I’m Branching Out

Nursing Isn’t  ‘all that’

Twelve years ago my life went through dramatic change and I was faced with making a decision about my future so I decided to go back to school and chose nursing as a second career. From my first day of my first nursing class, I wondered if I made the right choice. I was trained, educated, and indoctrinated about the wonders of modern medicine. The pharmaceuticals, the devices, the procedures, the surgeries, the reactive approach to illness and disease, the vaccines, the infections that don’t respond to antibiotics anymore, the management of medication side effects, the sometimes mindless following of doctor’s orders, the virtual requirement of a doctor’s order to touch a patient (I exaggerate a little).     All this didn’t make sense and I quickly became disenchanted.   My ears always perked up when a topic would involve alternative or complementary therapies.   Unfortunately, we never spent much time on them, because they were on the periphery of medicine and “not scientific”. But I persevered, flew through nursing school, passed my state board exam with flying colors and quickly became gainfully employed as a nurse. Being that I wasn’t a 22 year old fresh out of college new grad, but a seasoned ‘forty something’ mom, I thought I knew the direction to take, and I fast-tracked my career through floor nursing, charge nurse, case manager and director of nursing. I was a success but never lost my taste and passion for alternative healing. Read More→

West Wind Healing

Vibration underlies every aspect of life.  

From atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, bodies, and entire systems.  From cellular respiration and division, the heart beat, nerve impulses up and down the spine, to brain waves, our bodies each have their own vibrational signature and rhythm.  This is orderly and organized.  There is no chaos.  The entire body oscillates within its own electromagnetic energy field and subtle energy field.  The body is a vibrant energy system containing the mind, spirit and physical body.

What is Aromatherapy?

In life, our bodies want harmony. Health is a positive energy that flows strong and coherent, while illness and disease manifest as negative, weak, incoherent energies.   When illness or disease are present, they might show up as chemical imbalances, but underlying this is an electromagnetic imbalance that has changed the molecules, cells, tissues and organs of the body.  Healing will occur when a healthy, positive frequency brings the cells back to a state of balance.  This is where energy work and essential oils come in. Read More→

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Brewing Kombucha at Home

I like drinking Kombucha. I love the tangy, tingly, bubbliness of it. I also love the health benefits, mainly, the probiotics. What I don’t like is the price of buying it at the grocery store of Whole Foods.  So, I started brewing Kombucha at home a few years ago.Making Kombucha

Brewing Kombucha at home can be intimidating, but with a little practice, it is very easy. Just follow the directions, do your homework, and, learn from my mistakes so that hopefully you can avoid the ones I made.

So, are you ready to start brewing Kombucha at home?

Before you get started, you will need to plan ahead, order some supplies, and gather all the items you’ll need.    You can get everything you need from Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, and my kombucha guru.  The only place I would ever purchase a SCOBY is from Hannah. Read More→

GMOs and the New Classical Liberal

Are GMOs Bad?

These are my thoughts. I’m not here to prove anything, I don’t have a bunch of scientific research, facts, or papers that “prove” my opinions. Some of my closest friends say I’m too critical. (as if that’s a bad thing) I am critical. I look at the world as a critic. I’ve always been a skeptic of sorts. One of my colleagues, with tongue-in-cheek, tells me I need to stop asking “why?” so much, because it usually results in more work. I can’t help it. I need things to make sense in my world.

Are People Who Are Against GMOs  Stupid?

GMO fruitWhile listening to a local conservative morning radio show the other day, “they” were discussing a proposed bill regarding  GMO labeling. Rather than discuss the merits or flaws of the bill,  the show hosts chose to hail the goodness of GMOs by making claims without any substantiation. They proceeded to rip into the organic food movement, and equated anyone with those leanings to be idiots, lefties, liberals, socialists,  and hippies. Hmmmmm, I thought.   Why don’t I fit into any mold? I’m not a leftie, a liberal, a socialist, or an idiot. In discussing this with my son, he called me a classical liberal.

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Your Natural Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit Part 4

Natural Medicine Cabinet Item#4 Eucalyptus Oil

Fresh herbs in first aid kitAs you build your all natural first aid kit and medicine cabinet, you now have Lavender,   Peppermint, and Tea Tree essential oils, which are 3 of the staples of any aromatherapist. As you have read in the individual posts for those three oils, the list of things that they can do is impressive. No natural medicine cabinet or first aid kit would be complete without our next essential oil: Eucalyptus.

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Your Natural Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit Part 3

Natural Medicine Cabinet Item #3: Peppermint Oil

Fresh herbs in first aid kitThe third essential for your natural first aid kit and medicine cabinet is Peppermint Oil (mentha piperita), right there next to your Lavender and  Tea Tree oil. Peppermint is another essential oil that is a foundational item for everyone’s medicine cabinet and first aid kit. Peppermint has a fresh, piercing, minty aroma that acts as a dilator, or “opener”in the body. It opens up the lungs and veins to bring more air into the lungs and more blood to the brain. Peppermint can be used as a mental stimulant, to improve memory, increase efficiency and productivity. It is a great way to fight sleepiness, fatigue, and mental fog.

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Your Natural Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit Part 2

Natural Medicine Cabinet  Item #2:   Tea Tree Oil

The second item you need in your natural first aid kit and medicine cabinet is Tea Tree Oil, right there next to your  Lavender. Tea Tree oil  is another essential oil that is a foundational item for everyone’s medicine cabinet and first aid kit. Tea Tree Oil is a basic essential oil, but has countless uses. If you’ve never smelled Tea Tree oil, it is not necessarily aromatically pleasing like lavender, rather it has a medicinal, terpene, antiseptic aroma. Despite the strong odor, it is very gentle and can be used neat (undiluted) on adult skin.

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Your Natural Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit Part 1

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender (Lavender angustifolia) is generally regarded as the most versatile therapeutic  essence and if you have only one essential oil in your home medicine cabinet, first aid kit, car or purse, Lavender is the one to have.

It is both strong and gentle and can be used “neat” (undiluted) directly on the skin. Beware, however, because as amazing and therapeutic Lavender is, it is also the most corrupted essential oil on the market. Take care to buy True Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia.  Read More→

How to Live a Less Toxic Life in 2015

How to live a less toxic life in 2015

Cook from scratchOf all the conditions, diseases and disorders that I’ve seen over the years, Alzheimer’s disease scares me the most. I work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in my job every day.  As the years have passed, something eats at me daily, and that is my belief that Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Memory Loss can be preventable. I believe that many of today’s diseases are exacerbated by our environment, from the pesticides, herbicides, chemicals in our food, the heavy metals including FLOURIDE in our water, to the chemicals we are exposed to every day from cooking with teflon or aluminum cookware, and the plastic packaging that is EVERYWHERE, and all the ridiculous ingredients in our personal care products that we use every day. Read More→

Minnesota: winter and road construction; kinda like my life

Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction

Road Work Ahead Sign

My life is like road construction

If you’ve ever lived through road construction here, you know all about the countless detours, roadblocks, pot holes, closed off-ramps, closed on-ramps, crumbling bridges that are falling down, and not to mention passive-aggressive drivers (so typical of Minnesota), angry drivers, and buick drivers (you know who I’m talking about…..the ones who won’t take that Buick past 50mph in the fast lane). The roads and bridges in Minnesota are a mess and worry-free routes are few and far between. Kind of like my life: in perpetual road construction.

Over the past several years, I have experienced numerous major life-changing events.

Many of them were purposeful and intentional. Exactly one year ago, I sold my big house of 19 years, bought a tiny cottage near the lake, and had plans to downsize, simplify, get back to basics, unwind, relax, and enjoy life by the lake. The sailing was smooth and the winds were light. I even landed a fabulous job with excellent pay. What could be better? I downsized my mortage payment by 60% and I increase my income by 50%. Finally, things were looking good! But as so often is the trend in my world, fair weather is often short-lived. The winds picked up, the storm blew in, and I got relentlessly slammed in the face, time after time after time, like a Minnesota blizzard in February.

Read More→