Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Nourished Living Summit is on sale this weekend!

I have to admit, I have not had one minute even to start listening to any of the talks sent out for the summit. What about you? I may not be a parent yet but I still hope to, and even so, the material in this summit is a gold mine for holistic health.

And this weekend, it’s $20 off!

Weekend-Sale

What do you get for your $127? You get lifetime access to all the talks, slides, a slew of special discounts and freebies, and something I have never seen in any other summit.

You will get access to NEW tracks which will be added through 2014 and 2015!

Click here to view more details.

But perhaps the full cost is a little too much for you, or you are just interested in one of the individual tracks. You can buy just what you want to hear!

Curious to know about the topics, or who is presenting? You can see them all here.

The sale price is good from now until Monday, April 14th, at 5am. What are you waiting for?

Buy Now

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make any purchases through these links, I may receive a small commission. All monies raised reinvested into my blogging endeavors. I thank you from the bottom of my heart if you choose to shop with me.

The Nourished Living Summit is here!

Are you struggling on this natural living, natural parenting journey? Overwhelmed by all the information online? Wish you could simply listen to a free informative presentation to get you started on the right track? Then register to listen to the Nourished Living Summit, a FREE online event launching March 24th. There are 62 topics ranging from preconception health all the way through the teen years. There is a wealth of knowledge being shared in bite-sized portions. Don’t miss this!

Starting today, you can listen to talks for FREE for 48 hours, but you need to register first. Click the banner to sign up!

NEW-Summit-Track-Collage-400X400

Take a look at the complete lineup of speakers. This will be amazing!

Pregnancy

Infertility and Preconception Health
Donielle Baker
Natural Fertility and Wellness

Natural Family Planning and Ecological Breastfeeding
John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning

Birth Choices
Nicole Deggins, CNM, MSN, MPH
Sista Midwife Productions

Carrying and Parenting Multiples
Trisha Gilkerson
Breastfeeding Place

Preventing Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies Before Conception
Jill Baumann, BS, NC
Guided Path To Health

Herbs and Oils for Pregnancy and Birth
Jessica Aveni
Natural Health and Prevention

Eating For Two
Courtney Hillis
THRIVE: Natural Family Living

Family Oriented Bonding
Guggie Daly
The Guggie Daly

Breastfeeding

Supporting and Boosting Milk Supply Naturally
Diana West, BA, IBCLC
Low Milk Supply and Mahala Lactation and Perinatal Services, LLC

Building Blocks To A Healthy Breastfeeding Relationship
Dionna Ford
Code Name Mama

Back to Work Breastfeeding
Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC
The Second Nine Months

Breastfeeding As A Source of Joy
Christine Poirier-Brotchie
Momzelle Nursing Wear

Donor Milk
Emma Kwasnica
Human Milk 4 Human Babies

Nutrition and Breastfeeding
Becky Webb, NTP, CD (DONA)
Rooted Blessings

Inducing Lactation – One Mother’s Story
Millie Copper
Real Food For Less Money

Tongue Tie
Jennifer Tow, B.F.A., IBCLC
Intuitive Parenting Network

0-3

The Vaccine Decision – What Parents Need To Know
Jessika Bailey
Natural Mother Magazine

Gentle Sleep Solutions
Elizabeth Pantley
The No-Cry Solutions

Baby Led Weaning and Starting Solids
Kate Tieje
Modern Alternative Mama

Co-Sleeping
Laura Schuerwegen
Authentic Parenting

Newborn Decisions/Newborn Care
Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D
Author of The Business of Baby

Proper Care of Your Intact Son
Jennifer Andersen
Our Muddy Boots
and
Larissa Black
The WHOLE Network

Cloth Diapering
Miriam J. Katz
Author of The Other Baby Book and Intuitive Life Coach
and
Megan McGrory Massaro
Author of The Other Baby Book

Elimination Communication
Marija Mikolajczak
EC Wear

Babywearing
Jennifer Wenzel
True Confessions of a Real Mommy
and
Julie Mangan
A Little Bit of All of It
and
Shannon Riley
The Artful Mama

3-6

Autism
Dr. Jay Gordon, MD FAAP
Dr. Jay Gordon

Childhood Development Disorders
Dr. Jamie Oskin, N.D.
Arizona Natural Health Center

Chiropractic For Children and In Pregnancy
Dr. Staci Borkhuis, D.C.
Cornerstone Chiropractic

Children’s Dental Health
Will and Susan Revak
OraWellness

Extended Breastfeeding and Tandem Nursing
Lauren Wayne
Hobo Mama

Potty Training/Learning
Robert Edwards
Squatty Potty
and
Moorea Malatt
Savvy Parenting Support

Fostering Healthy Independence
Ariadne Brill
Positive Parenting Connection

Children and Reading
Elaine Krishnan
Usborne Books and More 
and
Jana Kemp
Jana M. Kemp

6-18

Puberty
Dr. Sherrill Sellman, N.D
What Women Must Know with Dr. Sellmen

Adrenal Health For Children
Michael Smith, N.D. BHSC
Planet Naturopath

Teen Health
Lydia Shatney
Divine Health From The Inside Out

Posture Makes Perfect: The Benefits of a Physically Balanced Life
Elizabeth Eckert
Word Cures

Parenting Without Stereotypes
Paige Lucas-Stannard
Parenting Gently

Raising Your Children To Know Where Their Food Comes From
Abbie Walston
Farmer’s Daughter

whole Family

Common Childhood Illnesses
Dr. Mary Bove, ND
Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic

Skincare for Families
Jennifer Saleem
Hybrid Rasta Mama

Food Allergies
KerryAnn Foster
Intentionally Domestic

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Joy Moeller, BS, RDH
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Gluten
Joe Rigola
Wellness Punks

How Candida and Parasites May Be Harming Your Children’s Health
Amy Love, NTP, CGP, CILC
Real Food Whole Health

Environmental Toxins
Andrea Fabry
moms AWARE

Kombucha for Families
Hannah Crum
Kombucha Kamp

mama care

Preventing Postpartum Depression
Amanda Rose
Rebuild From Depression

Herbal Support for New and Overwhelmed Mothers
Carol Little
Studio Botanica

Self Care For Moms
Lauren Luquin
Spiral Elixir

Healing from Trauma and the Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
Stephanie Brandt Cornais
Mama and Baby Love

Getting Centered
Amy Phoenix
Presence Parenting

Mommy Tummy and Diastasis Recti
Bethany Learn
Fit2Be Studio

The Babywearing Workout
Kelly Stewart
The Babywearing Workout

Parent Empowerment

Managing Anger and Overwhelm as a Parent
Dr. Laura Markham
Aha Parenting

Attachment Parenting: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Child Development
Kelly Bartlett
Author of Encouraging Words for Kids

Becoming Aware of Possible Toxins Around your Children; Choosing Safe Products for Your Children
Dawn Lorenz
Raising Natural Kids

Holistic Fathers – Engaging and Including Dad
Billy Bradley
Holistic Dad

Creating a Natural Medicine Cabinet
Rosalee de la Foret
Herbal Remedies Advice

Sneaky Nutrition
Lisa Herndon
Lisa’s Counter Culture

Real Food For Families
Kimi Harris
The Nourishing Gourmet

Finding Community
Chara Shopp
Stitching Hearts Together
and
Judy Tyler
Living Healthy ‘n’ Happy

Ready to start listening?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you sign up through my link I may receive a small commission. All monies made from sales are reinvested into the blog. IF you choose to shop through me, I thank you for your support.

The Nourished Living Summit is coming soon!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to making the best choices for your family?

The Nourished Living Summit brings together 69 natural health, wellness, and parenting professionals who are dedicated to helping parents care for their family naturally. These experts know that this parenting gig is not easy and as such are arming you with the information you need to either begin, continue, or expand your journey as a natural-minded parent.

Nourished Living Summit

The Nourished Living Summit is a FREE online event that launches March 24, 2014.

It won’t be like those other Summits, the ones were you have 24 hours to listen to 10 presentations. No – The Nourished Living Summit wants to arm you with as much information as you can absorb via an improved Summit model. A model where you will have time on your side so you can take advantage of all the incredible information these speakers are handing you. The Nourished Living Summit is showcasing 62 presentations divided into 8 thematic tracks including:

  • Pre-Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Health and Development for Children Ages 0-18
  • Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family
  • Care and Nurturing For Mothers
  • Education for Natural Minded Parents

Beginning March 24th, you will have 48 hours to listen to 3-5 presentations. Each track is divided over the course of two 48 hour periods. Presentations will stream live Monday-Saturday with Sundays off. The Summit ends on April 29th.

You MUST be registered in order to listen to the presentations. You can register on the home page of the official Nourished Living Summit website.

Want to learn more about the Nourished Living Summit lineup? Check it out!

Nourished Living Summit Collage

What are you waiting for? Go register for the Nourished Living Summit!!!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you register through my link I may receive a small commission. All funds made from blogging are reinvested into my blog work. If you choose to register through me, I appreciate and thank you for your business.

Expanding my reach and rethinking

Some days I am amazed I can keep my head on straight, much less anything else. Which is why it has taken me a week to post here that I am now a regular contributor to Delicious Obsessions! I’ve loved Jessica’s blog for years and over that time we have become friends. I feel honored to be able to share there and reach a wider audience.

Speaking of audiences… I have not forgotten about all of you. Every day I think about this blog and wish that I had the time and energy to post here. Taking care of my mother’s estate and planning her memorial (happening in just over a month) are still taking up the majority of my time. And yet I am trying to keep all my irons in the fire, and not able to keep track. IT occurs to me that for all my desire to maintain social media, it’s supposed to be about THIS blog. So I have decided that for at least the next month I am going to work more on posting here and less on trying to catch all of you on Facebook. As it stands, Facebook claims that I am not getting a lot of views right now. On that front I remain skeptical but still, the point of the page is to drive people here.

So what can you do to help?

Share my posts. Drop my blog into your blog reader or sign up over on the side for email updates. If you want to take the extra step, shop through my affiliate partners Mountain Rose Herbs and Tropical Traditions, and check out the Nourishing Living Summit which starts next month. Pulling in money from blogging is a great incentive for me to be more active here. You can also help to feed my cats… she says as Stark has taken over her lap while she tries to type.

And because everyone likes cats, here is Danerys. These two continue to amuse and impress me, especially her. Just over a month ago Danerys wanted to hide all the time. Now more often than not she is out in the living while I am here, and visible too! This is a photo I took of her recently, when she jumped up into a chair next to where I was sitting. And without any prompting either! Stark does remain a mama’s boy and it is such a comfort to have a cat who is a so affectionate to me.

The Khaleesi is comfortable

The Khaleesi is comfortable

I hope all of you are doing well, managing the transition to Daylight Savings Time, eating well, and taking in the sun as much as you can!

The Weekly Churn for February 9, 2014

I used to do wrap-ups on the weekend called “As Seen On the Internet” but decided that as part of my reboot, I would change the name. When I mentioned it to Mandy, she came up with the Weekly Churn.

Brilliant.

I’m still working on getting myself back to a point where I am posting on a regular basis. I don’t get irritated with myself when I can’t match my self-imposed schedule at least. And I am keeping busy. Visits to New York City, going back to my job and getting used to that schedule again, seeing friends, still working on estate matters, and two new responsibilities…

wpid-20140119_125936.jpg

After coming back from my holiday trip to Florida and starting in on the weekday work schedule again, I got to feeling that the house was a little too empty and quiet for my liking. My mind started to debate between getting a cat or getting guinea pigs. (I had enjoyed spending time with the one in Florida.) Some investigation into both and a visit to a local no-kill shelter and I opted for a cat. Or perhaps two. The black and white boy in the photos grabbed my attention, as did a female grey cat who was very friendly. On my second visit I found out the grey had more health problems than I want to handle right now, but I was still liking the tuxedo boy named Stark. When I mentioned my idea of having two cats to one of the staff members, she said “Well, Stark has a sister.” A sister, it turned out, who was never in her kennel and always hidden somewhere. I saw her and loved her coloring right away. Another visit to see how we responded to each other, which is where I got the photo above, and then the shelter made calls to see if I would be a fit feline parent. They said yes, and a week later I took these two home.

The female was originally named Whittaker, but I was not liking that name. And a name like Stark gave me a few ideas of inspiration for her name-to-be. I decided it would become one of three: Arya, Danerys, or Pepper. Some thought and strategic conversation brought me to the conclusion that Danerys would be best for her. A name she could grow into. Which she has. Within days she had stopped her habit of hiding in every waking moment. If I am in the living room for a while she’ll wander out and sit a few feet from me. She may not want to be petted, but at feeding time SHE is the one rubbing against my legs until I put down the dishes. And Stark is a total mama’s boy. He wants petting, cuddles, lap time, and brushing. We’re all still adjusting to each other but it’s an easy transition and they’re a joy to have in the house.

Affectionate furkids!

Affectionate furkids!

And now on to some reading!

First, an Indiegogo campaign from a fellow NLN blogger. Brenda and her partner Levi are seeking funds to convert their family farm to permaculture to help heal the land. This is a great project and I hope they get a lot of support.

Because any mention of fermentation in the media deserves more mention, Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation fame was on Science Friday last month to talk about the joys of fermented foods.

For those of you continuing to seek motivation in your new year’s goals, here are tips to get more movement into your days and ways to switch over to real food from processed.

Mountain Culinaire takes on the elephant in the room of food talk: sugar.

I love this helpful guide on ways to transform leftovers and make the most of your food.

As someone with a diagnosis of ADD on the books, I appreciate any practical suggestion I see for how people can manage with the condition. Paleo Diet Basics discusses the links between ADD and food colorings.

Something I tend to forget to do even when I say I need it is take breaks during my day to relax and nurture my spirit.

Little Owl, Crunchy Mama has recently gained national attention because she has not used shampoo on her hair for five years. She’s been the talk of the Today show and was a guest on The Doctors. The publicity has gotten her to thinking about beauty her words need to be shared far and wide.

Finally, the Homesteading Hippy shares seven things which must be in your car during the winter.

And one more shot of the cats…

wpid-20140206_170518.jpg

What have you been reading this week?

Reboot, or, 2014 Here I Come!


source

I decided back in November what my key word and theme would be for this year. After the year I had, I realized that this coming year was going to be one where everything could change. Before I had ideas of moving and finding my first full librarian job somewhere else, but hopefully in California. Now I own a condo and just want as much stability as I can have for a while. This year I rethink my plans and priorities and figure out what I want. Just me.

I have a bunch of ideas and desires for the year, and I am fully aware that they may not all come to fruition. They exist as a potential destination and to give me something more to focus on than settling the rest of my mother’s affairs and going to work day in and day out.

Health

1. Continue to rebuild my health

It’s been almost two and a half years since my health crashed after finishing my graduate work. The past year has seen some marked improvements, but I knowingly and willingly put a certain amount of my healing on the shelf in order to take care of my mom. And you know what? It was worth it. My own health never went so far back that I could not help around the house, and it made her life easier.

So involved in this goal is:
*Continuing my gluten free diet and incorporating more nutrient-dense foods and supplements. Included in this, I am thinking about cutting down on my sugar consumption. It’s not huge but enough that I want to look at it.
*Regaining my stamina and endurance.
*My hope it to build up my immune system enough so that my allergies go away. In the time I’ve been doing traditional foods, my asthma has gone away, for a time my allergic reactions (which are now almost exclusively to animals) started to subside, and my chronic knee problems became minimal.
*Dance, dance, dance, dance. I’m putting it under health because this involves movement. Today will be my first belly dance lesson since early November and I expect I am going to be just a little rusty. I still want to dance professionally, or at least semi-pro, and that means more practice and finding haflas where I can perform.

2. The Home Front

Oh there is a lot here. I own one now. My big plan is to make this house into my home.
*I need to clear out a lot of my mom’s stuff, donate it, gift it, etc.
*Settle all the estate stuff. Much of it is already happening but there is still more.
*Redecorate the house some.
*Take care of my own personal debt and make it go away. The biggest plan for this is that I am going to read and work through Your Money or Your Life.
*Re-evaluate the household bills.
*Get all my own stuff reorganized, figure out what I need and want, and get rid of the rest.

3. FOOD

That’s the whole basis of this blog right? Now that I am living on my own, my dietary needs and likes get to shine. There are only two items in this part of the resolutions, but they are big for me.

*Get back on the fermenting bandwagon. I’ve kept up with the milk kefir since 2011, sourdough went to the side when I went gluten-free. It’s time to do more. I drink two bottles of GT kombucha each week and suspect it would be much better for my budget if I make my own. (If you are in southern Connecticut and have some extra SCOBYs you’d like to re-home, drop me a line!)
*Vary up my cooking. I have plenty of cookbooks, blogs, saves on PInterest, and free meal plans. There is no excuse for me not to make a wider range of foods. And related to that…
*Create, and post, five new recipes this year. Over the weekend I did some experimenting and made what can qualify as the first. Look for it next week!

4. This Blog

Oh sweet blog, I have had you going for four years now, and have never given you the attention you deserve. This year I want to change that.

*I’ve contacted the friend I want to have turn this little WordPress site into its own domain.
*Get up to three posts a week. One original content, one media review, one wrap up. I was starting to do this last summer but could not keep up the pace then.
*Boost my views to at least 10,000 hits a month. Last year during my short active period I was able to surpass 3,000 a month without much effort.

If you would like to help with these endeavors, you can shop through my affiliate links with Mountain Rose Herbs, the Detoxify Your Life course, and ebook sales as they come up.

5. The Fun Stuff and Wishes

I miss crafting. This year I want to take up my knitting again, my cross stitch, practice crochet more, start sewing, make my own body care products, all that kind of stuff. My hands need to work. Buying my eldest niece a lap loom for Yule, and then both of us learning the basics of weaving, has inspired me.

loom

The house is also a lot quieter without my best friend here, or her one year old daughter. There may be a cat or guinea pigs coming into this house. That will depend on the aforementioned allergies.

I also want to keep up my education, read my books, develop my professional skills.

And the big one… I hope to go to Sweden and Iceland in June for Midsummer celebrations. The last time I was in Sweden, and the only time I was in Iceland, was 2001. It’s time to fix that.

So what do you have planned and hoped for in the coming year?

Be sure to connect with me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

I’m sharing this post at Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday!!

Let me tell you about my mother

Well, it’s been quite a while since I have posted here, and a lot has happened in my world. I’ve been up front about my own chronic health issues. But what I did not share, by request, was the other matter taking up much of my time and energy.

About a year ago, my dear mother returned from a trip to Sicily, a place she had wanted to see for a long time. The trip was wonderful, but she remarked to me upon her return that she thought she might be coming down with a cold or the flu. Some of the walks were a little more difficult for her because she was feeling short of breath. It wasn’t an infection though.

It was cancer, metastasized once again. In 1994 she discovered she had breast cancer, which was treated, went into remission for over a decade, and re-surfaced for a time in the mid-2000s. Then, in 2010, the cancer metastasized for the first time in her liver. She had this treated both conventionally and holistically, and it went into remission for a time. When it returned last year, the tumor was in the lung.

For the past year I’ve watched my mom slowly being robbed of her breath, and again approaching treatment from all angles. But it did not work, and during the summer her condition worsened. I spent a few months working full time, taking care of her as much as I could while not working, and not telling anyone what was happening. But the treatments did not work. She never gave up, though, and she lived as fully as ever. On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, my mother passed from this life. The world, and for certain the community here, is a dimmer place without her in it.

But instead of focusing on her death, I want to tell you about her life.

My mom was born in Sweden, not long before the start of World War II, and the second in a family which would grow to be 8 children. Her family did not have much money growing up, and even though she lived in a neutral country, the war still touched her life. Food was not the commodity it is now. Chickens were a rare treat. One winter her parents bought a whole hog, sharing the cost with another nearby family for the winter. Where now this way of buying meat is coming back, in those days it was often the only way for a family to ensure they had enough to eat during the fallow season.

She grew up, spent summers working and living on a farm to the north of Göteborg, started working part-time at 14, excelled in school, and, in 1958, came to the United States for what she thought would be a year. One of her aunts passed away in May of that year, and she wrote her uncle a letter when she found out, suggesting that perhaps she could come over for a year to help him out with the house and such?

I asked her a few months ago why she stayed after that first year.

“I didn’t have the money to go back home.”

Well, I can’t say that was a bad thing, because had she not, I would not be here now to write this post. She arrived in early October, and before the month was out had a job working in a local bank. Why a bank? She had trained in finances at secondary school in Sweden, a school which would be something like a mix between U.S. high school and college, and also worked as a teller before taking the boat over here.

And she would stay working in that bank for 40 years, through multiple name changes and mergers, becoming a vice president in her branch and breaking barriers on a regular basis. In the 1970s or ’80s she became one of the first female members of the local business(man)person’s club, and in 1994 became the first female president.

Yes, my mom was a little piece of local history.

And she loved history. It was one of her favorite subjects in school and often a topic in whatever she chose to read. She was also skilled in languages, a skill I have inherited. She remained bilingual in Swedish and English her whole life, speaking English better than many Americans. (And without any noticeable accent, I might add!) She also studied French, Italian, German, Latin, could function in the other Scandinavian and Romance languages, and even studied Greek at one time.

Before her first retirement in 1999, she said one of the things she eventually wanted to do was become a docent at one of the local cemeteries. Being in New England, we have some rather notable people buried in the area. This dream would come to fruition in the late 2000s, and ended earlier this year, only because the growing tumor meant a shortness of breath. Not something you want when you have to walk around a sizable cemetery and tell people who is buried there.

Her community service was one of her most notable traits. She served on several boards and organizations starting in the 1970s. Her work helped women in business, young people in urban areas, people with severe mental illness, and the community at large.

This was my normal growing up and I now find it weird when people just go to their jobs and do not do much else outside of that, or perhaps a small social circle. My mom’s life was filled with meetings, theatre, dinners, and times out with a wide range of friend and acquaintances. Even in retirement and dealing with cancer at different stages, it did not stop her from having a full social life. And if she could not go out to see people, they would come to see her.

My mom was a perfect example of harmonizing the old and new. She embraced technology and new ideas while also retaining her own level of Swedish-ness and tradition. From her I learned to cook, the importance of family and friends, a love for ancestry, hand-made items (though I confess in my youth the clicking of her plastic knitting needles drove me batty… so I do my knitting with bamboo!), good food, and travel.

Oh travel. I mentioned her trip to Sicily last year. From her I also got my love of travel. My first international trip was at the age of 2, when I got on a place with her and my dad* to Sweden. As a child I saw a nice portion of America, accompanying her on her business trips as well as trips to see family. This is how I got to hold Rita Moreno’s hand in the fall of 1982. Why I think I ate frog’s legs when I was little. (Hey they looked and tasted like chicken, if they were indeed that!) How I got to see the Grand Canyon, giant meteor crater in Arizona, went to the top of the Sears Tower. And for fun we went Disneyland and Disney World. Epcot Center when it was first open. Washington, DC several times. Canada, to visit cousins I had there. Multiple trips to Sweden. France. England. Italy. Denmark. Finland. Iceland. Why I so much want to go to Egypt, Central and South America, Australia. About the only travel she did not do which she’d wanted to was south of the equator.

She taught me to care for myself and a house. How to be responsible in life, even if it took me many years and stumbles to apply those lessons in full. How to cook and enjoy food. How to be a good friend. She was always a good host and had a generous heart, opening up to the people I got close to. To give you an idea, when my best friend was about to move to Florida with her family in the spring of 1993, mom offered for her to live up here in our old house, stay in the same school system, and near the best friend. Alas this was not to be, but now is not the time for regrets. (I just found out about THAT occurrence in the last few weeks.)

It is because of mom that I developed an interest in holistic health. While she did use and ascribe to conventional Western treatments, she also felt strongly that they were not the only way to good health. So we ate well (though the ideas around that changed over the years, eventually morphing back to the way she ate as a youth in Sweden), would also take herbs for different ailments, and even bought me a neti pot which has probably been the biggest reason why I was able to kick my regular sinus infections. I give a great deal of thanks to her naturpath of 15 years, Dr. Dana Myatt, for doing so well in keeping my mother in quite good health. Were it not for her, it is likely my mom would have passed away many years before she did.

On the 8th of November, after her health had started to make a quick decline in the preceding weeks, my mom decided to enter into hospice. We didn’t know how much more time she had, but she was not well then. Mandy (the best friend) and I had discussed her coming up here at some point when mom’s health declined, to help support me and take care of the house and other such things. Bless her husband, who said she could stay for up to a month so long as she brought their one year old daughter along. Soon after I arrived at hospice and started to handle the logistics of her entry, I called Mandy to say it was time to implement her coming up.

She, and her sweet daughter, were here in 24 hours. She also got to say her goodbyes to the woman who was her second mother. And her daughter charmed and delighted the other women present in the room.

When I got the call on Veteran’s Day from hospice, that sweet little girl saw me sitting on the floor, with my cheeks flooded, and offered me a cookie since I was obviously so upset. I just hugged her and felt so thankful for that.

Mom did not want most people to know she was sick while she was alive. She didn’t want the attention and likely not the pity either. But it has been difficult for me to sit on the knowing and not be able to share it. I want people to know about her and her life, and apologize that I do not have any photos ready to post here. At some point later, I promise to add some. Right now I just can’t.

If you take any inspiration from her story, I hope it is this: LIVE. Don’t want around for some ambiguous conditions, which may or may not manifest, to do the things you want. Use your money wisely so you CAN do all those things in your dreams. Help others. Be involved. Never stop learning. Love the people in your life with everything you have.

If you feel so moved, she asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the facility where she worked and served on the board, which helps people with major mental illness. Contact me to get that information.

I have also decided, and started to get the wheels moving, on upgrading my blog. I hope to debut the new site in early 2014.

Hail to you, Mom. May your star in the sky shine brightly. I love you.

*To explain, since he is notably absent from my account: My father passed away in 1982, less than two weeks before my 8th birthday. I loved him, and still do, but he was not a very active person in my life.