the farm...

  I love having a farm.  For me it has been a time of peace and healing.  I love that we are surrounded by farms. It never gets old to me. I have to point out every animal to whomever is in the car with me at the time, and I moo at every cow I see.  Yes, I know I am fifty two and I have been doing this since my oldest daughters were little, but I can't help it!  My poor 13 year old daughter gets embarrassed every time I do it.  Although I love animals, I absolutely detest the way they smell. Don't get me wrong, I did my share of cleaning up horse and pig - hum what's a nice way of saying poop?  However, I had to have some wine first, because it kind of dulls your senses. After a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, the animals don't smell so bad. Which brings me to our dog Charlie...

Charlie is our Chocolate Lab, otherwise known as Grandpa, whom I love to death. He is twelve years old, and has arthritis in his back legs, which is very common in Labradors. He is a little on the chubby side, so he's forever on a diet. He loves watermelon, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.  He ate almost all of them out of the garden last year.  We couldn't keep him out. Fortunately, now that we have a pool he swims a lot, which is really good exercise for him.

Charlie is the best dog we have ever had. He is so amazing.   Each day we have with him is a gift.   I talk to Charlie a lot, and give him way too many snacks.  I am constantly trying to move a way from him because he is so slobbery, and loves to lick us.  When he gets out of the pool and shakes, it's a mess. I am sure you can imagine.  Still he brings so much joy to our home.

He is very protective over Chloe.  The second she jumps into the pool, he barks to let me know. I think he also misses the farm.  He loved all of the other animals, especially the chickens.

When you are a city girl from Orange County, you have to drink wine on your farm.

This is Oppie. She was known for busting out of all the fences, and running down the street every time she was in heat. Hmm.. Another reason wine is good on the farm. You never know when you are going to have to chase a pig down the street!  Actually, looking back, I think Oppie was Charlie's favorite.  We were constantly keeping them apart so we didn't have pogs!

Look at that face! Chloe's kind of cute, too ;)

So what am I getting at...Farm + Wine = Happiness!

Don't slip on one, but...

Even though you don't want to slip on one... the contents can be your best friend. The banana makes a superior skin softener.  The warm summer weather can really take a toll on your feet. Try this mask for weatherworn heels:

Mash half a banana in a bowl

mix in a few drops of honey

then massage into your heels

Wrap your feet in plastic wrap and allow the mixture to soak in for at least 10 minutes.

Rinse, then gently exfoliate the area with a pumice stone.


           

 

 

 

 

Hum...I thought this was a good idea, why???

So sometimes...I do weird/stupid things.  My sister is a shop-online-aholic.   She buys so much stuff she doesn't open it and has no clue to what she even has.  Well, my daughter, Chloe has a field day staying with her aunt because she comes home with $100's of dollars of beauty products.  I, on the other hand, stick to exactly what I need to put on my face so I don't scare anyone. 

Ever so often I will try one of these products, it never works out and I end up wanting to scream.  The other day we were going to dinner in Scottsdale.  I was having an okay hair day.  I decided to use one of the hairsprays, Chloe left in my bathroom, because it was the first thing I grabbed.  Well, I didn't know what was in there but I suddenly, after straightening my hair, had this wet, curly look.  It's okay I told myself, your going to dinner with your husband, child and family, no big deal.  So I sprayed more on and just went with that look.

Not so lucky the next day...So I hate to pluck my eye brows!  It hurts and I get a headache and I can't see.  Because I am 50 now.  So, I saw this pink mini little shaver thing.  I got this bright idea.  I could just shave my eyebrows and give them the perfect arch.  Well, that is not anything close to what happened.  Instead, I had sections missing of my eyebrows.  Oh well, I thought, I think some people just draw them on.  That's it!  I'll just do that! 

Well, I filled in those missing areas quickly because I had to go.   So Chloe and I, were in the store for about 10 minutes.  I guess she finally got a good look at me.  She kind of loudly said, (because 11 yr. olds and men don't know how to whisper)  What is wrong with your eye brow?   I said, "What do you mean?"  I quickly found a mirror, I forgot I had shaved it off, drew it on, then I guess rubbed my face and suddenly...I looked like Mr. Spock!  Chloe's deep concern turned into hysterical laughter.  Glad I could provide her with some entertainment. 

Moral of the story...getting older is hard!  Don't use anything your younger sister sends over, there is a reason she didn't want it.  AND wear your glasses!

Eat Me, Eat Me!

It is perfectly okay to indulge and have a yummy treat once in awhile.  The key is to go out and have that special treat!  Go to your favorite ice cream parlor , donut shop, Sprinkle cupcakes.  You get the message.  Go out and have one piece, one slice, one scoop.  Do not go and get a whole pie, a cake or a box of donuts and bring it home.    Because we all know what happens...they start calling our name, late at night...eat me, eat me, eat me!  Until it is all gone. Practice moderation in all things.  Treat yourself, enjoy it, then walk away.  If you decide to bake something at home, same thing.  Enjoy a piece, then brighten a neighbor's day, share with them.  It will put a smile on both of your faces.

Just my hormones?

 I am jumping on the whine trip crazy train. I'm sick of the doctor visits, the trips to the ER, the frantic calls to my husband in the middle of the night when he's working. My friends, family, and doctors telling me it's "just your hormones". To me, hormones are not tangible; I can't see them or touch them. I have been tested for this, that, and the other and I am told it's my hormones?

 

Perimenopause is testing my rationale, logic, and ability to understand things. What's up is down, what's down is up, I have a few good days and then without reason or clear logic, I wake up a different person, putting my feet on the floor to test my steadiness. Things look and feel odd, like I'm a stranger in my own body. This feeling haunts me all day and I am constantly aware of every twinge, ache, pain, flush, mood, and heartbeat. The worry sets in and then the fear, and so then for DAYS I am trapped in a body that is betraying me because I cannot logically talk myself back into my real self. I MISS her, she's smart and funny and strong. She never used to cry and worry and have panic attacks. she used to be able to drive 1,000 miles in one day to see her family in FL, but now she can barely drive to work 8 miles away without wondering "is my breathing shallow, why can't I catch my breath, what IS that weird head twinge, why is my eye twitching, is this a panic attack or a hot flash? OMG! I should turn around and go home, open a window, I can't breathe, LET ME OUT of this body!!"

No amount of doctors, pills or exercise can give me the peace of mind I so desperately need at times. And yet there are times when I DO feel strong and confident, I cling to those moments. The roller coaster ride continues; don't know how much longer I can ride this ride. I just want someone to stop and let me off.

Lisa Cline

Music: Ghost Town Jenny

Ghost Town Jenny began as the solo project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kim Kylland.  Kylland grew up splitting time between southern California and Norway, and eventually spent her formative years as a songwriter & performer in Dublin, Ireland.  After traveling alone through Europe with just a guitar and a backpack, she attended school in Japan, and eventually moved to Reykjavik, Iceland.  While at Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark, Kim met Johan Svensson, who would later become her bandmate (synths) and writing partner.  After a few more years of traveling and writing in various locations, the pair relocated to Northern California, where they currently reside.  The band's line-up was later completed with Bay Area musicians, Corey Christopher Mike (violin) and Dominic Mercurio (drums).

Ghost Town Jenny's music has been compared to everyone from Florence & The Machine and Bjork (Purevolume) to June Carter Cash and Andrew Bird (Austin Texas Decider), but it's evident that they are cultivating their own unique sound.  This diverse group of talents has charmed audiences around the globe, from large scale festivals to intimate performances.  Iceland Airwaves Festival wrote that each Ghost Town Jenny song "is like its own contained fairy tale."

The group released their first studio EP in January of 2014, which Interview Magazine called "sweet and spooky."  They are currently writing and working on their first full-length effort, due out in late 2015.

Check out Ghost Town Jenny's new music video for “Lights,” which comes from their debut EP, Golden Hour, released earlier this year.

The video was directed by Samantha Shay, who the band met while in Iceland in 2011. Purevolume.com, who first championed the song back in January, referred to Ghost Town Jenny as “cinematic soul,” and compared them to the likes of Florence & the Machine and Bjork.

Ghost Town Jenny continues to support their Golden Hour EP with various live performances.

Visit ghosttownjenny.com

 

Quick Tip

Storing Leftover Coconut Milk

Freeze leftover coconut milk in small quantities; an ice cube tray is ideal, or snack-size ziplock bags.  It will appear separated when thawed; simply stir until smooth.  Add to smoothies, pancake batter, or whatever else you use it in.

I also do the ziplock bag method with chicken broth.  I buy the very large can of broth available at Winco.  I use it instead of water for my rice and I also cook my veggies in it.

Wined and Dined: Are You At Risk?

Whether or not you are a fan of Obama or the Affordable Care Act, it really doesn't matter in this case.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  That's what makes the world go 'round.  I am not a supporter or a fan of either one, however, I would like to give credit where credit is due.  A provision of the Affordable Care Act released the 'Open Payments' website, which allows you to look up your doctor to see if he or she is being wined and dined by the pharmaceutical companies.  It also allows you to see how much they are being paid and how often. 

I honestly wonder how many doctors go into this profession anymore with the thought of helping people, or if it is just because of the income related to their profession.  Doctor visits have become so ridiculous these days.  I have to admit I didn't go for years, but in the last year and a half, I've been several times.  Fifty is fun. 

I am so tired of being told I need to go on Zoloft.  I am not the only one - everyone I talk to has had the same experience.  I tell them I am not depressed; I have never been depressed.  It has come to the point that I get really upset and ask them what percentage or kickback they get for the drugs they are promoting that month. 

Doctors are being paid for prescribing drugs as part of drug studies.  Are you going to be their guinea pig?  You need to educate yourself and see if medication is truly right for you.  See if changing your lifestyle by incorporating some healthy habits helps before trying other methods.  If it is indeed necessary for you to go on a medication, find out what your options are, find out what the side effects are, and take all of these things into consideration before jumping right in.  Most importantly, take your health into your own hands.  Don't let others make decisions for you.  Education is the key.  

I do not think all doctors are bad, the key is finding the right one for you.  I really like my new doctor.  My first visit, he spent over an hour with me.  I felt he listened to me and was genuinely concerned about helping me.  He did try to push several medications, but when I told him I had no interest, he respected my decision.  Then he put together an alternative plan for me.  

Show up informed, or come back informed.

Visit openpaymentsdata.cms.gov to see how friendly your physician is with big pharma.

Children's Natural Fever Reducer

Remember that fevers are your friend, and God’s way of helping the immune system fight off an infection.  Always work with a fever and not against it!  If it gets high, yes, you want to bring it down.  Always remember to keep your child hydrated during sickness and fever.

If you have children at home, have a supply of essential oils on hand.  Fevers can soar high and cause your child to be miserable, so sometimes it’s a great idea to reduce them.

Peppermint oil is not only good for nausea, but also for reducing fever.

How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil To Reduce Fevers

  1. Place a teaspoon of a carrier oil like olive, almond, coconut, etc. in a bowl.
  2. Add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil and mix.
  3. Apply the oil on the bottoms of the feet and back of the neck.
  4. In 30 minutes to an hour, the fever should be reduced by a degree or two.  Notice that I didn’t say that the oil would break the fever.  Our goal isn’t to break a fever, but to reduce it to a more comfortable level if needed.  This works for me every time.

Repeat as needed if the fever rises too high again.

It really is that simple!

Remember to educate yourself and make your own decisions. 




Charlie

Charlie is our Chocolate Lab, otherwise known as Grandpa.  He is 12, and has arthritis in his back legs, which is very common in Labradors.  He is a little on the chubby side, so he's forever on a diet.  He loves watermelon, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.  He ate almost all of them out of the garden last year.  We couldn't keep him out : /

He does swim a lot, which is really good exercise for him.

Third Child...Live Long and Prosper!

So, you know how by the time you have had several children, you just don't do all the same things you did with the first ones?  You don't get Olin Mills professional photos taken every 6 months, they don't play as many sports, there is no way in heck you are going to let them sell candy bars or wrapping paper, and maybe they were not in as many church plays. 

A couple of months ago, Gunny was getting ready to go somewhere, so Chloe yelled out to him,  "I love you, live long and prosper!"  Then she looked at me and said, "That's a Bible verse, right?"  At that moment I realized I had failed miserably... and I replied, "No, it's Spock 4:13."

No Bra, Big Snake!

Ever had one of those days where you just can't stand to wear your bra one more second. so you take it off in the car, while driving, because you are going to park in your drive way and just walk right into your house?  But when you get home the majority of the neighbors on your block are all standing in your front yard, because there is a 5 foot snake not far from your front door!  Suddenly, they all want to introduce themselves and shake your hand.  No one will ever remember your name.  You will be known as the older lady down the street who really should wear a bra.
 

Are You Making Yourself Crazy?

Here it comes again, another Monday.  On the bright side, Monday is a fresh new beginning.  However, for all of you worn out amazing women, Monday means another week of juggling way too many things; as an employee, mother, boss, spouse, friend - the list is endless. 

stressedout_2.jpg

We have so much going on that we become overwhelmed.  When we are tired, the smallest things become unmanageable.  We walk a fine line between sanity and being insane.  We must learn when to rest, and when to say no to things that are just not that important.

"No" is not a dirty word.  It can actually be the most freeing word you will ever say.   We are meant to seek God daily for Him to lead our very full lives.  Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would come alongside us, lead, guide and direct us.  So then why are we running in circles?  We lose sight of what really matters and what doesn't. 

I will never forget one Easter in particular.  Chloe was a baby, and my two oldest girls were still living at home.  I wanted to create the perfect Easter, one they would never forget.  Well, I think Jesus had already done that... but I was going to make it memorable and beautiful!  We had lots of family and friends coming over, so I was going to make the perfect Easter brunch.  I started on decorations the week before.  

I made huge paper mache Easter eggs the size of watermelons.  I placed the eggs all over the back yard.  I sat a very long table outside with pretty linens, china and fresh flowers.  I made the girls awesome Easter baskets.  I stuffed all the eggs with candy for the Easter egg hunt, I made sure everyone had a cute Easter outfit, and I made a homemade sugar-free cheese cake, dang it!  Well, I was so busy and overwhelmed with everything that we ended up missing church.  I felt really bad, but I had to do all these things so I could be the perfect mom and the perfect hostess! 

As soon as our guests arrived, the little boys started kicking my paper mache Easter eggs, that I worked on for weeks, like footballs onto the roof of our house.  The chocolate candy in the eggs had melted, and the kids said it looked like poop and didn't want to eat it.  When I went to serve my dessert that I was so proud of, it fell apart!  Nothing like a good dose of reality to put your priorities in place. 

I realized I had missed what was important.  Jesus said, "Come unto me and I will give you rest", not "run around like a crazy woman spending time on things that don't really matter."  All the things we do as women to set the mood for holidays and everyday living are important, but it all needs to be kept in perspective.

Coffee & a Book

"Give me a good cup of coffee and a book I love, and I will be happy."

The New York Times best sellers:  Week of May 10th, 2015

Paper Back Non-Fiction

1. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

2. American Sniper (Movie Tie-in Edition): The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice

3. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

How To, Self-Help

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Maria Kondo

2. The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig, Dallas Hartwig

3. TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick by Suzanne Somers    

                       

          From the sweet to the savory, Letha Mae's Bakery & Cafe has pastries to satisfy any craving. They make specialty coffee and baked goods every day in-house.

Check out this lovely independent coffee shop and bakery located in San Tan Valley, AZ.

Letha Mae's Bakery & Cafe

40975 N Ironwood Dr Suite B104
San Tan Valley, AZ 85140

480-987-3993

 

 

Teaching Life Skills

Prepare your children for the future.  There are simple things you can do to teach them communication skills that will last a lifetime.

  • Work on solutions to situations together; let them know you value their opinion.
  •  When there are issues, let them come up with a plan, then go over it together, and tweak it together when necessary.  Again, it lets them know that you value their opinion and makes them feel important.  It also builds self-esteem and encourages them to become problem solvers.
  •  Ask your children, "How does this make you feel?", "What do you think?"  They in turn will ask others about their feelings.  
     

The Gift of Time

I am so guilty of this...this may be you, also.  With technology being what it is, it is so easy to send a text or a quick email.  When is the last time you called a friend, talked, laughed, shared your life and your heart?  There is something so renewing about an actual phone call.  It feels much more personable.

You are giving your time and yourself.  Yes, sometimes you lose focus of your schedule and it eats up "your time."  However, just a simple phone call can help you reconnect.  I know it lightens my spirits, and it puts what is really important in perspective. 

I am so glad for the break in my chaotic day. 
 

Natural Makeup Remover

I have to admit, this is my favorite use for coconut oil.  I know using it as an all-over skin moisturizer is all the rage,
but personally, as I have become older, everything burns and irritates my skin - including coconut oil.

However, removing my makeup, especially my eye makeup (I tend to wear a lot), is so easy with coconut oil and it provides moisture to this area without irritation.