Archive for Whole Health

The Mighty Coconut Fails

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The Coconut Fallacy continues…to crack

The Mighty Coconut Fails

to prove it’s power.  Just read some science-based information proving to me that this fatty fad hasn’t measured up.  It’s about saturated fats!
In my nutrition school, they never really addressed this specific issue or trend. While countless coaches touted the virtues of the mighty nut, no one offered concrete proof that consuming coconut oil could cure everything from obesity to chronic illness to gum disease. While the claims grew, there were no numbers to support the claims. No control groups. No scientific evidence.

Laura Thomas, PH,D. in Nutritional Science,  offers some scientific evidence and professional thought on the mighty nut.  In her Huff Post article, The Death of the Coconut, she raises many of my concerns.  Laura has validated my suspicions. Kudos to her for doing that research. The gist of it is this: Eat fat, raise cholesterol count. Lower fat, lower cholesterol.

Surely there’s more to it, I once thought.  How can so many of my colleagues be touting high consumption of this particular fat. It defies logic. Eat it to cure chronic illness, increase brain function, lose weight, clean your teeth, cure dry skin, heal cuticles, and lower inflammation?  Every time I asked someone to provide proof, they proved they didn’t have any. While Costco sells huge containers of the trendy fat, people are buying it like crazy. It’s kind of nutty.

Let’s make logic out of the darling coconut super food:

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Health Tool Kit: Reliable Resources

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Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.31.13 AMHealth Tool Kit: Reliable Resources to guide older adults to learn about medical stuff.

Doesn’t it just make sense that you would learn as much as you can about a medical concern? That information is readily available. Credible. Reliable. Current. Medical information you can trust – and your doctor should too!

Have you ever heard these exclamations by your medical practitioner? “Be careful of what you read on the internet. That’s just internet hype.  You can’t trust what you read; why do you keep researching this; you should stop researching  – it just scares people…. ”

Has the staff at your doctor’s office looked at you like you were the crazy, nagging spouse who interferes with doctor / patient discussions? Have you left a medical appointment wanting to dig deeper into understanding an illness, medication, or treatment plan?  Do you feel a nagging suspicion you can learn more about what ails you or a loved one? Read More→

Where are Your Ducks?

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Or Find Your Zen Mode

Get Your Ducks In a Row

Your Ducks in a Row, they taught. They admonished. They berated.
It’s like saying to someone that if you can’t be perfect, don’t come home.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan — I heard it repeatedly throughout my life. It was my Dad’s favorite cliche and he used to encourage his sales team, then came home and told us the same thing. Echoing in my mind, in became a core part of my life.

Yours too, I bet. Because we are taught forever that we must have a plan and we must work that plan.

Well — this article is about Ducks.  Are they really ever going to stay in that perfectly aligned row?  Read my article, and know the truth about the darned ducks.

Where Are Your Ducks

Keeping it Simple: The Right Tool for the Job

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Hey all,

It’s that time. My affiliates are all telling me about their great deals right now. But here’s the thing: Making YOUR life better is what this page is about. Helping you to be your best — and that’s in the kitchen too. There is one tool I can’t live without. I’ll gladly let go of the coffee maker. I’ll give away my Le Crueset cast iron cookery. But you can not take away my high powered blender. EVER! If you don’t have one now, you really should check out the lineup to BlendTec. They have a great lineup, but the best news: They are offering a great new refurbished plan and you get the same original warranty.

You know people keep touting the beauty of drinking green smoothies instead of a meal, but did you know the true value of a high powered blender like Blendtec?
The truth is, you can do much more than drink your greens. These powerful machines make your cooking and prep time that much more creative and interesting.

Here at the Bistro, we are always saying the Right Tool for the Job — meaning cooking is easiest when you have the right tools. We also say buy the best you can afford.

But when a big deal comes along, and it comes from a reliable source — I feel it important to share. Why not? Right?
So here’s the great deal of the season.

I mean, if you are like my neighbor, someone who really wants a great power blender, but hasn’t wanted to pop for the full retail price – well, this is for you.

Want some soup? You can make a wonderful bisque or puree with whole fresh foods almost faster than you can go to the store and buy a few cans. And the best thing is you can still buy those cans or boxes, and add all kinds of lovely freshness to amp it up a notch

If you are like me, you end up just not wanting to cook. And what better than to create something fun, easy, and fast in you BlendTec Power Blender. Like the spicy roasted red pepper & Fire Roasted Tomato Soup I tossed together yesterday.  I felt much gratitude for my trusty BlendTec. Why? I was already tired. I just didn’t want to cook. And I was hungry. A glance at the blender, and ideas flowed. Tomatoes? check. Coconut milk? Check. Onions? Yep? Red Peppers? Got them. Seasonings? Standard stock of canned Fire Roasted tomatoes? Absolutely!

In 10 easy minutes, the soup was simmering away. For a chunky soup, put half in the blender. Whizz it about and then pour it back into the pot. BAM! Need some more spice or seasoning? From your well stocked pantry, find the favorite Smoked Paprika. BAM! Lunch was done with little fuss, and it’s way better than anything I’ve ever found in a store bought package.

It’s that easy. Add a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and oh boy that’s good too.

You find yourself getting mighty creative when you have the right tools. And with these blenders, you can do anything from standard smoothies and milkshakes to soups to nut butters.

Tomato soup boring? Not anymore.
Homemade Cream Of Mushroom have too much milk? When you make it at home, with the aid of your blender, you can make it with whatever milk alternative you like.
Someone posted a recipe the other day for a Potato and Celery Root Mash — I had purple potatoes, not white. Made it anyway, and oh is it yummy. And the purple adds a nice anti-oxidant colorful base to a plate. (more on the rainbow of colorful foods value later)

Here’s to a fun holiday season with creative and fast cooking and prep time. You are going to love it! I promise. You can do so much with these high speed blenders. And they last! This is not your Mom’s old Oster, now made in plastic with a cheapo motor. These have long life warranties for a reason. They last for years. And BlendTec stands behind their product with ongoing help, recipes, and an interesting blog post where you occasionally see yours truly. 🙂

Take a look and pick the one that works best for you. And please – share this with your friends too.

Stand Out From the Crowd

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What makes me different?

In health as in life, we are all unique. So when part of a global community of like-minded people, how we self brand is as important as how we business brand. As a solo-preneur, how I view each client is equally important. So what I bring to the table needs to be uniquely me. Thus, the question. What makes me stand out? Why do clients seek me out?

Being Part of a Group is not the same as Following the Crowd

As far back as high school, I never felt part of the many cliques. I always felt like I was on the fringes. It amazed me when someone whom I barely new said she saw me as “one of the popular crowd.” Isn’t it funny how others always see you differently than you feel?

I long for that sense of being a part of something bigger than myself. Something bigger than me. Don’t you? Don’t you just always really want that sense of belonging? It’s the human condition and we seek it out for the good or the bad. It’s what draws kids into gangs if they can’t find a healthier solution. It’s what makes so many good kids feel like they are the black sheep in their little worlds. I know – I was the black sheep in my family.

Not fitting in doesn’t make you a stranger

Each of us has a duality – a uniqueness combined with a desire to be a part. Until we can embrace that essence of duality, we will either dare to compromise ourselves to the point we get lost, or we dare to be so uniquely different that we are far on the fringes of the groups.
I refuse to buy into the idea that there is but one perfect solution for anything. Life is a bunch of twists, bends, and wavers – like a rocket that constantly adjusts towards a single target. The human condition is that way too. Knowing this, daring to be different, daring to be me, I live on the outskirts of the norm. It’s worked only because I was smart enough to leverage skills when I had to.

Who are YOU?

I started writing this as a branding question: What makes me stand out? Why do clients want to work with me? Whether it’s our business services, photography, or consulting, what is it that draws them in and keeps them on board? And those are the same questions that apply to who you are.

For us, the answer lies in a simple quest. We, as a business stand out for our services, our depth of skills, and our ability to listen. It’s our compassion combined with skillful delivery, strategic planning, and creative solutions. It’s the same for all of our endeavors.

As a health coach, I love the concept of bio-individuality. No one body is the same. This concept reaches out to every part of our lives. It’s not just what we eat or how we exercise. it’s about life. It’s about primary and secondary foods. At my health coaching school, they refer to this concept repeatedly. Bio-Individuality. Everyone is different. No diet works for everyone.

So WHAT MAKES ME STAND OUT?

The answer became a philosophical question.

What makes me stand out? I dare to be me. It took a long time to figure it out. My nature is soft and gentle, but I learned (or maybe it was simply necessary) to develop a tough thick skin. I had to be tougher and not care so much about what others thought. This works today because I can be the real me – which is a complex blending of soft, gentle, strong, smart and bulldog. Being tough doesn’t take away the woman in me. Being feminine doesn’t make me roll over and play dead. I am me. You are YOU.

As beautiful Beings, we have a road we follow.

It takes a lifetime to really get this living figured out. That’s why today, it is a joyous thing to mentor younger adults. It’s equally joyous to consult with older people who are breaking through these age-old ideas. No one walks this path without stumbling on a few boulders. Being guided through this by an understanding, compassionate being makes a big difference – especially when that person has traversed her own boulder filled quagmire of stumbling blocks.

As a young adult, I sought to be strong, independent and wise. I failed to embrace my soft, feminine nature. Reviewing my career, I see a clear pattern. I was constantly in male-dominated companies. It became ingrained to not show my emotional side. Women at work were chastised and frowned upon if they showed emotion. They probably still are. Once I embraced the whole me, I became softer and empowered enough to let it be. Then I lost job opportunities. The feedback? The managers said I was too soft. Hah!

What’s it mean to be Like a Girl

It means be soft, strong, amazing, powerful, peaceful, talented, smart, witty….It means be anything you strive to be. Based on the viral video What it Means To Run Like a Girl, , perceptions haven’t changed much. This advertisement by Always tells us a lot about our ageless programs. I often hear my beloved saying: Cry like a Girl. It makes me cringe. I hate hearing that. This one advertisement, in 2014, is getting massive media attention. The video is important. The media storm about it is important.

How does this translate to our services today? Every ONE of us, male or female, straight or gay, must embrace their true nature in order to really stand out, make a difference, and make the world a better place. It’s why we are here.
The brainstorm behind the video, #Lauren Greenfield, was interviewed by various media outlets including ABC News. “‘Like a Girl’ should never be used as an insult,” Greenfield said. “It means being strong, talented and downright amazing.”

The video is in direct conflict with what I was taught as a young career girl. And it is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen done to promote true whole living

#LikeAGirl Utube Video

Building Skills or Disrespecting Myself?

I was building skills that I thought would earn me entry into one specific, male-dominated, company. Not knowing the truth behind their imposed brick wall to entree, I thought I just needed to prove myself. I worked hard to build the right set of business skills respected by the owners. It was never enough. To do it, I found myself most often been in male-dominated jobs, companies, and industries. I knew nothing different. I was so focused on becoming a part of that one company that I failed to look deeply into my essence. And there was no one to tell me that I could succeed AND be true to my feminine essence.

My role models whom I admired most were in business. So I strove to “be tough”, “be strong”, “do what a man would do” — which is what my Dad preached from the beginning. He didn’t want me to be a guy — he wanted me to succeed. In his mind that was the solution. And because we both recognized my skills in business, we never thought about softer careers such as nursing or teaching. And why would we? I was good in accounting, organization, writing, and pretty good with people. There was no reason to think I would go any other direction.

Gratefully, times have changed and women are no longer taught such demeaning and confusing nonsense.

Becoming Uniquely You

And Loving Every Part

It took a lot of work. Embracing the real me – Embracing the Real YOU is an adventure. It’s a journey into your true essence. It’s not what you think, it’s how you tap into your core and listen to the wisdom within you. Some use psychotherapy. Others turn to 12 step recovery rooms. And many use Yoga or Qi Gong or other healing arts.

The Question is always the same. Who Am I? Who Am I?

What makes me different? I refuse to buy into the idea that there is but one perfect solution for anything. Life is a bunch of twists, bends, and wavers – like a rocket that constantly adjusts towards a single target. The human condition is that way too. Knowing this, daring to be different, daring to be me, I give from my heart knowing it’s real. Knowing that when I deliver services, when I deliver coaching programs, I am giving to you from where I stand and helping you become more of you.

That’s the answer. Now how to get that down to a one sentence tagline. HAH.
That’s the trick. We know who we are. How do we tell the world in a quick, catchy, little phrase that is memorable, meaningful, and masterful?

When you find something you love, you need to share it.

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They say in 12 step rooms that in order to keep it, you have to give it away. When it comes to matters of the spirit, matters of the healing soul, I find this to be true.
So here — I wish to keep this, so I am sharing the meditations I am loving most.

I’m hopeful that anyone challenged with life threatening, life sucking illnesses can find their path to healthy whole living once again. I believe that you can. I believe that you are powerful, mindful, and able. It may not be in your desired time, but you will find your way. You may move through this time to find that there is a gift within this madness – a treasure to cling to that comes from within.

I know I have. I know that my treasures are not of physical form. I know I’ve come through to be a guide to others. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from it. But I also know that through my trevails came a different kind of love and a different kind of strength.

Some have said it’s bs – some have said it’s just soft stuff. Hell, I’ve been turned away from jobs because I was told “you are too soft” and all I could do was laugh. Yeah, right! Soft? Those who don’t see the strength behind compassion, kindness, and empathy are perhaps weak themselves. Those who don’t see the strength are then threatened when the bulldog comes out. I’ve often wondered about this,for those who wish for us to roll over to their demands get awfully hostile when we refuse. You can’t make this stuff up. Somehow, when chronic illness threatens to destroy a life, everyone involved changes. Things come into perspective.

It takes great strength to remain loving, hopeful, and kind when slammed into the reality that somethings are just out of our control. Only when the strong crumble into a ball of tears, do they find the true strength. That – my friends – is you.

The bravado? The Tough Act? The hard nosed, bullish demanding ways of some? That’s the B.S.

Don’t be afraid to be You.
Dare to Be YOU. In all your soft, loving, kind, and brave ways — Be YOU.

And then you know.

Cycling Head Games

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It’s that time again. The fight for the yellow jersey is on!

Tour de France is here.

And with it comes an extra motivation that hits all cyclists: recreation riders, triathletes, endurance engines, commuters, home town racers, and semi pro’s to boot.

How can we not get excited. It’s mid stream in the warmer, drier months. Especially here in Seattle where the winter rains make it a bit more interesting to ride skinny tires. And many folks just consider winter an off season. Come July 5, summer is on, it’s hot, people are in better shape, and they once again are loving their bikes. I know it’s true. It happens to my husband and I every year. We watch the opening day. It’s fun. We tap in to the world of cycling where we see individuals compete on teams.

The views are gorgeous.

The crowds are fun.

The commentary is a combination of education, color, and hope.

The wins and the losses touch us deeply, as if we are watching friends.

Mind / Body Kinesthetic Motivation

Every year, as we stare at those guys in colorful kits spinning hard across fascinating terrain, our leg muscles literally twitch with motivation. Their cadence becomes our mental map of what our legs should do. It’s a mind body thing, similar to the Kinesthetics programs sold that teach a sport via a video. They use a technique that trains the mind to activate the muscles.  What I mean is simple. The mind watches so closely that the body is tricked into thinking it is doing what it sees.  It’s part Inner Game of Tennis, Kinesthetic Learning, and part Psycho Cybernetics.  (Ref: ideas and books that I grew up with)

The Kinesthetic Ski Instruction Videos are long off the market, but check out this awesome reference guide on the Mental Games of Sports Performance.

But it’s just a bike race. Or is it?

Oh heck no. It’s not just a bike race. It’s an opportunity for the viewer to learn, get excited about the industry, learn what new items are on the market, find out about great products, fun escapes, and …. ok, all of that. But its’ also the best marketing machine for cycling for the entire year.

How do I know? Because each year, as I watch, I also get emails. Emails from favorite manufacturers. Facebook posts offering a chance to win. Bike companies offering great discounts. And favorite cycling stores like Competitive Cycle, offering a deal a day. Like this one from a favorite vendor: Competitive Cycle

It’s brilliant. Everyone wins. The Tour de France Sale: Daily Deals for All 21 Stages

It’s not just the Tour! It’s mid summer special season and if the stores aren’t touting Tour deals, they are touting Mid Summer Seasonal specials. It’s time for them to gear up for fall, so they need to inspire us to get into the store and help them clear out inventory. And if you are like me, I’d rather be riding that shopping. I tend to put off purchases until I really need stuff. A simple trip to a store can be an hour or two lost riding time. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a time suck.  And my solution: Buy Online when I can, when it makes sense, when I trust the vendor.

Companies like Competitive Cycle make life so much easier. They are a known entity. They offer not only the best, but a nice array. Sure they cater to the elite, but aren’t we all a little elite?  I trust these guys. I can call them and ask specific questions. I can get honest answers. Returns are easy too.
Then there is the stand by Recreational Equipment Coop, Inc.  REI not only has a great Mega Sale or Summer Sale, but you can buy online, and return in store if it doesn’t work.

I have my favorite local brick and mortar stores, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Some local guys that only carry the elite and cater to the upper echelon. They lose me. I don’t really need the top of the line cycling stuff. Do you? If you aren’t a racer, aren’t in the industry, and really just want a bit of comfort for a reasonable price –you don’t want to spend $300 on a pair of tights when the $150 tights do the job.  Unless the guy at the shop convinces you that those $300 knickers are the absolute most comfortable ever and you just can’t live without them.  Me? I buy the best that works for me. And I bet you do too. If everything in a store like Competitive Cycle makes sense, that’s where you shop.

Every year, on the 5th of July, we start seeing it. More yellow. More polka dots. More Strava reports. More fun. It’s summer! It’s time for the Tour de France. Let’s RIDE!

And don’t forget — check out the daily deals at Competitive Cycle for the next 21 days. The Tour de France Sale: Daily Deals for All 21 Stages

Boring Breakfasts? Not any more!!!

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Zucchini Salad rocks your day

Give yourself a happy kickstart with this crunchy salad.

Welcome the Bad Ass Breakfast Salad!

Ok, so years ago I was told to cut out eggs and wheat due to allergies. Not the gluten sensitivity stuff that is popular today, but a real blood test indicating allergy to specific foods. Complicate this with an already known sensitivity to dairy, and you have:  What can I eat for breakfast that’s good, wakes me up, sustains through the morning, and makes me happy?  YIKES It drove me nuts. At first I just ate whatever we had leftover from dinner. But hey, savory chicken or spicy lamb chops do NOT cut it for breakfast. I don’t like tofu and it’s not filling. I have a slight sensitivity to beans….what the heck?   Oatmeal gets boring if you eat it every day, and there were literally restaurants that didn’t even have oatmeal. Thankfully, there are solutions. You have to open your mind. You have to decide its possible. Like I said: Welcome the Bad Ass Breakfast Salad!

What to put in it?

  • Seasonal Vegetables. Crunchy and raw. Variety of colors. Textures.
  • Fresh minced mint. It grows like the weed it originally was. Easy to grow, bountiful harvest and oh so tasty a secret ingredient.
  • Seasonal Fruits
  • Cooked whole grains if you can eat them: Quinoa, Brown rice, Brown Rice Mix, Wild Rice
  • Black Garlic
  • Black Sesame seed
  • Soft or almost hard boiled egg
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Other Sprouts
  • Lettuces
  • Kales

The list goes on and on and on

How to Dress it? Think Simple

  • Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
  • Home Made Vinagrette with garlic and dry mustard
  • Walnut Oil and Balsamic
  • Walnut Oil and Blood Orange Vinegar
  • Raspberry Vinegar and Black Walnut Oil
Breakfast Salads: Happy Kick Off to a Great Day

Bad Ass Zucchini Salad Rocks it for Breakfast

 

What’s that?  You want my recipe?

Sure thing. But first, please consider subscribing to my blog so you get the updates.  There’s a sign in on the upper right. I promise. No spam.

Now, Here’s that recipe:

Zucchini Spiral Breakfast Salad

  • 1 Zucchini – using mandolin, grater, or spiral cutter, cut the vegetable into strips
  • 1 carrot – grated, spiraled, or julienned.
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts Fresh Mint, chopped fine (I used 3 sprigs, cut the leaves away from the stem, then chopped)
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into cubes – best if still hard but ripe. Mushy doesn’t work as well.
  • Dressing:
  • Simple!!!
  • Use the juice of one lemon and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Toss and serve.

OPTIONAL Add ons

  • 1/2 cup edamame or garbanzo beans (optional)
  • 1  – 5 minute boiled egg (not quite hard)
  • 3 – 4 Black Garlic Cloves cut into smallish pieces bigger than chopped, smaller than chunks. (how’s that for scientific description? – You’ll figure it out. The bigger challenge is finding this delicacy.
  • Walnuts
  • Spiced Almonds
  • Roasted Garbanzos

Happy Tummy = Happy Day

I kid you not! I saw a version of this recipe but never thought about eating it for breakfast until today. I saw someone posted a salad photo and I immediately knew – today was a salad breakfast day. As I made it, I felt the creativity meter kick on high. I felt my smile come on strong as I knew this was a killer recipe.  I felt the juices flow as I thought about adding that egg. And out came my trusty Canon camera to make sure I captured this in all it’s glory.  I hope you like it. Feel free to leave comments and share your adaptations. I’d love to know that I’m not the only salad crazy, breakfast confused lady out there.

There’s Nothing Wrong with asking for what you want…

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Just be careful who you ask!

Lifelong lessons were tough. Don’t ask. Don’t admit you need help. Don’t expect help because it’s not there.

But folks, that was all so totally wrong. Asking for help meant causing people to stop what they were doing and think about someone else. It was rarely about them, but they feared helping another was a sign of something, perhaps admitting their own fears? Not sure.

Today was a big day. We asked for help. People whom I barely know asked no questions, made no motions of shaming — they just wanted to validate that the story was real. It’s real alrighty.

I am blessed to know that angels are circling and happy to help just because a friend is in need. I am delighted and overwhelmed with gratitude and love for those who literally offered help with no qualms, no questions, no loss of dignity.

The most generous of all was a man whom I barely know any more – and he made it sound like it was an honor to help me and it made his day. Go figure. That is not what I grew up with.

It’s all about opening our hearts, listening, and knowing.  Knowing when to answer that little tug that says, you know what: I want to help and this much I can do.

It’s about honoring yourself.  It’s about knowing that you can, and then doing.

What’s it all about?  Well….here’s the link that kicked it off:  WE are using GoFundMe to crowd fund a trip to the Mayo Clinic.

 

Winding Down: Good bye 2013

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It’s been a good year for connecting with some wonderful friends, new and old.SailingPS-4458

Through the wonders of the interwebs, I’ve enjoyed connections that never would have happened, friendships deepened,  and yes some were let go. Not exactly smooth sailing, but we made it and we still have faith.

I’ve made new friends. I’ve found old friends.  I’ve connected deeply with the people who mean the most to me. For this, I am most grateful.  It’s been a year! As this year winds up, I’m getting contemplative and internally focused. I always do. It’s that time of reckoning: What did we accomplish. What did we love. What do we need to forgive of ourselves or others. How can we make next year better!!!! That is why we all go through this. How can we make next year better!

My self-claimed purpose again distracted by a very strange road filled with many large part holes. Through it all, I recognize at times that my strength comes from a bigger source. It’s surely not in me because I would have crumbled without the faith and love of something bigger than I. Some call it God, others call it Nature. And some? They just call it Source. Works for me, man!

In my reverie, I suspect some wonder how people get through these kinds of trials. With that, I have to admit I do too. And then I find some little thing to do.

My New Year’s Gift to you. Some random thoughts on what keeps me going. Read More→