Monthly Archives: November 2012

Steppin’ Up On a High Horse

Reported by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in the year 2000

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

  • 12,000 — unnecessary surgery
  • 7,000 — medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 — other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 — infections in hospitals
  • 106,000 –non-error, negative effects of drugs

That equals 225,000.

BUT.

Does that include deaths caused by prescription drug abuse?

We can add 14,600  deaths from prescription abuse a year as of 2008.

More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010, that is, using them without a prescription or for the feeling they cause.  How are they getting them??

An updated article written in 2012 with factual information can be read here.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/11/leading-causes-of-death-cost-for-us-economy.aspx

The numbers are astounding.  It is well worth your while to be informed.

I don’t want to talk about what is wrong or who is to blame.  That would take more energy than I have.  And I don’t know.

This is what I know from my own experience:

My health was greatly compromised by prescription medicine and the counsel of my doctors.

Proper diet, vitamins, minerals and herbs restored my health to a level I could not have imagined by a licensed doctor who was disillusioned by traditional medicine and moved to a more natural approach for healing.

The professionals that advocate all this chaos are the same people who distrust  vitamin and herbal supplements.  You know what?  There is not one documented death related to supplement consumption.  There are over 60 billion doses taken.  A year.

My mind gets really confused about all this stuff.  It doesn’t make sense that we, as a culture, aren’t understanding.  It is not in our best interest to plead ignorant here.  We lose.    I am not saying there isn’t a place for traditional medicine.   I had a surgery last year and could not have survived, perhaps,  if not for traditional medicine.  But something is wrong.

I don’t know where it all went wrong.  Do you?  But the point is that we have to become our own best advocate.

We must do our research and make informed decisions.  We should not let a stranger make these decisions for us and then take it at face value.

We must be responsible for preventing the need for medicine, and surgeries.  Most of us are born healthy.

I  just looked up “traditional medicine” and it said,

“the health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral-based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.”

How did the term”traditional medicine” jump the tracks?  Medical doctors who don’t use the practices stated above get to enjoy that label now.  I’m thinkin’ “traditional” does not mean over use of chemical drugs and poor decisions made on the behalf of patients. Not sure what you would call that.  Science fiction, maybe?

The day that really burned my mittens was  the day my ob/gyn, who I had gone to see for 18 years, made fun of me in a big way, cause I went to a “quack” as he put it.   The “quack” he spoke of healed me with diet and supplements from 30 years of bad medicine.  There were  no prescriptions used.  No surgeries.  IN THE SAME BREATH, this said ob/gyn gave me a prescription for Prozac when I told him that I got irritable 1 day a month.   My mouth  visibly fell open.   “Something is terribly wrong with this picture,”  I said to myself.

One by one, we can make a difference.  We can take responsibility for ourselves.  Make good decisions.  Make informed decisions.  Bottom line, we are treating ourselves like we have a couple of self  duplicates stuffed in the closet for future use.  We don’t.

I am off my high horse now.   I dislike being negative, but, man alive, it is vital that we get smart on ourselves.

Hope it snows soon.

God bless,

Karen

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My Mom Said

Everyone’s Mom has favorite sayings.  I’m sure my kids can come up with some doozies for me.  I just hope none of them were the doozies my mom used to say.  Mine may be as annoying and silly, I just hope they weren’t the same as my mom.  We have to break the cycle somewhere, right?

I thought about this as I entered the chicken yard a few days ago and saw a broom that had been dragged out into the yard from the Chick-condo and ripped apart.  It looks like a work of art to me.

I smiled to myself the words my mother always used:  “Is there nothing that I can call my own?”  Huh?  Is there anything that is really our own anyway?  I don’t use those words cause I suppose there are many items in my home that no one touches.  My mom had four girls.  She had much to contend with in the way of paw paws touching her stuff. Little closet snatchers she had to deal with on occasion.  I have no girls.  My boys don’t dip into my closet very often.  Maybe now that my barn animals like the same things I like I will insert that saying into my repertoire.

“If you don’t stop crying, I will give you something to cry about.”  I always wondered, if a parent didn’t want to hear crying, why they would do something to induce crying?  That NEVER made sense to me and still doesn’t.

“No, you can’t because I said so.”   I spent years working really hard not to utter the words.   I felt that my child deserved a reason for not doing something so they could better discern their next action.  When I used to hear that, I would think to myself, ” Uh, no, that is NOT a good enough reason.”  But I think as they got up in some teen years when stupid is as stupid does,  I do think I uttered the words.  Rational explanations weren’t working anymore.  And I kinda now understand that  our parent’s “no” should be reason enough.

A few of mine that I have been known to throw out there are:

“If you keep playing with that, it WILL break.”  I have one particular son that can’t keep his hands off of all that is precious.  I guess I could adopt the “Is there nothing I can call my own?”  But I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m not sharing.  I want him to think I share.  I just don’t want him to touch the shared object.

“Fair is a carnival with rides.”

“There is a time and a place.. and it’s not now.”  That was a very popular saying of mine when the boys were teenagers.

My youngest just reminded me that I said:  “No. You don’t know.”  Thar creeps me out.

I would love to hear what came out of your house.  Or what you could be accused of saying.

5 guineas chatting away 2 crows.

Have yerself a super Thanksgiving Saturday.

God bless,

Karen

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Lighten Up The Load..

on Thanksgiving.  If you can.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner when our son, Sam, was on leave from the Army last Sunday.  I was at my art conference and wasn’t getting home until Sunday evening, so Pops was in charge of making the food.  Oh boy.  It was all yummy,  but the poor man……… Lets just say…..How can I be nice here……I love him.  Things get a little out of hand when the going gets going.  He was so exhausted when it was all said and done.   I asked if it was worth it.  He said no.  But that it was great to have everyone here.  But we could have peanut butter and jelly with the same people here, right?  And Pops would have been able to enjoy Catch Phrase with us in the living room instead of losing his pretty little head in the kitchen.   Is it worth it?  (My head is always thinking about  stuff like this. )   Why do we make SOO MUCH FOOD?  And it’s not only so much food but it is so much heavy,  decadent food.  Can we cut corners somewhere?  I have a  new friend who just told me they never have the huge dinner.  Never.  They do their own thing and don’t think a thing about it.  Good for you, Sarah.  People time is the most important, right?

In my world????  (What is that?)  I wouldn’t cut fat cause I happen to know fat is good for you.  Good organic, local fat, that is.  I would cut sugars and omit some of the bread/noodle/white potato  stuff.  I KNOW. I KNOW.  Stuffing is SO GOOOOOOODD.  Why not eat the stuffing and forget the other starchy things.  When you look at a plate of thanksgiving food, really it looks so…well..ugh.  With the exception of a tiny section of green beans maybe and a quarter size of red tarty stuff ruining everything around it.

After Thanksgiving…bring to boil the carcass and  simmer for  two days or more. The longer the better.   Pour broth in glass containers 2/3 and freeze for future use for soups, rice, or any good thing.  It is the best thing ever.

Below are three recipes for lightening up the sugar.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

Most casseroles call for at least a cup of sugar.  This calls for  2 T.  We had it and we loved it.

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), scrubbed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the preparing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar unrefined.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Scoop the sweet potato out of their skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the eggs, butter, coconut palm sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole.  Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with the pecans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.

PUMPKIN CAKE BARS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING

(No flour and small amount of honey as sweetener)

CAKE BARS

1 c. pumpkin puree

1 c. almond butter

1/2 c. raw honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t. vanilla (pure)

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. cloves (optional

pecans or walnuts.

350 degrees.   8 x 8 pan 30 minutes

ICING

2 package cream cheese, softened organic.

1/3 c. honey

2 t. vanilla extract

Mix. Spread.

WALNUT CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM

(No sugar added. Dairy free)

This is really good.  But if not eaten day of, it gets really hard in freezer but still tastes good.

1 13 oz. can of full fat organic coconut milk

1/4 c. chopped walnuts.(soaked and dried if possible)

2 ripe bananas, mashed

Pinch of salt

1/4 c. finely chopped dark chocolate.

10 drops of stevia

splash of vanilla

Heat coconut milk until smooth.  Stir in walnuts, banana, salt vanilla.  Pour into glass container and cool.  Add chocolate and stevia.  Freeze, stirring occasionally.

I pray safe travels, loving family time, and relaxed digestive state for all.

God bless,

Karen

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Queen Of The Farm

Uh…no,  it is not I.

It is Claire.  Claire is very popular as you might imagine by looking at her photo.

Her tongue sticks out like that all the time.  Poor thing’ s tongue is too long for her mouth.  You should watch as she tries to eat her food.  The stuff is flying all over the place.

Claire has a palace that includes two homes.  She has the Chick-Condo and she has her Summer Cottage.
It is hard to understand how we can have a dog as beautiful and wonderful as this and we don’t let her out of her pasture.     She is a Great Pyrenees.  They are livestock guard dogs who take their jobs extremely serious.  Many people get them because they are so beautiful but find they are difficult to handle and keep in place.  As a result there is a huge rescue community for all the Pyrs that have been given up because they didn’t “behave”.  Ours is lovely because she is doing exactly what she was bred to do.  Work.

Let’s take a peek.

Her pasture.

She has never been out of this pasture.  It is about twice the size that you see here.  She owns this pasture and guards it well.

The front of her domain as we walk to her house.

The Chick-Condo

She guards the chickens. And a goat or two.    The chickens have half the condo and she has the other half.  She cannot access their quarters because she will eat the eggs,  but they can sneak into hers.

She has about 24 chickens that she guards. It works.  We have guinea hens that roam around our property and we are losing them to predators.  We have never lost a chicken under the watchful eye of Claire.   As soon as we go in at night and the sun goes down, she begins walking the perimeter of the pasture  and barks a lot.  Pyrs do that.  We knew that going in and we accept that.  It is part of their job.  She rallies all night  until dawn.   Claire never makes a peep during the daylight hours unless there is a visible threat.  She rests.   She is very happy doing her job.

The infirmary

The little coop you see in the photo is the infirmary.  That is where hens go when Claire has licked them to near death.  She has never killed a chicken and is very gentle with them but she likes to toss them about and lick them.  Sometimes I will go out there and there will be a chicken lying on its back with its legs straight up in the air playing dead while she licks her tummy.

The Summer Cottage

This is Claire’s getaway cottage.  We found her there a lot this summer as it gets lots of shade.  Sometimes she just needs to get away from her stressful life and vacation for a while.  The flock goes crazy when she is away.  Party time.

But she doesn’t stay gone for too long.  Other wise, someone may come along and take the eggs.

And we wouldn’t want that to happen now, would we?

Please, do not worry that Claire gets lonely at her palace. Her home is in the middle of everything that ever goes on around here.  She misses nothing.   She gets visitors all the time.  We walk with her 3 times a day in her pasture and she is constantly battling all the other critters who want to be part of her posse.  Because she is queen of the land.

She is the happiest, most content dog we have ever had.  We attribute that to letting her do her job.   She has taught us so much about living with and training dogs.   Any dog that is raised on this property going forward  will be trained for  a job.  Thanks, Claire, for teaching us that really important lesson.

Thanks for stopping by.

God bless,

Karen

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Is This The Season For You?

We are amping up for the season.   What season?

Spike, the Norway Spruce

Oh.  This season.  This season meaning the holidays?  Or this season meaning the winter season?

How can we use this winter season to prepare us for this holiday season?

It snowed here yesterday for the first time this season.  For about 20 minutes.  It was quiet.  When I look at snow,  it gets quiet in my soul.

I have been watching nature get ready for the winter season.  I think the snakes might be sleeping now.  Shh.   The plants have died back.  The trees have gone to sleep.   The air is quiet.  The nights are wonderfully crisp on my walks to and from the barn.  Peace.   The skies are twinkly and dark and wintery.  We welcome all of this cause it spells rest.

This morning’s walk to cows

God gave us time to rest.  He gave us  a rest period daily.  He created a day of rest for us within our week.  And winter was created to give both nature and humans rest.   It is a time to rejuvenate our very tired bodies, souls and minds from 9 months of go.  Did you know there are even cold season vegetables  ( potatoes, some varieties of squash, root vegetables, brussels sprouts) and warm season vegetables ( lettuce and other green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers)?  Winter season is for us to warm our insides, hunker down and cozy up.

I am glad that Jesus’ birth is in the dead of winter.  It is a perfect kind of time where we can turn our focus on Him.   I like to imagine Mary and Joseph traveling in the quiet of night to the barn.  Snowy and still.  I don’t even know if it snows where they lived.  But it snows in my mind.

So,  how can we take all this quiet, stillness and restfulness of our winter season and channel it into our holiday season?  It is quite easy to allow the over stimulated media and commercial world to seep into our pores.  But we have a choice,  as in all actions we take.  I am talkin’ to myself here too, don’t you know.

I use to abhor the holiday season.  I resented the fact that materialism overshadowed the real meaning of Christmas.  I have little energy as it is, let alone throw in a curve ball that includes taking all of your home decorations down and put up  stuff  for two weeks, then take it all down again.   And shop more in a three-week period than the whole rest of the year combined.  What is so glorious about that?  Rejoice?

Last time I looked,  Christmas was a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord.  Why are we celebrating if it isn’t about Him anymore?  Why are we celebrating when we don’t believe in Him anymore?

I don’t abhor it anymore.  I made the decision not to.  I don’t have to play follow the commercial leader if I don’t want to.  I will follow my own Leader.   I decided to enjoy the season.  I decided to use the winter season to prepare me for the birth of Christ, er, I mean, the holiday season.

These are the actions that  I plan to implement this season:

1.  Make  a list that is short enough that is attainable.  Daily.  Dont bite off more than you can chew.

2.  Take in the quiet moments that winter treats us to.  Daily.

3.  Make sure that while I am doing the shopping thing,  I enjoy time with friends.  Like lunch with a friend.

4.  Be honest with myself.  Say no when I don’t want to do something.

5.  Go to bed early.

6.  Shop less.  Give less things.   Celebrate time with others instead.  Who can afford all that stuff anyway.

7.  GRATITUDE LIST.  It will make you smile more minutes everyday.

8.  What e’er else.  Take it slooowwwww and easy.

9. Think about someone else.  Make some else’s day.

10.  Drink water.

11.  The most important …… enjoy my time in prayer with our Creator.

Sunday, we cooked our turkey that we raised and butchered ourselves.    And believe ir or not, it was yummy.  Kinda.

God bless your soul,

Karen

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For They Know Not What They Are Doing.

This weekend brings me with the likes of the following artists.  Internationally well-known artists.  They are teaching me how to paint.  Really?  I certainly hope so.  What they don’t know is that for the last 15 years I have not painted in their preferred medium.  I have thrown all the rules by the wayside.  I haven’t painted at all for two years.  But I am here to:

Set aside what I think I know

So that I may open my self up to new experiences.  Amen.

So, help me God. ……  .. Please?

Enjoy the works of these fine artist who rule the world in Impressionism this 21st century.  They are kind enough to spend three days with us striving artists.  I better get my little note-book out, huh?

Kevin Macpherson

Quang Ho

C. W. Mundy

Carolyn Anderson

Zhiwei Tu

Clayton J. Beck III

Calvin Liang

Kenn Backhaus

Fabulous, eh?  I want to paint like them when I grow up.  And you know what?  They are nice people.

God bless,

Karen

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Helloooo Mr. President

I did not shoot this photo

I went to bed last night way before all the votes were in and woke up about 3 am.   I wanted to know but then I didn’t want to know.   Anticipation and curiosity got the best of me,  so I peeked.   Now I know.  What will I do with that information that I now have?

I will get to that momentarily.

We vote for  people who can offer us the most,  depending on what our experiences have been and are.  A small business owner is not going to feel the same as an elder who is being threatened with the possibility of their medicare being stripped.  Just as a person unemployed is going to be in a different place than a person who has a strong pro-life stance.  And of course, we are always interested in more than one issue because our lives are multidimensional.  But the point is, we feel strongly about things that have touched us in one way or another.  Or because we were raised one way or another. Or because of where we stand with our needs today.

My question is this…Can I  judge you because your experiences have been different from mine?  I really need to ask this question again.  CAN I JUDGE  YOU BECAUSE YOUR EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT THAN MINE?   Should I verbally bash and bully the running mate  that passionately fights for the issues that might lessen your burden?  The burden that defines you because of your past and present experiences?

Whew.

We are all made so beautifully different.  Thank you, God, for that.

We are acting like people who don’t care to look at the perspective of the guy across the street.   Just feed me.  Meet my needs.

Shame on us.

So back to what I will do with the information that I retrieved from my handy-dandy iPhone at that dark, quiet hour in the night.  It really bothers me that I wake up at that hour.

No matter WHO sits in that chair:

I did not shoot this photo either.

I will respect the person in that great office no matter what, even if I don’t share the same beliefs.

I will NEVER,  EVER  bad mouth him/her to anyone.  

I will have great expectations that he will do the best he can even if he is not the man I voted for. 

I will do the best that I can by  living my life with integrity, high values and good morals. 

The president is such a tiny part of this equation.  We have SO much responsibility.   We  have to support each other no matter our past and present experiences.  We have to be satisfied (and thankful)  that if my burden is not lessened this term, than someone else’s burden is lessened.

If I am looking to someone else to lessen my anger, I am searching in the wrong place.  No president of the United States of America can lessen the anger that rages in my heart.  Sometimes I witness such a fervor and passion and desperation that the “right” president is going to save us from ourselves.   No human being can ever do that.

I pray.

God bless,

Karen

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