The gift of sleep

I got on Facebook today and it told me that I had not posted on my “Wellness, Health and Hope” page in a long time and that my “audience” is missing me. Only a week that I’ve been “missing”. A lot going on in life. We all have busy lives, don’t we? Trying to get everything done, even when things are going along normally, is nearly impossible. Very few people have simplified enough, and are organized enough, to say everything is caught up. When life throws curveballs, it’s even more difficult. Add to that an auto immune disease, and the inability to say “no” to anything, and you put yourself in the fast lane to a crash. That’s where life is for me right now. Without going into all the details I will just say that we have had to move out of our home for awhile while some work needs to be done on it. We have been out of it for over 2 months now, and it will be about 2 more before we can be back in. The move out was very sudden, so it has thrown us into a life of hotels and friends homes. It’s very humbling, and very stressful. We have been very blessed with the kindness of others, but still it’s hard to “take”. One dear friend let us live in a beautiful home that they just bought. In fact, we have spent more time in their home then they have to date. Unbelievable! Some other precious friends just allowed us 4 nights in their remote river cabin. No phones, no internet, no TV and pouring rain the entire time. At first, I must admit, I was disappointed that it was raining. We had hikes and fly fishing planned. What in the world were we going to do for 4 days in the pouring rain? I’ll tell you what we did. I cooked healthy meals. We read books. I had boxes in the car of memorabilia that was “evacuated” with us, that I went through and learned all sorts of interesting family history. (Why had I never read all of this before?). What’s more important was the fact that I slept. I slept! That’s not something I do very much of. I read all the articles, by the medical experts. They all agree, if you have any kind of auto-immune disease, you need more sleep. Time to let your body heal. Sure, the right healthy food is vital, but sleep is crucial. The problem with me and sleep is that no matter how much I know I need it, I never feel like I have time. Remember that I always feel like there is so much I need to accomplish. So this weekend, I slept. This was a great gift. I hope that it can become a habit, but in all honesty, unless I can simplify life a bit, choose what’s really important, and clear away the rest, then it won’t happen. It, and I are works in progress.

Peach,Cinnamon and raisin marmalade

We had our ‘jammy’ day yesterday…our house still smells of cinnamon and peaches, and our morning breakfast was an absolute delight! Try this recipe, it is so good.Peach, Cinnamon and Raisen marmalade
4-5 lbs of organic yellow peaches
2 1/2 cups of organic brown sugar
1 lemon
1 cup of organic raisins
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
Cook peaches and brown sugar for about one hour, and add the raisins + cinnamon 15 minutes before it’s done!

In talking to my daughter, my sister and to a few other friends about having the “blues”, (or dealing with depression, or even about having motivation, when all you want to do is procrastinate), I came across a few blogs that I sent out to them that I felt were note worthy.  Among them was one I had saved a few years ago, and I think it is time to share

Big Dreams Require Big Dreamers

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Almond flower rebuttal, and my opinion

If you like the science of food/nutrition like I do, this is a fascinating, and well researched article. I eat a LOT of nuts and nut products, as do my daughters, so this is important. This is why I always say, (but not always DO) that you MUST have moderation in all things. Switch it up a bit. Coconut flour, hemp milk, flax seeds, walnuts, macadamia…….One of the biggest reasons that people get food allergies, and immune deficiencies aside from the fact that we live in a polluted world, is that we eat the somethings, from the same sources too often. We can go on for years this way, but once an illness hits, or stress becomes too great, the body can no longer fight on it’s own. It begins rejecting everything, especially the things that are too “common” in our diet. A friend of mine had a blood allergy test done this week, and she had, what I considered, the weirdest allergies. Things you would think one could never be allergic to. They happened to be the things that she ate every day. Enough of my rant. Read the article!

The Pros and Cons of Almond Flour: Rebuttal to “5 Reasons To Avoid Almond Flour”

These are a few of my favorite things

Maybe it is because I grew up with parents that lived through the depression.  Perhaps it is my generation of “the one with the most toys wins”. Could I be a hoarder?  No, not me!!! What is it then?  Why is it that when I set out to clear out my house, that it seems to get more full?

I have spent the past year away from home.  My father-in-law was dying of cancer.  Since my husband and I seemed like the best candidates for the duty, we put out lives on hold and moved into my in-laws 11,000 ft home. It had already been planned that he would stay home until he died, and that as soon as he passed, my mother-in-law would move into a new home.  They had lived in that home for 58 years, and raised all five children there. We were married in that home.Their grandchildren, and great grandchildren had many memories at “Mer and Poppa’s”. The home was the place of gathering.  Wedding showers,  weddings, receptions, baby showers, Christmas’s, Easters, Thanksgivings & birthdays, to name a few of our cherished times together. All those happy times, and now, we were going to say good bye to my father-in-law, and good bye to this home.

During our time there, it was my husbands task to do the physical care of his father.  A few times a week, Hospice workers would come in, and they became fast friends.  My tasks involved cooking, and shopping.  This allowed my Mother-in-law to stay by her husband of 64 years.  She read book, after book to him. It was so comforting to hear her through the monitor that we had to keep in their room, so we could run back when the needs arose.

Looking around this large home, I knew that someone was going to have to start figuring out where all the belongings were to go.  My Mother-in-laws new home was essentially furnished, and much of what she owned would not match with the new decor.  What in the world would happen with the 11,000 sq feet of “stuff”?  I asked my MIL if I could start to work on cleaning out. It was very important to her that, appearance wise, nothing looked different for my Father-in-law.  she didn’t want it to feel like the vultures had swooped in.  She gave me one closet to clean out.  Each day I would ask what I could do next.  SLOWLY, she gave me more little tasks.  My husband tackled the workshop, and the lab. I tackled the guesthouse, and day by day, as my Father-in-laws strength began to fade, I would move closer inside.  His world became smaller, limited to bedroom, bathroom and office, and so now I could make more headway.  I was not yet at liberty to call in a collector, or remove large pieces, but the cupboards began to empty out.

When my FIL finally died, we began to pack my MIL for her move.  It was decided she would move the following week, and the memorial would be held in the family home 2 weeks after that.  She asked that the house be empty by that time.

The house was put on the market the day before my FIL died, and the first showing was that same day.  The day my MIL moved, we had the Realtor caravan, as well as the movers. Chaos.  Even writing about this right now, almost causes a panic attack.  Oh, did I mention that my husband and his brother went fishing that day?

That next 2 weeks consisted of collectors, packing, cleaning, house showings, trips to the thrift store, and no sleep. The more I cleared, the more I saw for the first time.  How had I never noticed this beautiful chair, or lamp, or painting, or…. I began to get sentimental about things that were not even mine. I loved it all, and I hated it all.  This “stuff” was becoming the death of me.  I did not sleep for weeks.  I wanted everything to be exactly as my MIL wanted it to be for the memorial.  I’m not even sure anyone really even noticed. We were there for each other.  That day, everyone gathered up the belongings they wanted. In reality, that was the day that I realized that the things that meant the most to everyone were not the priceless antiques, but the memories of the pool parties, the tennis court, the tea house, the gardens. It wasn’t the stuff, it was the times spent together.  Even now, as my husband and I look around at the few things we did bring home, they really don’t mean anything. Those things are not Jack, or Marilyn (my in laws). They are not special away from the home that they were purchased for.  They are “things”.

So, now to the title of my rambling. What are my favorite things? What are the things that are important?

Love, hope, peace, understanding, faith, family, friends, the greatness of God, Creation, Caring for others, simplicity!   These are the things that really bring joy.I need to remember that, and clean my house!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV