes the body needs to maintain health.


MSM is a natural form of organic sulfur found in all living organisms.

It is found in our body fluids and tissues.

Fresh raw foods, including such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, a fresh blade of grass, all contain MSM.

When we process our foods with heat or drying, most of the MSM that is vital to our well being is lost. Food begins to lose the MSM after it is harvested.

MSM…. what is it good for?

1.     helps our bodies utilize the vitamins that we take

2.     helps the body detoxify

3.     is good for circulation

4.     helps the body get rid of inflammation

5.     is a free radical scavenger

6.     helps to relieve allergies

7.     controls acidity in the stomach, and coats the intestinal tract making it difficult for parasites to make their home there. (take note dog owners)

8.     is significant in the maintenance of connective tissue

Some people find it very helpful. Others don’t.  If you have allergies to Sulfur drugs – check with your Dr., Naturopath or Compounding Pharmacist first. You still may be able to take this as MSM is the nutritional form of Sulpher. Foods like egg yolks, wheat germ, fish, freshly picked broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are some of the foods rich in MSM.

My Compounding Pharmacist tells me that MSM is no more toxic than water. I use it for inflammation and it does make a difference for me. I also take Vitamin C – my research pointed to the fact that Vit. C increased the benefits. As for amounts, I go by the dosage suggested by my Compounding Pharmacist.

If you want more information check out this site. I found it helpful.

http://www.glucosamine-arthritis.org/glucosamine/MSM.html

My personal conclusion: Surely MSM is the answer to the question every dog owner asks, “Why do dogs eat grass?”

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.

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Why is Apple Cider Vinegar known as the wonder vinegar?

We’re talking about the brown colored, unfiltered, unpasteurized “with Mother” Apple Cider Vinegar.

The clear version will not have any of the benefits listed below.

It ‘s loaded with nutrients; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and dietary fiber (pectin).

In my research on this Wonder Vinegar I came across some very good reasons to add this my diet.

My Top 11 good reasons to use Apple Cider Vinegar “with Mother”

1. Helps to reduce cholesterol and regulate blood pressure

2. Contains Malic acid which helps to fight fungus and bacterial infections

3. Dissolves Uric Acid (cause of painful joints and gout)

4. Helps indigestion and Acid Reflux

5. Helps in weigh reduction and obesity

6. Helps to relieve constipation or diarreha

7. Helps the body use calcium and supports good bone health

8. Is low in sodium and fat

9. It is loaded with nutients

10. Is great to use for marinating meat, fish, chicken

11. Is absolutely wonderful used in home made salad dressing

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Salad Dressing Recipe

11/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 lemon – juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp mustard

2 tbsp mixed dried herbs

(we use herbs like, basil, rosemary, dill, chives, dried onion bits, thyme, sage, parsley)

2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic chopped

a few drops of hot red pepper sauce

Optional:         add 2 tbsp. capers

or 2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes.    Sometimes we add both.

mix and let stand for a few hours. keep in the fridge.

enjoy on salad, potatoes, veggies, dumplings,  pasta and rice.

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God has blessed me with many artist friends and family, who inspire, encourage and motive me. That alone makes me a “Wealthy Artist.”

One of my very talented and creative friends is a writer (among many other things, some of which include film maker and producer). Lately he wrote a book entitled “To My Beloved Eve, Letters from Adam to his wife”. by Francis Testafront-cover-letters-to-eve

photo-francisI totally enjoyed the book. It was touching and a wonderful read. I immediately went to my Bible and read chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis. I’ve read them many times before but this time I read it with a different pair of eyes. There is so much in those chapters I hadn’t really noticed before!

Adam views Eve like every woman would like to be seen by her man. Priceless and like a precious jewel. Despite all the pain and strife in the relationship, love prevails and the depth of the relationship continues to grow to the very end. It gives hope

Francis portrays Adam’s relationship with God in a way both men and women can relate to. I appreciate the way he makes Adam work through all his issues with God. Adam doesn’t get away with anything.

Be sure to visit his very interesting and thought provoking blog http://www.letterstoeve.blogspot.com

To My Beloved Eve will be available on e-book shortly

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