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FAQs

Do you have quilts for sale?

Not at the moment. I occasionally do commissioned quilts. If there’s something special you’re looking for, email me and I’d be happy to discuss it with you!

Sarah is a great guest blogger! How old is she and how long have you had her? Is she a rescue dog? Is she friendly? I might want a Newfoundland!

Thanks! Sarah was born in 2012. She’s 3 ½ at the moment, which means she should be done growing! She is a rescue dog, our third from South Eastern Newfoundland Rescue, Inc. which is a 501c organization. Sarah is very friendly. She likes everybody and almost everybody likes her. The UPS guy isn’t so sure!

In many ways, Newfies are easy to live with. Most of them are pretty mellow. They don’t tend to bark a lot. And they’re really sweet. However, they’re huge and they drool and shed and are quite a project to keep groomed. Rescue Newfies often have orthopedic issues, as do many giant breeds. That takes special care. It costs a lot to feed them well. Most of them are not the dogs to run 5 miles a day with, especially in hot weather, which, for Newfs starts at about 70 F. All of which is to say, if you’re considering a Newfoundland, do your research! Search online for the national or regional Newfoundland Club near you. Find out if they do rescue, if you’re open to that. Ask lots of questions. Go to a dog show and meet real Newfies. And, if you do decide you’re ready to welcome a Newfie into your family, and you’re thinking rescue, please try to work with a breed specific Newf Rescue club, rather than your local shelter. They’ll be much more experienced at matching you with the dog of your dreams!

PS-Not all Newfies are good bloggers!

I love your recipes. I wanted to know, though, why do you eat meat?

That’s a great question! I grew up in an omnivore family with a strong preference for meat. My dad did most of the cooking, usually on a charcoal grill. I went through a brief vegetarian phase when I worked as a surgical nurse. (I’ll spare you the details!) And then I was largely vegetarian again for about 9 years, though I did eat fish. That started because I just didn’t feel well when I ate meat.

What I didn’t know then was that my reactions were likely to the antibiotics that were so commonly used in large amounts to raise “grain fed” beef and other meats in feed lots. You see, I’m allergic to most commonly used antibiotics!

Eventually, my doctors—some of whom were naturopaths—asked me to begin eating red meat again to deal with some health challenges. That was when I began to learn the importance of local, sustainably raised meat pastured on grass. No corporate feed lots, here! (And none of the health challenges they produce.)

Also, I’m married to an essentially gluten-free diabetic and we don’t eat a lot of processed carbs. What works for us is a low glycemic protein source, lots of fresh veg—many from our own garden—and, sometimes, organic rice or potatoes. I also eat a variety of beans, many of which I do in large batches with bone broth and freeze. Lately we’re experimenting with sprouted grain baking, like “Fabulous, Easy Sprouted-flour Bread” and  “Bill’s Favorite Cookies”.  Next, I want to learn homemade, sprouted-grain pasta. I’ll keep you posted!

While all that’s going on at our house, our son, Dave, is a serious foodie omnivore, our daughter-in-law, Kelly, and the girls are pescetarians, which means they eat fish, dairy and eggs, but no meat. When we’re with them, we generally follow that pattern.

So, why do I eat meat? Well, I enjoy it. I’m really picky about where it comes from and choose things I know are being raised in a way that’s humane for the animal and actually beneficial to the environment. We’re nose to tail people which means honoring the animal by not wasting less “popular” cuts of meat. I make a lot of bone broth which is very healing for many people and I give a lot of it away.

Because I understand the issues about diet choices and family relationships and how food effects our health and environment, I wrote my first book, WE GATHER TOGETHER…holiday feasts with the family you have! to help address and talk about questions just like this!

Where do you get your photos?

I take a great many of them myself. Since my needs are expanding, I also use stock photos or photos from friends, especially for memes.  

Do you teach or speak in public? Do you see private clients?

I do! You can email me about hosting or attending an event.

While I have years of diverse training as a pastoral counselor, most of my work these days might better be termed coaching. I help people make the changes they choose in their lives using tools like Eriksonian hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programming, and Guided Imagery. Sarah, our Newfoundland, is on the road to becoming an official therapy dog and she helps a lot! I see people in the Atlanta area and am open to working via Zoom, etc. online.

You’ve mentioned meditation and Qigong in your blogs. Can you tell me more about that? How does it work? Why do you do it? Is it hard to learn?

Wow! Thanks!

Let’s start with meditation. Meditation is basically a pattern for focusing your attention on your breath, or a mantra, which can be a sound or a few words that have meaning for you. You can focus on something visual, like a candle flame. Or just focus on “the emptiness” which works for lots of people, though I find it a bit difficult. (It all takes practice. That’s why it’s called practicing meditation!)

Taking slow deep breaths in meditation actually sends a message to your brain to relax. This helps interrupt the alert, stressed, pattern that most of us live in and sets off a whole chain of relaxation responses in your body which are known to be good for your health and emotional state.

Along with slow deep breaths, a comfortable place to sit, or perhaps lie down, and a quiet space are important, especially when you’re learning. There are lots of resources for helping to guide your meditation. Different things work for different people so check out some of the options listed on the resource page.

At the moment I’m using a combination of some music tuned to healing tones and the ancient notion of breath prayer. Basically, inhale slowly and deeply while addressing God, or the Universe, or Buddha, etc., according to your beliefs. Then, as you exhale fully, and possibly even more slowly, state your hope or wish or request. If you practice, your breath prayer will find you. And it will change over time, as your journey changes. The simplest version of the ancient prayer would be, “Jesus, mercy.” For minimalists, “In…Out” will work, too.

Qigong (cheegong) is an Eastern school of energy work. There are many Qigong teachers in America and around the world. I work with Chunyi Lin, the founder of Spring Forest Qigong. The basic premise of Qigong, as I understand it, is to open blocked energy channels in the body, thus allowing healing of many kinds and prevention of illness. There’s a lot more to know!

Spring Forest Qigong involves meditation, active exercises, and a variety of massage techniques. I’ve been to two healing retreats which, for me, were rather like following Alice down the rabbit hole! It turned out to be a great rabbit hole!

One of the things I most appreciate about Chunyi is that he practices and teaches in a way that is open to, and respectful of, people from all spiritual traditions or no tradition at all.

I’m still working on figuring out exactly what my daily practice needs to include. Thus far, Qigong has helped to lessen my widespread joint and muscle pain, increase my mobility, and help me manage periods of stress. It’s also possible to work with a Qigong healer for addressing specific issues.

If you’re curious start, with an internet research trip. I’d check with springforestqigong.com and LearningStrategies.coma favorite organization of mine which works closely with SFQ. You’ll find audio and video resources and updates on live learning opportunities. Then wander around some more if you need to until you find a rabbit hole you want to try!