Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Abundance of Generosity is in the Heart Not the Wallet

I want to encourage everyone to give this holiday season.

I am more than well aware that money is tight for everyone.  Many of us are having enough trouble just keeping our living expenses covered, and to be asked to give what little money we have to another person is almost immeasurably inconceivable.  However, I want to share some personal experience here.

When I was a little girl, things were often tight for my family, but my parents worked hard to make sure there were things under the tree for us.  However, one year in particular is so memorable for me.  I have no idea of what our financial situation was at the time, and really, it does not matter.  One evening in the days before Christmas, my family milling around the house in our usual manner, the doorbell rang.  Company being unusual after dark, my brother and I ran to answer the door.  Upon opening it, we discover no person on the porch, but instead, two big boxes, wrapped it the shining foil wrapping that my family could never afford, and adorned with ribbons and bows!  I was confused as to how or why there would be gifts on the porch, and why the giver would not want to be known.  Inside one was the Fischer Price Parking Garage!  I am not sure that I recall what was in the other, but I know my brother and I had those gifts for years.  To this day, I still do not know for sure who rang our doorbell that night, though there was some family speculation.  Even though I was so very young, I do remember the swelling of my heart (I was an adult before I was able to define what that feeling was) that a stranger could be so filled with love for others as to do something so hugely generous!

When my own children were small, on four different occasions we were blessed with such love and generosity when their dad was ill and often in the hospital!  One year we loaded up all the gifts and celebrated in the hospital.  One year a family at our church, through another family, anonymously provided gifts for the kids.  To this day, each of my kids has an ornament that hangs on the tree, a gift from a generous and loving stranger, and a reminder of the kindness of a stranger.

As a result, no matter our dire circumstances, we as a family sponsor a name from a giving tree!  One year, we had a birthday party; we rented the local pool for a few hours, and had the guests bring gifts for others: one of my kids sponsored the local food bank, one Toys for Tots, and the other the local fire department teddy bear patrol.  What a joy, as a mom, to take my kids to the different locations to they could present their efforts!

We have sponsored names from giving trees, usually choosing a name that closely fits the ages of my children.  We usually work together, and plan what we want to do for the person.  We have sponsored whole families through work collaborations, and alone in prosperous years.  Last year I crocheted 15 scarves to go in gift baskets at a women's shelter. This year finances are again tight, but since this is an important tradition for my children and me, we used this week’s grocery money to help provide Christmas for a little boy.

Some people give out of abundance, some give out of gratitude, some out of reciprocation, some give out of love, and some give for the spirit of the season.  It is so important to instill the spirit of giving, I like to think that this should happen all year around, and not just because of this particular season, but this winter season lends itself so well to it!

Some of us can give a lot, and some of us cannot.  But if you can spare some change, drop it in a Salvation Army Kettle, or a dollar in the Toys For Tots can, or a can of soup to the food bank ... no matter how small your contribution, know that it is strengthened by others that are giving from the pennies they have ... there is strength in numbers.

Have you ever paid for the lunch or coffee of the person behind you in the drive through???  Ever had that done for you??  This morning, I watched a man pay for his coffee with a gift card, and there was a little left on the card, so he gave it to the lady behind him!

No matter your reason, no matter your ability, the important thing is to open your heart, and share from it.  The abundance is from your heart, not your wallet.

Live well,
Love Suzi

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Surviving AIDS

This is another essay that I had to write for school, and thought that I would share it here.

Uncontrolled Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is fatal, however I learned that it can be controlled. This is relatively difficult to do, and there is still much research on the topic. Myself, being more familiar with the symptoms and effect of AIDS as a result of HIV on the human body, I am intrigued to learn about how the virus operates inside the human body, initially, and long term.

The way that it was described, how the virus attaches to cells at their receptors, first to the CD4 receptor, and second to the CCR5, allowing the virus to invade the cell, deposit RNA and reproduce, brings to mind the ways of a parasitic illness. Targeting the cells in the body that are usually meant to protect, it turns the cells into its ally and it then begins to attack the body that it lives within, hence the name Immune Deficiency.

Having a natural bent toward natural and preventive health care, I am far more intrigued by how the body's natural defense has the capability of fighting off the invasion of the virus. While the virus may still be present within the body, if the CD4 Helper T Cells can get a foothold on the situation, and engage the CD8 Killer Cells, the body can prevent the invading virus from multiplying and taking over. Only 5% of the HIV population seems to have the natural ability to defend against the invasion, but through studying this phenomenon, scientists and physicians have made discoveries about early detection and aggressive early treatments.

In some cases there is a gene missing in the patient’s chromosomes. This missing gene is responsible for making the receptors on the leukocytes. If just one of those receptors is missing, the virus cannot attach, and therefore cannot penetrate the cell and plant it’s RNA. This gives the Helper T Cells the necessary time to generate the CD8 Killer cells to action.

In other cases, both receptors are intact, but for reasons not yet clearly identified, the Helper Cells here able to activate the killer cells, and hold the full invasion at bay.

While the body does not seem to be able to completely rid itself of the presence of the virus, the body certainly can keep it’s numbers so low that it is barely detectable, and render it primarily harmless in the body. This does not however, mean that this person is no longer contagious! In fact, it is well known that the HIV virus can be carried and transmitted by those that show no symptoms at all, so being in a state of what one might call remission, does not make one safe from transmitting the disease to another person. I also imagine that also, if ones immune system were to be compromised in some other manner, then the already present virus might have an opportunity to take hold.

For more information on this, please click the title to be taken to the PBS NOVA web page.

In all things, be healthy, and wise about your safety, and health care!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sensless and Heinous Crime

Sunday November 29, 2009 ...

A gunman walked into a coffee shop near Macord Air Force Base near Tacoma Washington.
He stood at the counter quietly for a moment, and when the barista asked him what he would like, he silently turned around, pulled a gun from under his coat, and executed 2 of the 4 police officers sitting in the cafe.
One officer stood and reached for his gun, but was killed before he could draw.
It is not clear at this time if the fourth officer was wounded at the time, but he fought with the murderer all the way to the door, where he died from his wounds.

This is a disgusting and heinous crime against 4 human beings. Against the 9 children who lost their parent. Against the 4 spouses that lost their love. Against the 8 parents that lost their child! Against a community that lost 4 of it's finest. Against the region who has lost yet another sense of security. Against the state, against the nation. AGAINST HUMANITY!

You can click on the article title and it will take you to the Seattle times Article on this.
I will have more to say on this topic ... stay tuned

Love Suzi

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Managing Candida Yeast Imbalance

I am not a doctor, and you really must research and decide for yourself, and consult your health care provider.  I am sharing my experience, and research, so that you can be educated and empowered as you and your physician made decisions about your health care.  A great number of the conditions I mention later in this article are misdiagnosed in the mainstream health care facility, and certainly mistreated; often with over the counter pharmaceuticals that can have side effects that are just as unpleasant to deal with as the symptoms, and really only address and treat the symptom, and not the underlying condition.

This article started as an email to a friend, and as I was writing to her, I realized how valuable this information is, and wanted to share it with you!  Like everything that I share with you, it grows out of my own personal experience, in this case, with an overgrowth of yeast in my body.

A good and naturally occurring element in our bodies, yeast is part of what helps keep our bodies in balance, or homeostasis.  I did not know, until about 8-10 years ago, what a huge impact Candida can have! Below I share a list of some of the conditions that can be caused by yeast imbalance, and I can tell you that I was amazed as I was learning about all of this.  So many of these symptoms are treated on a reoccurring basis, because the underlying condition is not recognized; not that yeast is the only cause for any of these conditions, quite to the contrary, however, yeast is a factor that YOU can have some control over, and can positively impact your health.  All of these things (and others) are possible symptoms of a yeast imbalance.

If you are you prone to ANY of the following conditions, it might be worth your time, and health, to try addressing this as a yeast imbalance. 
• Gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn or pain in the intestines
• Bowel irregularities, constipation or diarrhea or perhaps alternating between the two
• Food cravings especially for carbohydrates or sweets.
• Mood swings, depression or suicidal tendencies
• Headaches or migraines
• Menstrual problems, PMS or break through bleeding, endometriosis.
• Respiratory concerns, asthma frequent bronchial congestion
• Dry, itchy skin or hives
• Finger or toe nail fungus
• Vertigo or balance problems
• Joint or muscle pain
• Bad breath despite good oral hygiene
• Allergies…air-born or food-related
• Malabsorption (this is what happens when your body is not properly absorbing the nutrition hat you take in, and might be indicated by vertical grooves in fingernails)
• Vaginal yeast infections
• Itching or redness in body creases
• Acne on face, back or body
• Cravings for chocolate, peanuts, pistachios or alcohol
• Adrenal or thyroid failure
• Hemorrhoids, fissure or rectal bleeding
• Insomnia
• Chronic fatigue
• Feeling cold and shaky
• Weight imbalance/control (over or under-weight despite diet)
• Poor memory
• Puffy, dry or burning eyes
• Urinary tract problems (infections, prostatitis, incontinence)
• Premature ageing
• Chemical sensitivity (especially colognes or fabric dye)
• Blood sugar imbalances
• Thrush/Receding gums
• Numbness

If you are experiencing even one of these symptoms, you can test the potential impact excessive yeast might be having on your body, without the aid of a physician, by increasing the amount of acidophilus, and making some dietary changes.  I currently take three acidophilus capsules a day, but when I can feel that I am off balance, I take 3- 3 times a day!!! I had a friend that was a skeptic for years, but finally tried it, and now takes it every day!  Also cut back, better yet, eliminate, sugar, yeast made bread, and alcohol from your diet for a couple months (it will cause HUGE cravings!! when you take away the yeast's food! But that tells you it is working!) I really need to increase my acidophilus intake again for a while, as I can feel that I am out of balance, and know in myself, that plays a role in my sensitive bladder issues.

It might be well worth your time to do a more thorough study on Candida, and Candida diets.  You will instinctively know as you read if this is affecting you. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to have health insurance, or a lot of money, to start making changes that can be very beneficial!  Then once you have a better understanding, you can decide if simple life style changes are all that’s necessary, or if you need to enlist the assistance of your health care professional.

These two websites have some great information to get you started, and I highly recommend that you do some additional research of your own to get a good feel for it yourself.

Be healthy, and  LIVE WELL!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Convinced of Love

Victor Hugo said, "Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved."

When I read that, I became focused on the word "convinced".

Thinking to myself that someone else does the convincing, it is a matter of persuasion. Someone trying to convince someone else of something. Someone demonstrating through words & actions to bring another into a common train of thought.
I also immediately recognized the thought of convinced as a "state of being". That convinced is a conviction that something is true, and right, & that causes the believer to live & behave in a manner that supports that belief.
Are you CONVINCED?  Meaning ... Is there someone that is in the process of convincing you that you are loved?  AND are you convinced that it is so?
I am!  On both accounts

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ONE (a poem)

That night you said we have become one.
Each time we kiss the line between us blurs.
Each time we open our hearts we are more a part of the other.
Yes, together, we are ONE.
One heart beats for the other.
One soul empowers the other.
And yet the more we become ONE,
The stronger the individual becomes.
We are synergistic …
ONE is greater than its individual parts.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Revive & Refresh on Vacation

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the United States. I know, most of us say that, and most of us are right! We live on a beautiful and amazing continent! I live in the lush and beautiful Pacific Northwest, about and hour and a half north of Seattle. I recently had the opportunity to visit the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, for the first time, and quickly discovered why the artistic community was so drawn to it a hundred years ago. Driving into town, and into the neighborhood where we stayed, was something like entering a Thomas Kinkade painting! With one breath, I could take in the scent of lavender, sage, eucalyptus, and the ocean, and feel transported to another place and time. Over 8 months later I can still close my eyes and feel the serenity that enveloped me there.

The cottage home neighborhoods that surround the downtown-shopping district charmed me! Each home is a unique and delightful story. Each uniquely designed and built home has delightful stories of its history, genesis, meaning, and its role in local lore. The tiny yards landscaped like little Zen Gardens were most appealing to me. I found myself just wanting to sit and take it all in, and at the same time explore done every narrow alley like street so that I did not miss anything. One can feel the legacy of the artisan architects and builders that skillfully crafted these nurturing nests for the many artists and writers of last century’s finest cultural society.

Being near the open ocean is such an amazing feeling! We spent time each day at the ocean; looking out across such a huge expanse of water, made me feel so tiny, but yet so much a part of everything. I recorded a little video with my phone of the waves crashing to the shore so that I can watch and listen anytime I want to be transported back to that magical place! I could easily have gotten lost in time and space combing the beaches for tiny treasures to examine, and did on a couple of occasions. One evening I spent at the beach alone while he stayed at the house to cook me a yummy dinner. I watched the sun go down, and photographed the waves washing the sand smooth and clean.

On one of our adventures, we traveled down the coast, and went to a preserve where elephant seals congregate! It is arranged so that people can get pretty close to the enormous creatures. One of the many, many, amazing wonders of God our creator! We got to learn so much about these huge mammals from the very knowledgeable docent, who was just as fascinated with the creatures as she ever was!

I will forever be changed by my time on this first ever REAL vacation. I never want to let those feeling get far from my mind, and I want to be able to use those experiences to continuously help me expand my ability to experience my day to day life.

The morale of the story … slow down ... take a vacation … enjoy it … it does not have to be far from home really, even a day trip can bring a break in routine and add some variety to your life. The key is to really, truly, take in the experience. Take it into every fiber of your being. Keep it with you deep in your soul, and draw on it from time to time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Muscular Dystrophy

This is an essay I wrote for school last month, and thought I'd share it here.

Muscular Dystrophy is a hereditary condition consisting of the deterioration and weakening of the muscular system due to a mutation in one of the thousands of genes that program the proteins critical for muscle integrity. The muscles absorb additional calcium when the membrane that protects the muscles during contracting and relaxing are damaged, and the proteins leak. The additional calcium in the muscle tissue causes damage which leads to the death of the muscle fibers.

Penn State, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (1) describes the nine most commonly classified forms of M.D. thus: Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD): Affects older boys and young men. Causes progressive muscle weakness, usually beginning in the legs. It is similar to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but is generally milder. Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD): A rare form present from birth. Symptoms usually progress slowly and include general weakness, flaccid tone, bent joints, and slow motor development. Fukuyama CMD is another type of congenital CMD that usually involves mental retardation, and is more common in Japan. Distal muscular dystrophy (DD): Symptoms begin in middle age or later. Causes weakness in the muscles of the feet and hands. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD): The most severe form. Affects young boys. Causes progressive muscle weakness, usually beginning in the legs. Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD): Affects young boys. Causes muscle contractions in the calves; weakness in the calves, shoulders, and upper arms; and problems in the way electrical impulses travel through the heart to make it beat. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH): Also known as Landouzy-Dejerine disease. Begins in late childhood to early adulthood. Affects both males and females. Causes weakness in the muscles of the face, shoulders, and upper arms. May also affect the hips and legs. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD): Begins in late childhood to early adulthood. Affects males and females. Causes weakness in the muscles around the upper legs and shoulders. Myotonic dystrophy: Also known as Steinert's disease. Symptoms may begin any time from birth through adulthood. Affects males and females. Generalized weakness first occurs in the face, hands, and feet. People with this disease also have myotonia, the failure of the muscles to relax normally after use. Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD): Affects adults of both sexes. Causes weakness in the eye muscles and throat.

Duchenne is the most severe form of MS, and can be deadly. Onset usually occurs in boys between 3 and 5 years old, and progresses rapidly. Often ambulation is no longer possible by adolescence, and respiration diminishes to the point of assistance as the teen years laps.

There is no cure for M.D., though there are numerous therapeutic and medical treatments that can help control the symptoms and progression. With the use of dietary changes, prescriptions such as Corticosteroids, and assistive devices, patients can be kept active as long as possible, which is very important, as the continual atrophying of the muscles is exacerbated by inactivity. Physical and occupational therapies can help counteract against weakness and contractures, however this becomes more difficult as fatigue sets in, and the muscles atrophy. The progression varies greatly from mild lifelong symptoms, severe onset at varying stages, and even death, depending on several factors including the type of Dystrophy.

Pre-pregnancy genetic screening is important, especially if there is a history of the condition in the family. Women can carry the genes that lead to MS without showing any symptoms, or developing the condition. Males only have one X chromosome, which is sufficient to cause the disorder. Women, having 2 X chromosomes, must have the mutation present in both for the condition to manifest, as the non mutated chromosome can over ride the mutated one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quitting is not an option

What is it that you live for? Is there something that drives you to get up in the morning? Is there something that keeps you up late at night. Perfecting. Improving.

In my time in aerospace, I became familiar with a term ... continuous improvement ... there is always room to be better, to do things faster, more efficiently. To use fewer resources, to be cleaner, or more environmentally friendly.

Sacia (Say-sha) Flowers provides such an inspiration for determination and drive. The need to improve, but still remember where she came from.

I think this article totally speaks for itself! And there is nothing more I can add.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Too Busy to Think

My daughter's wedding was Saturday. It was a sweet and pretty little wedding surrounded by friends and family. The grooms family is very nice and a lot of fun! I met them for the first time Friday night. Many family and friends that I have not seen in a long time! It is difficult to reconnect with everyone during those events!

I have to admit that I did not get to take it all in as well as I would have wanted as I was running around making sure the attendants were where they were supposed to be and that people had what they needed, and that questions were answered, and greeting people, and , and, and!

And it was all my own doing! I took on that role of coordinator, and photographer. It was fun and crazy and hectic. Just half hour before the ceremony, I finally got to have contact with my boyfriend. He is so calm, and rational! I love that! He just took me by the hand and said, "Breathe, in and out." And he breathed with me for a few minutes. I felt so much more focused after that! It still took a while for the adrenaline to settle out, and for me to really get calm, but his presence was pivotal!

Looking back, I don't imagine that I would have done it differently, unless the bride has assigned someone to be in charge, or requested that I just go sit and relax! That is just how I am. Even now, 3 days later, I am only just starting feel like calming down.

I think it is important for us to have people in our lives that can help see when we are getting off kilter, and get us focused again. I cannot say enough about BF for being such a gentle and calm port in my storm! Since having him in my life, I have really learned to see how wound up I used to be. I don't like how my body feels when it is so hyper! My heart races, and my blood pounds, I bet my blood pressure was through the roof! I cannot think and focus clearly. I do not see what is going on around me.

When I am getting myself wound up, and overactive, it is usually for legitimate reasons, but I do need to take care to take care of my body! Sometimes those events are not avoidable, and sometimes they are. I need to continually learn how to recognize the projects that I should stress over, and why.

So, this week, I am feeling the need to detoxify my body! All of that stress (even good stress), and anxiety, causes toxins to build up in the system. I make a tea with several loose herbal components that are available at the local health food store, or on line through reputable suppliers. I use this quite often, and have found it makes me feel cleaner, from the inside out.

Fill a 5 quart pan with water, and add a handful (about 3/4 cup) of alfalfa, nettle, chamomile, and 1/4 cup of burdock and dandelion root. I let it simmer gently for about 15 minutes, then strain out the herbs, and store in a pitcher in the fridge. Sometimes I will put a fruity herbal tea bag in the pitcher with the tea to add a little different flavor. I try to drink all of it with in 48 hours for the most cleansing effect. At other times, I drink it once or twice a day as one would with any iced tea beverage.

I am getting ready to try detoxing with bentonite clay, but want to do some research as to the benefits for MY body. This is crucial, as some herbals may not be what I need, and some can interact with medications (which I do not take) and some can inhibit medications or other herbals. It is important to be informed.

Two of my favorite resources for education and ordering exceptional product are The Bulk Herb Store and Dandelion Botanical Company.

The moral of the story? Know your stress and the effects it has on your body, and have a good plan for dealing with it.

Live Well!
Love, Suzi

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Make a list! Life is full and fun and busy!

My daughter is getting married on Saturday!

Moreover, it is unit finals at school this week! Consequently my mind has been full, and I am not getting all the things on my-to do list accomplished! Stopping to do a wedding errand on my way home today, I realized that I left my notebook on the table in the classroom at school to day! I hope someone turns it in, and I can have it back in the morning.

There really is nothing critical in there. It contains no personal information, or sappy love limericks, or anything like that. But, inner-mixed with the lecture notes are lists of "notes to self" reminding me to: send my aunt and uncle's anniversary card; and a list of items that need to be picked up at the store; and my spelling words written over and over and over and over (and over); a tentative schedule of when I am going to get my errands and chores and last minute wedding activities done; and what days I'm staying at school to get my homework for this week done; and a list of blog article ideas that are begging to be written!

It is very old-fashioned and very low tech, but this notebook is my sanity! It still functions when the power goes out. It cannot crash, or get a virus. There are so many great methods for keeping organized, but I have this year returned to some good old-fashioned basics. I have a purse sized paper calendar that I keep ... in my purse, I write entries in pencil so if they change I can erase them and reschedule. I have a little note book that I carry (unless I leave it at school) so that I can make notes, or lists.

My lists are sometimes scribbles, and sometimes concise. Sometimes they look like journal entries. No matter how I put them down, I know the important thing is that I do. So many times have I thought to myself, oh! I will remember that! Then a short time later only remember that I remembered that I was supposed to remember something! I know that I am not alone in this.

In fact, I totally credit my dad with my being a list maker. He was a school custodian for as many years as I was in school, and he always carried a 3x5 top-spiral note pad in his breast pocket. He could just add the next reminder to the bottom of the list, marking off the items as they were completed. When all of the tasks on a page were attended to, he could tear off the page. He taught me about grocery shopping with a list (never go with out one)! Have your list. Know your store. Get in. Get your stuff. Get out. Don't look. Don't wander. I will talk more about grocery shopping in another post.

What a great visual sense of accomplishment it is when I cross things off my list! I like really being able to see what I have done and finished. I have even found myself adding things I have done that were not on the list, just so I could cross them off, and SEE what I had done!

Therefore, I want to encourage you! If you don't yet list, try starting a little one. Start where you are, and just make a list. A grocery list. A list of chores you want to accomplish before lunch. All the steps you take in cleaning the bathroom. Make a list of the types of things it might help you to list. Whatever, it really does not matter. Being a little more organized will make you feel more in control, and help you know which task to approach next.

Go forth and list! And LIVE WELL!

Love Suzi

Saturday, August 29, 2009

True Love is in the Commitment! The Romantic Story of Ruth and Harry

Sometimes the universe gives us opportunities that enrich our lives. God has placed beautiful experiences in our everyday lives, but they are not always obvious. Don’t forget to look for them, and see them!
On this particular day, my teenage son and I had a brief verbal exchange that sunk my heart. I grabbed my camera, and left him at home without saying a word. As a form of therapy for me, I went looking for beautiful things to photograph, and within two blocks of home, I found something so sweet, and beautiful it brought a tear to my eye. OK, not hard to do considering my already tender emotional state, but even now, the beauty of the moment wells in my heart.
Walking totter-ishly slow, yet steadily up the hill near my home, was an older couple holding hands. Not altogether unusual one might think, until the realization that this was no ordinary couple. I thought to myself, “Those are someone’s Great Grandparents!” I love great-grandparents! They are one of the most wonderful inventions of our Creator!
I parked at the playground just ahead of them, grabbed my camera, and got out of the car. As I approached, I could see that not only were they holding hands, but their fingers were laced together in the romantic way that lovers do! I could see in their cantor that they were quite in tune with each other. They emanated a kind of symbiosis that only comes with great time, care, and love.
As I approached them, I introduced myself, and asked their names. Ruth and Harry. As we chatted, I learned that they had been married 63 years! A remarkable feat that makes me proud and I had only just met them! They had lived in our town for their entire lives. As have their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Their son-in-law and adult granddaughter were on their own walk across the street from our conversation, and came protectively over to ascertain who might be photographing their beloved family members.
Through our conversation I learned that the couple went walking most everyday. As her vision had dramatically diminished, Harry read the newspaper to Ruth every morning while she cooked him breakfast. Harry and Ruth are quite highly regarded by the community, and have received several commendations over the years for various community activities and services.
At first, they seemed a little unsure as to the sentiment that so enamored my attention; to them this was just a normal, ordinary, condition. Nonetheless, the pair consented to my request to capture the moment. I took a couple of pictures of their faces that display the sparkle still held in Ruth’s now blind eyes! I asked to photograph their entangled hands, as that is what intrigued me to stop. I captured a picture of clasped hands; warn from years of work and weather. As we continued to visit, Ruth and Harry’s fingers instinctively sought the other; and they were again, as intended by the ties-that-bind, laced together.
I went away from that experience filled with a kind of love for this couple; filled with inspiration; filled with gratitude to Ruth and Harry, for allowing me to have just the tiniest moment in their lives. Harry went home to be with his Lord just two weeks after our encounter. A lasting and loving legacy he left behind.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Before I get started

Before we get too far here, I have to do a disclaimer!

All of the photographs that I use in my articles are mine. I take them. I hold copyright on them. If you are interested in them please contact me! I do sell prints, and make note cards. I also do portraits! You can visit my website for additional information!

I am not a counselor, or therapist. I am not clergy. I am not a doctor. I am not a nurse (though I am a medical assistant student) and I am not writing as an expert in any of these fields! I am simply sharing information and ideas about things that I have experienced, or learned, and think that others might benefit from. I will reference resource locations when applicable. My content will be on so very many topics, but I want to make sure you understand that I am not offering medical advice! Anything I write about regarding health and fitness, that has benefited myself, I recommend that you consult with your health care provider before incorporating into your life.

My life is very busy as a full time student and mother with two of my three children still living at home. My oldest is getting married soon, and I will share in what I learn in that experience! Nonetheless, I am very excited to be spending time sharing with you, and hope that you come away from my articles with a greater sense of self empowerment! Your life and your health are your responsibility, and totally within your grasp!

Recognize where you are right now, and know that no matter where that is, there are small changes that you can make TODAY to make your life better for tomorrow!

Love Suzi

Friday, August 14, 2009

Opening My Heart to You

It has been my interest to explore the world of blogging for some time. I am not sure just what my hesitation has been in starting, but I am here now, and cannot mourn the delay, as I am sure it has a purpose for me.

It is my desire to share with you thoughts and insights, stories and commentaries to inspire you to LIVE WELL. I hope to encourage you as I share my current and past personal journey through pain, anxiety, stumbling blocks, and VICTORY.

Living Well. What does that mean? I am I speaking of health? Or something much more? Certainly, physical health is a critical factor in wellness, but it really is only a piece. To be well, we need to be well in body, mind and spirit. It is important to keep them balanced. At times one will be stronger than another and carry the load. At times one might be far weaker, and need the other two to bring in strength.

What is wellness of the body? The first thoughts that might come to mind are lack of illness and injury. Fitness certainly plays an important role. Nutrition, and rest also are critical elements. I want to explore news, information, and ideas with you to help you have the best health that you can.

What about wellness of the mind? Always being educable. Sharing your knowledge with another. I very much believe that the way knowledge increases is by giving it away! Knowledge is power, but only if it is acted upon. Fiscal soundness is critical, and a topic that I will want to cover.

Wellness of the spirit? What's up with that? For some that might have a religious meaning. For others, something more spiritual than religious. But I believe it also includes our state of mind and emotional well being. As a sufferer of mild anxiety, I know how restricting that can be.

There is so much more to Living Well! There are so many wonderful teachers available! I hope to bring good content and encouraging thoughts for you to ponder, and absorb, and grow so that you are Living Well!