Monthly Archives: April 2013


Art is as different as the individual.

When we think of mosaics,  we think of  table tops, mirror frames.  Or at the opposite end of the spectrum, we think of the beautiful mosaics on the ceilings of the cathedrals in Europe.  I, of course, wouldn’t know anything about the cathedrals since I have never touched the soil of that wonderful continent.   But my curiosity is itching more by the day.   The art of mosaic is an art form  dating back to 3000 BC.   The materials used are widely varied but in the far-reaching history, tiles and glass were the most commonly used.

My fascination with mosaics began by studying the Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi.  He modernized mosaics in the late 19th- 1920’s.  He incorporated mosaic into many of his designs giving them a modern and funky twist.

todo gaudi principal grande


Tallest church in the world designed and constructed by Gaudi until his death in 1926. It is still under construction. Mosaic is used in many areas of the church including the top of each spire.

Mosaics have become an important part of my work in the past 7 or 8 years.  I have attended the National Mosaic Conference 3 or 4 times in the last 10 years, with the last one being a few weeks ago.  There are mosaic artists from all over the world that attend and the work that is displayed is stunning.  Please enjoy the selected few from the exhibit.


Kate Jessup


Sophie Drouin

Rachel Sager-Lynch

Rachel Sager-Lynch

Ilana Shafir

Ilana Shafir

Yulia Hanansen

Yulia Hanansen

Eileen Gay

Eileen Gay

Marian Shapiro

Marian Shapiro

Jo Braun

Jo Braun

Gerry Lavery

Gerry Lavery

Lynn Chinn

Lynn Chinn

The sky is the limit in creative design AND materials used in mosaics.  It is a wonderful medium that anyone can find enjoyment in.

Glad you stopped by.

God bless,


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Please Accept My Apology

I had a discussion with someone the last few days about the comment I made on the last post about reflecting upon what my pastor had said comparing the Boston tragedy to  the number of souls lost to abortions.   This person felt that I had taken a hard left turn and it was wrong.   This person was right.  If I wanted to speak about the  number of babies lost to abortions, then I should have made  a separate post and not made a comparison or used the Boston bombing a platform to dive.  It diminished the magnitude of the tragedy at hand.    It came across as insensitive and  uncaring.  Which is totally not true.  I  care deeply and grieve heavily for the people involved in last weeks bombing.  Including the perpetrators.

The comment my pastor made  struck me and just stayed with me.  Right or wrong, I shared it.  I am not a political person.  I don’t understand politics as I should.  My comments weren’t targeted for pro-choicers, pro- lifers, rights or lefts.  My concern was the mere number of babies that we lose and no matter where we stand politically, no one wants to hear or have to feel the reality of it.  I was/ am feeling the reality of it.   It affects all of us no matter where we stand.

My heart feels heavy for not mourning the death and the injured  within the context of my blog appropriately.   A “hard left turn” is not ever my intention.  But it came out that way at least to one person.  And for that, I am greatly sorry.

God bless,



Filed under Uncategorized

This And That Thoughts and Autoimmunity.

A couple of things before getting to Part II of Autoimmunity  8 natural treatments.

I have heard two things that keep resonating with me in the after math of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

1. Quote from awesome author, Ann Voskamp, “ on this side of the race is hard right to the finish.”

Gosh, the bombing was quite a literal display of this quote.  We live life the best we know how and no matter, no matter, it is hard til the dying day.   Very difficult.  I choose to look at all the trials I come up against as a preparation and testing, if you will, for my life everlasting.  Otherwise, the life can be too daunting and overwhelming.  And I would really be questioning its purpose.

2.  I have to paraphrase this next one from our pastor at church this past week since it was not a written word.  Our country has become a “culture of death”.  We make it legal for mothers to kill their children( at the mind-boggling rate of  3500 a day), yet we are astounded, angered, violated, etc when someone chooses an action that inflicts pain and death on innocent  people of this country.  Could that be a tad  hypocritical?  How can we expect things to change when we have legalized murder in the country?

Woah.  When  you put it that way…. What would it look like if this country  lined up 3500 innocent folks a day and did away with them?   The country would probably look like deep pain and heartbreak.  And in many, many cases, despair.  Hmmm.  That has an eerily resemblance of what I see in the news.   Excruciating, isn’t it?

Ok,  back to task at hand….

Autoimmunity is closely related to chronic illness.  When we have an autoimmune disease we will suffer chronically in one way or another.

Feeling healthy is the key right?


1. Check for hidden infections with the help of a doctor.   But don’t just rely on medicine if you want to get to root of cause.  Lifestyle changes have HUGE impact on wellness.

2. Check for hidden food allergens.  Food selection can be the solution.  Try the “Elimination Diet” where your body can be the judge.  And remove chemicals and processed foods from your diet. Research the GAPS diet and/or the Paleo diet.   


3.  Get tested for Celiac Disease.

4. Get tested for heavy metal toxicity.  

5. Use nutrients such as Fish or Cod liver oil, vitamin C, vitamin D and Probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.  
6. Exercise regularly.  It is a natural anti-inflammatory.  
7. Practice deep relaxation like deep breathing, yoga, massage and longer, restful sleep periods.  Stress worsens the immune response.
8.  Do not accept one solution or opinion.  Seek out professional help who use other methods for healing.  They are becoming much more common.  
9.  Get guided through a thorough detox against parasitic condition or yeast overgrowth attacking your system and greatly compromising your immune system. 
Implementing all of these measures together will most certainly get you to the bottom of the cause and have you on your way to recovery in lickety split.
God bless,

Leave a comment

Filed under Health/ Nutrition, Spiritual

Are You Your Worst Enemy?

I am.  My own worst enemy. The word autoimmunity has caught my attention.  I hear it everywhere.   New buzz word.  Probably not new but gaining popularity.   I don’t understand the word.  It  is when our bodies turn on ourselves.  ugh. That is not nice.  That is what I read.  But I read further.  I will try to make sense of it here in a very simple way,  as that will be the only way I will be able to understand it.  As it relates to “crhonic illness”, many of us might find some interesting findings here that relate to our own health. I was nudged to look this up when my big toes became excruciating painful in bed the other night.  Gout?  Too much beef?  Uh-oh.   Sounds horrible, eh?  Nuts have made moving my joints almost impossible at times this past year.  I realize I am a lost cause but we all suffer from chronic something or other whether it be allergies,  colds regularly, arthritis, digestive disorders, headaches, sinus problems, etc.

This might be the way you feel.

This might be the way you feel.

How can all this have anything to do with Autoimmune disorder???  Are they it related? Weeeeellllll.  …… This is what I uncovered in my very brief stint on the subject.  And I’m thinkin’  it may be good for me to know. INFLAMMATION.   It is connected to cancer. Diabetes.  Autism.  Depression. Thyroid disease.  Asthma.  Celiac.  And all that I listed above. Most all of these chronic conditions are treated with power drugs that are IMMUNE SUPPRESSING and the root of the cause is not addressed.   The source of  inflammation in our bodies must be found and treated.

The following definition is one I can most understand:

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

Autoimmunity happens when your immune system gets confused and your body cannot differentiate between healthy body tissue and foreign unhealthy tissue.  The immune system is fighting an allergy, toxin, food, stress and it directs its attack on your joints, brain, skin, gut, your hormones, etc.  Stress is a very familiar example that helps me understand this concept.  As we try to manage our stress, sometimes we can take on physical symtpotms as a result of the stress.  Heart disease, tummy problems, headaches, etc.  In the case of the heart, our immune system attacks our heart in its effort  to manage  the stress.  The result is heart disease. In my research, I have read that many of the medications and over the counter drugs only exacerbate the chronic illness.  They can be used to cool the inflammation short term but would be advisable to get to the root of the problem and correct it.   Antibiotics IS NOT the solution.  Makes sense to me.

In my case, it is becoming blaringly clear that my immune system attacks vehemently when it detects inflammation.  Like my big toes screaming the other night.  Or my joints making a cripple of me.  But always, always, always when I remove what I think is the culprit from my diet, it immediately goes away.  Luckily, I dont run to the doctor to get  a prescription filled.  I would be on a tremendous amount of medicine.

My problem is that I choose not to eat perfect 100 percent of the time.  When I dont, I suffer.  I ride a fine line though.  I play Russian Roulette with my health.   Eat well most of the time and let myself slip to a breaking point then climb back on the train.  Correcting the diet heals me without taking medication.  If I dont watch out, one of these days I will not be so lucky.

Now that I feel  a  teensy weensy more knowledgeable on this subject, and not really that much, I am concerned that this is a real dilemma in our western culture.  I found a super article that helped me with this post and it has 9 steps to treating autoimmune issues.  I will post them next time.   Until then,


God bless,


Leave a comment

Filed under Health/ Nutrition

God’s Country

I had the good fortune to travel to a very special place this past week.  Seattle.  AND.  Vancouver.  Wow.

A little background on the event…..When I began my blog exactly one year ago, a follower who popped up pretty quickly after beginning commented frequently on my posts and found my postings by discovering my art on the web.  We quickly became furious penpals,  writing back and forth about art (she is an accomplished artist in her own right),  family,  and the wonders of life.  It was really cool.  This one person in the world out there. Thousands of miles away.   We meet by accident really.  Our friendship is awesome, fresh , not to mention we have lots in common.  Well…I don’t eat Nutella.  But she doesn’t eat cultured veggies.  But chocolate is a no brainer for each of us.  So, almost a perfect match.

Fast forward….I have attended the National Mosaic Conference several times  over the last ten years.  This year it was taking place in Seattle.  Seattle is a super cool place to visit if you have not been there.  That alone is reason enough for me to attend.  But my little pea brain starting rollin’ and I realized Seattle is so close to Vancouver, where my pen pal is from, that wouldn’t it be neat to meet her in real life.

I emailed her about it.  She thought it was great.  And so the journey began.


I attended my conference in Seattle, which was a great learning experience, and my pal drove down to Seattle to hang out and then take me up to her home north of Vancouver.

Seattle’s year round farmers market, Pike Street Market, is right on the wharf and it is  filled with goodness, tradition, age, color and a great vibe.  A photographers dream.  My photos cannot do it justice at all.  Since I am not at all a photographer.  It is a crap shoot EVERY time I click.




HUGE bundles of flowers cost 10- 15 dollars. Thousands of them.   I remember one time I was there and bought a single bouquet for 15.oo and was able to break it into 4 pretty good size vases.  ugh.  To have that available for  our wedding coming up.

As you can imagine, having a few short days to talk about our whole lives, I am sure she is as wiped out as I am.  Jabber jabber.  Danga danga.  I don’t have to talk for a good couple of weeks.

We visited the Museum of Glass, and a favorite artist’s studio.  Marc Bohne.  It was a pleasure meeting him after all this time of drooling over his paintings.   He was very generous with his time.  Even shared some painting secrets.   I now have a Marc Bohne painting in my home.

Marc Bohne Painting

Marc Bohne Painting

Then it was off to my friends land.

View from her living room.

View from her living room.

Come on. When you have inspiration like this out your window every day.  How can you not express it in some way.  Good girl.

Again, from her window

Again, from her window

My favorite corner in her home.

My favorite corner in her home.

At the little beach at the base of her street.

The little beach at the base of her street.

It was a whirlwind of fun and learning for me.  If you are out there, my penpal friend, thank you for your hospitality, your loveliness and sharing your awesome family.

If you haven’t visited that end of the world, it would do your soul a bit of good to do so.

God bless,



Filed under Art

Cookies. Ahhh. And Ice Cream.

There is nothing better than a cookie.  With a crunch.  And a side bar of ice cream.  I am forever in the experimenting mode to make a good cookie that is gluten-free, and low sugar without using substitute sugar.  Like aspartame or something alien like that.    I made a cookie this weekend that my husband LOVED.  And  like always, I tried getting away with using a lot less sweetener than it called for.   Pops is  just like the next guy who is very leery about trying things that are not  “normal”.

This recipe was a regular recipe  that I tweaked quite a bit adding things it didn’t call for and removing things it did call for.  The only thing that is the same as the original recipe is the yogurt.    On top of that  I made a huge mistake in putting three times the baking soda it called for.   I thought they were going to be tossed from the oven to the trash.  But no.  They were practically perfect in every way.    I made all the written changes to the recipe including the baking soda mistake and filed it in my favorite cookie recipes.  Love when things work like that.



This recipe is my amended recipe which uses healthier ingredients for your healthy bodyyyyy.

2/3 c. coconut palm unrefined sugar.  (Find at Whole Foods or online or check your neighborhood grocer.)

1/2 c. organic real butter

1/2 c.  organic full fat plain yogurt

2 t.  vanilla

1 1/2 c. gluten-free flour (1/3 rice flour, 1/3 sweet sorghum flour, 1/3 tapioca flour)

1 1/2 t. xanthum gum

a little over 1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/2 c. organic rolled oats

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1/2 c. cacao nibs (unprocessed cocoa bits.   Very bitter on their own. but awesome when added to recipes.)

Mix first 4 ingredients.  Mix last 7 ingredients separately.   Add together.  Mix well.  Bake at 350 until done.




Since I can’t eat dairy ice cream.  I indulge in coconut milk Vanilla ice cream.  It has a hint of coconut flavor but mostly vanilla flavor.   Very satisfying and after several years of eating it, my taste buds prefer it to  the “real deal”.

It is important to know what you are getting when purchasing commercial ice cream.  Very quickly,  I want to point out common ingredients in your friendly freezer section ice cream.


DIETHYGLYCOL – Chemical used as emulsifier instead of eggs.  Same chemical is used in antifreeze and paint remover.

POPERONAL – Used in place of vanilla.  Chemical used to kill lice.

ALDEHYDE C-17- Used to flavor cherry ice cream.  Used in dyes, plastic, and rubber.

ETHYL- ACETATE-   Give pineapple flavor.  cleaner for leather.  Vapors known to cause chronic lung, liver and heart damage.

BUTYRALDEHYDE –  Used in nut flavored ice cream.  An ingredient in rubber cement.

AMYLACETATE – Banana flavor.  Used in oil paint solvent.

BENZYL ACETATE- Strawberry flavor.  It is a nitrate solvent.

(Nourishing Traditions. Sally Fallon)

This is just a sampling of what lurks beneath the Bing cherry sittin’ o atop your sundae.

Good stuff, eh?   It is no wonder we are all sick and  diseased.  Holy Toledo.

There is wonderful ice cream out there.  It is probably in your own best interest to know from who and what you are buying.  If I was  an ice cream lover and ate it often,  I would call the company to make sure it is clean, wholesome, and good for me.  I would then stick to that brand.

I hope you are enjoying a Spring day.

God bless,


Leave a comment

Filed under Food/Recipes, Health/ Nutrition

Woosh. Geez. On To Brighter Things.

We are off on a journey through Spring.   23 degrees two days ago.  Yeah.  Well.  Today will be 58.

All the angels in the wild are scratching their little eyeballs open and stretchin’  their little wings.   Little voices clearing their throats.

It is obvious our animals feel the same way as the cows from the above farm.


Jumpin’ and rearing’ and carryin’ on.

The bluebirds are back  and we have three nests out of  the seven houses hung.  So far.  It is jar dropping to see them in flight.  Beautiful color of lapis fluttering through the air.     I don’t know if I wasn’t in tune all the years we lived in the burbs, but I don’t recall seeing one bluebird until we moved here.


What is really concerning at this point are the skinny looooonnnngggg critters that are poking their skinny little heads out of the ground right now,  yawning their little fangy mouths.    Animal chores begin before daylight and end after dark.  I am walking trails and pastures many times in the….eeek….hours that those cuties are coming out to play.   In the winter?  Not a problem.  I can kick around as I please and chances are  I will not be running into anything moving.  But times are a changin’.   Maybe if I dress in a full on rubber suit.

I hope this man is still with the living.

I hope this man is still with the living.

Are you ready for what Spring brings?  Activity.   I’m not so sure yet.  Maybe my winter wasn’t quiet or long enough.  I take hibernation quite seriously.  Given the fact that we are hosting my son’s wedding in June, we are not bringing in any new animals for a while or beginning any large “projects”.   I can’t  get my head around walking even to the garden yet.    I don’t know exactly how daunting the wedding is/will be, so I have moved into a slow motion period.   In preparation for what, I’m not sure yet.

Sometimes when I see big things/events looming ahead, I get sorta paralyzed prior to.  Does that ever happen to you?  I don’t know if it is a mental rest and preparation or that I can’t accept it yet.  But then, there is an exact moment of ……GO….   and then we’re off and running.  Maybe it is a preservation  or storing up of energy.

It kinda (and that is a BIG kinda) reminds me of the very last scene, maybe the very last still in The Passion by Mel Gibson where Jesus sees the daylight from the tomb. He sits there very very still with His eyes closed.  Knowing that when He opens them and takes His first step,  it’s a GO.  He is off.  And there is no turning back.   Dive in head first.  BIG job ahead.  Holy cow, I would love to be with  Him.

Anywhoooo,  That is where I am at with springing into Spring.  I am with closed eyes.  I know that as I open them and take my first step, there is no turning back.  It is full-bore ahead.   Ready, set…..stop.  Not ready.

God bless,


1 Comment

Filed under Farm, Spiritual