All About Health

Detoxification – What is Health

Disease doesn’t just happen, it progresses. The alternative concept is very different from the medical idea that non-optimum body conditions just happen.

health

Alternative Medicine sees many illnesses as self limiting when you are living in a clean environment. Given adequate rest, a light fast and lots of cleansing water the body is able to protect and to heal itself by itself.

Modern Living brings up a problem: We are being more and more assaulted by toxins in our everyday life. Toxins come in on us from many sources, for example a toxin can be the uric acid formed  by eating too much meat, Add to that nowadays they are adding hormones and toxic substances tto the beef, chicken and fish to get the food to last ilong enough to get to the supermarket.

Toxicity is also poison such as a bee sting or spider bite.

Toxicity is  bacterial infection. This has been brought somewhat under control by good hygiene during the last century. This alone in America, while the rest of the world has yet to catch up.

For quite some time America was winning the toxic game with individuals living longer and staying healthy. Now, it seems the toxic load is rising again and we see this in comparative statistics. Japan is way ahead of America in healthy people. In Japan one in half a dozen have an alkaline water machine in the home, in America it is one in eighteen hundred. In the 1800s only one in 1800 succumbed to cancer, while now it is one in three or four living in our modern cities. Nowadays toxicity is assaulting us from pesticides and GMOs in America not to mention new electrical gadgets like computers, cellphones and GPSs.

Furthermore our modern life is stressful. Stress generates cortisol and if there is too much cortisol in the body, the hormone itself becomes toxic. How are we to cope with this?

For many years those who enjoyed a relatively natural lifestyle, sickness was for most part, self limiting. The body took care of the toxic assault and recovered easily in three to ten days.

To best understand what has changed, pretend that your liver is a factory which has two major tasks, its primary function being to filter toxins coming in from the environment while it is also tasked secondarily to seek out toxins that have lodged in the facility.  For the second task to be done (cleaning the factory) it has to best the ongoing challenge from the outside, to be able to quit handling the assault for long enough to find the time to work on its second mandate fixing the factory. When this outside challenge is so big that the liver barely copes, it never has time to turn inwards to house clean. To make matters worse it will have to find a place in the factory for the excess load coming in, that which it was unable to handle, process and eliminate. So while the liver is over busily coping, it never does its inward housecleaning work and it actually adds drudge in the body. Toxicity gets lodged in the fatty tissues which makes it all but impossible without handling the toxicity as the first step, to then successfully diet.

So what happens when the toxicity coming in is never handled, not when it arrives nor later when it has lodged?  This is where we get the onset of disease, disease which progresses  through five clear stages, as a condition worsens.

 Elimination
The liver as the main filter will work hard and long to neutralize the toxic load and to eliminate toxins through the colon, bladder, lungs or the sweat pores of the skin.  The most efficient of course is the elimination through the colon, which is why it is vitally important to have your feces moving through the colon, and not getting stopped up. Your body will tell you when it is trying to eliminate. You will get a runny nose, break out into a light rash, have fits of sneezing, spit up phlegm, get really tired,and maybe even experience a light fever, all these symptoms are part of living, go to the pharmacy, get a pill,right? Wrong. Listen up, for the body is giving you a signal.  It is saying “Hey, you, you who is in charge of this body, I need some help in detoxifying here! Cut down on your eating, drink more water, and get more rest. If you don’t you will be facing a disease further up the line 

Irritation
When a body is overtaxed and there is an inability for the liver to neutralize toxicity through the normal elimination channels, the body throws additional means of elimination into gear such as diarrhea, bad breath, acid urine, and bad skin outbreaks. Now these are the real warning signals.  Handle the condition, and then be sure to make the right lifestyle changes to reduce toxicity in on your body, or for sure you will be facing disease further up the line.

Inflammation
If irritation does not handle the problem, the body seeks to localize it. An example is tonsillitis. The toxicity has been contained around the tonsils and they are now inflamed. Another good example is tendinitis where the muscle ends flare up. Yet another example is arthritis which we may see as a chronic aging condition, maybe so? Yet it started once with localized inflammation in the joints that was not handled. Pain usually accompanies this kind of inflammation and can be regarded as the liver and the body upping its warning signal. In this stage the temperature is often elevated. In alternate medicine a fever is seen to be a good thing as it kills off bacteria and viruses. Fever is being generated by an overtaxed liver. It is how it handles the onset of disease.

Chronic Disease
If the inflammation is ongoing and it is not addressed and fixed, in fact if all the liver’s efforts and warning signals are ignored, or if any further toxic load is added by pain killing or anti-depressant medication,  the disease progresses into what we call a chronic illness.  What is happening is that the body is attempting to quarantine toxins by sacrificing a particular section or organ, for in this way it tries to avert death. It is in this stage that we  find tumors, cancerous growths or ulcers.

Organ Failure and Death
Unable to reverse the chronic disease the body chooses to die.

The whole awful process can be reversed if you master the gentle art of detoxification and know how to keep the detox, gentle.

Detoxification is the body’s way of removing and metabolizing dangerous compounds that have lodged in the body. This is called a healing crisis. By encouraging the body to flush out toxins, we not only boost our health and well-being, but also strengthen our immune system and prevent future disease. We are helping the factory (the liver) to have the time and energy to turn inwards and to clean house.

When going through such a detoxification one rarely feels good and it is wise to work with a doctor who understands detox or a natural healer to make sure that all is progressing as planned on a gentle gradient, not too fast and not too slow and facing no unexpected hurdles.

going throug it

You are feeling bad  because the toxins are coming off and this is a good thing. It is quite amazing but the body seems to know just how far it can push you, and it rarely dishes up what you cannot face. That is not to say while going through it, you won’t complain! Know however that when it is all over you will be feeling top of the world! You should hang in there, push through and look forward to the higher plateau of health that you have now very well earned

There are a few ways to make the detox lighter on you.

detox bath is one of the easiest healing therapies that can be done.  The skin is the largest detoxification organ so you want to soak in a bath that is as hot as you can take, while the toxins are being drawn out through the skin. Typically, a detox bath is made with Epsom Salts which draws out toxins, and also has health benefits.

During your soak do not use soaps or shampoos for your pores will be open and they will absorb the chemicals found in these products.  After your bath you may apply a natural moisturizer like Shea Butter.

 Herbal Cleansing
If your Detox organs are in good shape when you come upon a forced or needed detox, it will be much lighter on you.  At Picture Lady Health we recommend regular cleanses of the liver, colon and the kindney/bladder channels. After all you lube your car, why not lube your body?

cleanses

Set yourself up for improved energy,  a lighter detox and a better outlook on life with a regular and routine cleanse. Research shows that a feeling of well-being results when nutrition is not lost through non-absorption which can so often be the case when the elimination organs are clogged with waste material. Most important is the colon cleanse. If your colon is clogged with debris you can expect kidney and bladder problems or heavy skin outbreaks as the body moves on to the next (yet lesser efficient) channel of elimination.

If you do this cleansing routinely, your body will be in far better shape to cope with any illness.

 Live Water Therapy
Staying hydrated plays a crucial role in maintaining overall wellness.

Know that not all Water is the same and know that your body is close to 70% water. So in the face of illness or lost energy, it would make sense to address this aspect of your healing for many illnesses have the common attribute in that the  body has become dehydrated.

There is another practical reason for looking to water therapy as an answer. Depending on how far down the five stages of disease your body is, the more time you will need to rest. In our corporate culture, it is difficult to fast or restrict your eating to only alkaline foods. Live water therapy has many practical ramifications.

A problem is that in this recessed economy more and more individuals are being forced to work one or two jobs just to stay ahead. Older people have had their savings slashed and they too are out in the workplace coping. All of this is stressful. The stress is itself toxic. You may know that a detox is the answer, but find this ever increasingly hard to do. Under such modern life conditions it is a luxury to take time off to detox. Yet it is entirely practical to devote your weekends to rest and water therapy, and very easy to take an alkaline bottle of water with you to work each day. that bottle of water will ensure that while you are working your body will stay alkaline.

Live water has three crucial properties:

  1. It is alkaline and helps the blood to stay at optimum which is slightly alkaline.
  2. Live water handles free-radicals in the body, in other words it is anti-oxidizing.
  3. Furthermore Live Water is able to penetrate the cells and hydrate and nourish them. Believe me not all water has this property. Over a lifetime a toxic wall develops in many cells, making it impossible for them to be nourished or hydrated.  At the molecular level, live water is micro-clustered. In other words the water molecules are so small that they are able to bypass the toxic barrier that has built up in many of your cells.

Let’s hear what world-renowned biochemist Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg once said about alkalinity, and oxidation and the part it plays in achieving better health.

In his ground-breaking research, Warburg found that all forms of unhealthy cells are characterized by two basic conditions: high acidity and lack of oxygen. lack of oxygen is a very serious and dangerous environment for a cell.  To even deprive a cell of oxygen for only 48 hours results in cell damage.  For better health Warburg insists that cells need an alkaline environment. This is why it is crucial to consume an alkaline diet with negative ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential).

The easiest way to satisfy these requirements is with “Live Water”. If this is a subject that interests you tell us in the comments section this post or email us at http://www.picturelady.com/ We will send you more specific information.

 Quote for the Week

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

 

Days of Summer!

And guess what, your house is an unholy mess!

It seems to you that all the world is descending on you for a visit.  The problem is that you were so busy in March and April that you forgot to spring clean, and now it is just far too hot to bother.

But . . .

Your husband is bringing his golf buddies back for dinner!

And challenge of all challenges the in-laws are coming to stay for a week or two or three or four  . . .  and so it goes.  Oh my, will you ever survive?

To add to your distress all the kids in the neighborhood have descended on your pool. You are going to have to jump in and create some summer cleaning games, and create some summer music before you send them all back home and get to it  . . .

Now for the Serious Stuff:

First:
The kids helped but you still need to hire a cleaning lady or service. With all you have going, and are expected to do, you have rights!

Two:
Take a clipboard and walk through your house and really look at what is there. You want to make three lists:

  • One, everything you love.  These are the things you plan to keep.
  • Two, things that you dislike and would prefer to discard.  These are the items you are going to replace. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.  You start with the 20% that will make the 80% of difference.
  • Three: The worn & shabby list: Furniture etc that has become old and threadbare.  Don’t hesitate. Throw it out.  It is better to leave an empty hole than fill your house with anything that you feel is sub-standard. (there are a few exceptions – beloved things you really couldn’t do without because they are so useful, so expensive to replace or hard now to get any more – they stay but try to refurbish them!)

Now, here’s the rub: What about those items on the first list that are dated.  You have been holding on to them because you love them. Meanwhile fashions change, the world moves on,  and while the images may still be beloved, the frames, well those old gold frames don’t they really suck?

Did you know that at Picture Lady we can Resurrect Your old Artwork? This is one of our more affordable and very gratifying services.

Art for the Home:

Spend a little bit of money to cheer your spirits and your home. Invest in one new bright picture for each of your main rooms.  (Living, Dining and Family) Primary colors are always best for the summertime

whimsy one

                                            Cafe Marie 

(I just love the whimsy in this bright picture that reminds me of touring in Europe)

Picture Lady wishes you a summer full of fun and friends and all good things!

And if you are traveling on the I-5 don’t forget to visit us at our weekend store!

Quote for the Week

“A messy house is a must – it separates your true friends from other friends.
Real friends are there to visit you not your house!” 
Jennifer Wilson 

About Health and Wellness

Growing Older Gracefully 

I want to keep my good looks. I want to grow old without pain? I want to stay alert and productive and comfortable and happy right up until the day I die!  Is this possible?

While we all age and while we all must eventually move on, it is an observable truth that while many suffer as they age there are those few who attain a quality of life well into their golden years. What it is that they do differently?

  1. The first thing is they seek out and find understanding. Almost one for one you will find that older people who have attained a quality of life go out of their way to obtain true knowledge. They take the time to go to the web or to the library, or they find a mentor, they follow a religious creed as it applies to health, whatever they do  they seek out true knowledge. Then they run their own bodies rather than have the body run them.
  2. Secondly they remain active, they walk, they go to the gym, they swim. My sister and brother in law ride bicycles. It started when his kids gave him a three wheeler for his birthday, but he was having nothing of this,  only children ride tricycles and he is not a child!  So he went out and bought himself his own regular bike; he is Dutch and so cycling is part of his roots. His wife got the tricycle for having had a knee replacement she needed a little more balance and a lighter gradient. To this day you can see them out and about, both wearing the quaint hard hats. She is 86 and he is 89 years old! They enjoy (by observation) a true quality of life.
  3. Thirdly the folks that age gracefully often do good deeds.  
  4. A friend whom I a
  5. dmire has volunteered most of her adult life, almost as long as she once worked for the phone company. She has been President of this or that Club, and has even travelled to Mexico to hand out glasses to the needy. What you notice most about her is not that she only has one eye, for that has never stopped her, what you notice is her incredible courage and willingness to help. She is 86 years old and she also surely enjoys a quality of life.
  6. The one thing that ties it all together seems to be the goal, they are creating on a goal they have set for themselves. They see themselves as part of the community,  very much still part of the game of life.

The aim is to enjoy optimum health, which is after-all the fundamental stone on which a quality life is built.

Quote for the Week

To keep the body in good health is a duty – otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

Buddha 

 

Creating a Home with Atmosphere

The blogger Seth Godin  said, ” In every city there are expensive hotels that are noisy, with $56 breakfasts, no parking, blinds that don’t make the room dark and rooms that don’t have enough closets. But the fact of paying extra to stay there ensures that you’ll be surrounded by others just as wealthy as you, and just as interested in proving it.”

Paris hotel

I consider there is a little more to a five-star hotel than location, wealthy clientele and flashy decor.

Did you know that the luxury hotel market was first created in France with a hidden agenda. The country desperately needed to improve their balance of trade so they decided to get creative. Can you believe that a whole country invented a luxury culture that they then used for the country to prosper. The French created an image and a style that was uniquely French and tourists flocked into the country to wine and dine, and shop. I know that the French were successful, for we visited with Peter’s brother, who was living on a house-boat on the Seine, and we were shown the  best of Paris. My mouth still waters as I recall the subtle tastes of the delicious food and I can still see the fancy, fashionable ladies swaying down the Champs Elysee.

I am not trying to talk you into going to France for nowadays who wants to go through Airport Security?  I m rying to show you that what the French can do so can you. You can create a uniquely stylish home and it won’t even cost all that much money. You can even add French pictures and they always add a touch of class and at Picture Lady they are not expensive.

french cafe onefrench two

So I don’t quite agree with Seth although I do know of some hotels that are overpriced.  What I believe though is that there is a subtle quality in the best hotels, which I like to call it “atmosphere”   As a creative homemaker you can become a master of atmosphere in your own home.  I believe that a loving atmosphere in your home can become the foundation of your life.

My message is that if France could do it, so can you and creating a home with atmosphere does not need to cost a great deal.  With a little bit of imagination you can create your own  home culture, something special for your family, and it need not be based on pretension, it need not even be expensive. It is all in your attention to detail.

Much can be done with lighting. Ever notice how many lamps hotel rooms have – at least five lights in the room? Real estate agents will turn on every light in a house they are showing. Lamps create atmosphere faster than anything else!  Much can also be done with Aroma. I invite you to check out the Aroma Lamps from Picture Lady Home Products.

Even more can be done with color.Here is the color palette for 2013:

art palette

We are fortunate this year in that the fashionable colors in 2013 are positive, and strong. For some years we have lived with tepid colors, but all that is gone. Now opposites attract  like never before, exerting a magnetic pull on the spectrum. Today’s colors may fight with each other, yet they always make a strong statement.

color palette 2013

 Quote for the Week

Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” 

Happy Decorating!

Lynn
The Picture Lady

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

Why we write these blogs

Excerpt from “Politics IOU” by Ella Bevan

Liberty in the medical sector in Shadow City, was evaporating like a mist on a summer morn.

The cost of medications had skyrocketed until they reached a level higher than what the average man could pay. Big Pharma had decided that they would have to find someone to pick up the exorbitant tab. When electronics also entered into the field of medicine with its expensive diagnostic machines, one after another hospital (all in deep fiscal trouble)  began to fail. All over the nation (and especially in Health Care) the numbers weren’t  adding up.

Health Care endangers LIberty

 

Nice Government Men, all with the best of intentions (and an eye on the next election) had legislated that all the hospitals had to treat anybody who arrived at their doors in Emergency; whether citizens, whether they had the funds or the insurance or not.  Indigents and illegals quickly took advantage. The hospitals were being forced  into free service = free fall. It was a medical fiscal cliff.

Rith, the Director of Volunteer Services in Shadow Community Hospital was a woman whose good looks were understated. She loved her volunteers and she loved the hospital for her job gave her the opportunity to help others. She had known her hospital was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and that the Board of Directors had sacked the old CEO and appointed a new and younger corporate leader. This didn’t phase her for the hospital did not have to pay her volunteers.  Because Rith was popular and a good organizer, her Auxiliary was able to pick  up several vital  hospital functions that had been dropped after the recent layoffs.

She didn’t like the new man; this new pompous CEO, but who was she to say? She was content to stay out of the limelight, do her job and do it well. She figured that in the end it would all come out alright. There were sick people and an aging population and they all needed help. The need was not going to go away.

She walked along the slate pathway through the exquisite rose garden past the patio, giving her fundraiser Ginsee a cheerful wave.  The new CEO had banished her fundraising events from the front lobby to the patio, and she knew that the Auxiliary-Pledge, usually a very generous gift to the hospital, would be about half this year.  The volunteers were just not getting the support from the hospital that they deserved.

Rith had almost reached the entrance to the hospital when she saw or rather heard the commotion. What was going on?  She could see her seventy-five octogenarian volunteers parading in a long line in front of the newly remodeled hospital entrance.   Some volunteers were behind walkers, some were leaning on walking sticks, and many were in power-wheelchairs or on scooters. Everybody was there; Rith had not seen such a turn-out of her volunteers before. It was something else! They were holding up (or trying to hold) big, heavy, aggressive, bold signs.

“NO FREE LUNCH, NO FREE WORK!”

“WE WANT OUR VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER”

“WE DEMAND AN AUDIT OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS”

“WE ‘RE THE PINK LADIES AND DON’T THINK WE’RE YELLOW!”

“THIS AUXILIARY IS ON STRIKE”

“Yes I get that,Pearl!” said Rith, breaking into a run.

Pearl, the diminutive Auxiliary president, was out in front leading the parade.

“Did you call me, Rith?” she inquired demurely, having left the line and coming up quietly next to Rith.  Pearl was just shy of five feet, and she could almost fit under Rith’s left elbow.

“What on earth are you up to?”

“Can’t you see? We are on strike!”

“Volunteers don’t strike,” said Rith through clenched teeth.

“Pearl! Get back here; we need you to lead us!” yelled a gray haired volunteer who was doubled up with laughter. She had not had this much fun, not in her full seventy years.

Pearl skipped back to the front of the line and took her position as the leader of the pack. She picked up her megaphone and yelled: “Don’t you ever dare take us for granted again!” She was proudly leading them, all four foot eleven of her, their new, feisty  president, firm and resolute! Rith penetrated the inner line and pulled out Jay, the vice president; she pulled him out by his last four gray hairs. Usually she could depend on this intelligent man for stability and sane solutions.

“Jay, Jay what on earth are you doing?”

“We’re striking,” he said mildly looking up at her.

“That I can see! What situation precipitated it?”

“You know how it has been. It began to get bad after the hospital was bought out.”

“Yes, I do know all about that, but Jay, there must have been something, one big thing that upset you’ all?”

“There was no Volunteer Appreciation.”

“No Volunteer Dinner?”  Rith was astounded. She had left it all organized before her trip.

“He canceled it. “

“Who canceled it?”

“The new CEO and he also canceled our free cafeteria lunches.

Rats! This was trouble; big trouble! This CEO was typical of a new class of manager coming in dedicated to cutting costs, looking good to the share-holders and making a tidy profit, rather than dedicated to good organization and to good healing.

“Jay, you know that volunteers don’t strike.”

“Yes that is what I told Pearl,” said the placid, little man.

“And what did she say?”

He blinked his eyes, “She said: “Don’t be such a wimp, Jay, do you want him to walk all over us?”

“She said what?”

“What could I do?” He looked up at Rith, eyes wide.

“For heaven sakes Jay, there are going to be consequences.”

“Really?”  Rith hoped she was not too late to calm the waters.

She walked off to find the new CEO, who was, as she well knew, the real culprit here; this new CEO brought in to save the hospital money. With volunteers all you had to work with, was their willingness? Did he not understand this?

She knew that her volunteers loved their annual event; they had been planning a dress-up party with a fashion show! They had even chosen their outfits and they were going to do the modeling themselves. This type of event was right down Pearl’s alley and she had drummed up much excitement in her followers. She had even arranged that the clothing the volunteer models were going to show would be donated by a few local clothing stores.  These ladies were all on a fixed income so this meant a lot to them.   Hot skies above, after all the volunteers had done for the hospital, why deny them this little night of pleasure?  Did this new CEO have any idea how much her volunteers saved the hospital?  They worked the front desk, they manned the phones, they handled the backroom paperwork, and they even conducted valet parking!  It was going to take some damage control, and she hoped that she was not too late to save the day.

Back in front of the hospital entrance, she found the supercilious man confronting Pearl. His fat shoulders and head were thrust back which showed his pot-belly to disadvantage. He and Pearl were in loud dispute, no he was the one shouting and she was listening, ominously quiet. The man stood, smugly satisfied that he had stopped the procession; he was into stopping.  He stood encased in self-importance, so typical of the impeccably coiffed new generation of managers, turned out by colleges far removed from the demands of real life and real people.

Little Pearl was standing her ground in front of him, intense, courteous to a fault, but Rith knew she had not stopped being trouble.  She could see it in the cleft in the little raised chin. Rith began to run again.

“Pearl! Pearl! Please stop this!”

Power wheel chairs began to close in on the CEO from every direction.

Volunteer in wheelchair going fast

The CEO, backed off and spun round. Then he saw Rith and exploded.

“You are fired!”  he spat out.

Rith blanched. She knew he was not going to change his mind; could not change his mind.

“And you, er you, you,” pointing at Pearl with his whole body shaking, “you, you little impudent snippet , you, you, right now, you get right off my campus! “

The man, he was the Man turned and stomped off.

The volunteers went into shock. This was something they hadn’t predicted and had not wanted. They had all loved Rith, each and every one of them.  They began to disperse slowly, beginning to realize what they had done.. Rith watched them go, watched them all leaving her. They had been everything to her; they had been her life, for nearly a decade.

She turned around slowly, not quite sure where she was going to go, or what she would do.

~~~~****~~~~

Politics IOU will be up on Kindle at the beginning of February. Meanwhile you can read the story for free at www.ellabevan.com

Celebrations Around the World


Disney World

The Magical Origins of Christmas

You may or may not be surprised to find that many of the routines and the decor of Christmas go back to traditions that were laid in long before the birth of Christ. Three hundred years after Christ’s resurrection the Roman emperor Constantine saw a vision of a cross superimposed upon a sun and he decided to convert to Christianity. He introduced the Edict of Toleration of 313 AD and changed the world, opening the way for Christianity to go mainstream.

It was Constantine who endorsed the first celebration of the birth of Christ and selected the date of 25th December, whereas the true birth date was unknown. That Christ was born was important,his new message of love was supremely important, not the particulars of the time and the date of when actually born. In other words what he stands for and his spiritual message transcends the birth.

In the play, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Tevye, the lead character says that if we abandon the security of our customs, we will be shaken and unstable like a Fiddler on the Roof.

Life for Christians before Constantine had not been pleasant with many slaughtered for their faith, held up to ridicule in places like the Coliseum where they were fed to the lions and tortured.  You can be a purists and protest that some of our Christian traditions go back to pagan times, and think that this demeans our faith but then you would be missing what is important about Christianity.  The soul of a religion lies not in its trimmings and trappings yet it is these trimmings and trappings that make us feel safe. Constantine understood and so he was able to change the world.

Besides Christianity there are other religions that celebrate at this time of the year. It is a time of love and it behooves us to extend tolerance and affinity honoring their traditions and celebrations even if we do things differently. It is amazing to see the commonality, that exists between different religions. Note how they all incorporate candles into their rituals.

Chanukah/Hanukkah

Jewish family celebrating with candles

This Jewish celebration begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 20th and ends at sunset December 28, 2011. It is the story of when the Jews evicted the Syrians-Greeks from Israel, and restored the temple. Apparently when the priests were ready to relight the temple menorah they could find only one jug of oil, enough for only one day. Miraculously the oil burned for seven full days by which time they had processed the necessary pure oil which took seven days to make.

This Jewish story also honors Hannah and her sons who were loyal to HaShem. They refused to pray to Zeus and were all three beheaded; not a way to win historically. Her and the son’s integrity is to be commended.

Ramadan

mosque lighhouse and new moon

This is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar which lasts 29 or 30 days and this is when participating Muslims refrain from eating. There is much celebrating when they finally break the fast.

Fasting is embraced as a cleansing nutritional action in many early religions, and has been adopted in America by the Wellness Movement.

 Kwanzaa

candles and fruit

This tradition from Africa goes from Christmas for seven days through to the New Year. I like this tradition and am comfortable with it for it comes out of Africa where I was born.

The celebration continues for seven days each day a spiritual truth being emphasized.

  1. Unity – (Umoja) To strive for unity in family, race community and nation. (First day and so on)
  2. Self-Determinism – (Kujichagulia) – Rise to a point of cause in your life, and name yourself, speak for yourself, and create for yourself.
  3. Responsibility – (Ujima) Maintain affinity and understanding and peace within your sphere of influence.
  4. Co-operative Community – (Ujaama) Give help to others, and make the problems of your brothers and sisters your own and give them help.
  5. Purpose – (Nia) Support a single group or nation and work to restore its greatness.
  6. Creativity – (Kuumba) Leave everything around you more beautiful and beneficial than before you came along.
  7. Faith – (Imani) Believe in the higher power.
Whatever your family religion, whatever your ritual, the creative homemaker can elevate the Christmas ceremony for her family, and make it a time filled with warmth and love and help family members to find the truth that lies above the ritual.

Quote for the Month
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

~ Hamilton Wright Mable ~

Let the Holiday Festivities Begin!

Holiday Decorating Tips

(Why do we write these blogs?)

christmas tree and snow flakesChristmas Decorating Tips for you.

For working women it seems there is not enough time in a day to decorate for the season, take care of the boss and still go out and have some fun!

We need, we want, we demand a quick, quick, and easy solution!

  • Fill large tubular vases or long wine glasses with red cranberries to add a beautiful splash of Christmas red to your dining area. Add Poinsettias to virtual vase as an option. (after you have added water).
  • Take some small household, clear glass bottles or old glass vases. Throw some holiday-colored drops of paint inside, shake it up and the paint will splatter inside to look like a modern piece of art. Decorate with a fancy ribbon and voilà, you have some unique holiday decorating!
  • Pick a short craggy branch from a tree. Spray paint it silver. You can stand it in a glass vase or hang it from the ceiling above your dining table and drop tinsel balls from it.
  • For a daughter or granddaughter put a Poinsettia on the mantel and arrange some Holiday dolls bought at a Picture Lady Holiday Boutique around the Christmas flowers. It adds a festive touch and can be set up in less than half an hour.
  • All you need now to set the Christmas mood is Fragrance Candle Lamps from Picture Lady. We recommend Apple Cinnamon Aroma Oil. It fills the house with Christmas cheer and sets the mood for the holidays!  Oh so quick & easy!
  • We suggest you get your Christmas Pictures and stocking stuffers from the Picture Lady Five Dollar Fun Table.
  • Take two or three little Christmas pictures (depending on the size of the wall) and hang them on the wall. String yarn from picture to picture and add your Christmas Cards in a loop from one picture to the next.

To tie the holiday decorating all together it is a good idea to select a theme. Here are some popular themes:

  • Angels (Great selection at a Picture lady Boutique)
  • Rustic – don’t omit the candles or the gold painted pine cones and the scent of pine
  • Modern and/or abstract – add colorful shapes on solid poster board. Instead of florals suggest you put colored tissue in your vases.

ackaging pictures

Christmas Decorating One thing you absolutely DO NOT WANT TO DO. Don’t wrap your pictures in Christmas paper unless you want your house to look like a fast food restaurant!

 Quote for the Week

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

 Hamilton Wright Maple

Should one Give Thanks during Hard Times.

Thanksgiving Day is when we get together to share and to give and to remember. 

Indian on boardIn times of prosperity giving thanks comes naturally, or does it?  I can recall many a Thanksgiving Day when what we did mostly was eat far, far too much.

Nowadays we tend to look back to times when our house was worth more, our savings had not been leeched out of the stock market, our children could still afford to pay their student loans, and all adult family members had a job and were working. Is it any wonder that we ask if there is anything for which we should give thanks?

Should one give thanks During Hard Times?   You bet! There are still things over which we do have control; our bodies, our minds, and our home and our family.

Traditionally we share our Gratitude Lists at Thanksgiving. What are you grateful for? Here is my list:

  1. I am grateful for the clean public bathrooms in America (been reading a book about dirty China)
  2. I am grateful for the incredible job Kern County does with its roads.  On a scale of 1-10 it is a 12. Los Angeles County with far more in taxes is only a 3.
  3. I am grateful for the amazing weather we enjoy. It seems global warming works in our favor. Our weather is mild and gentle even as winter approaches. Some people lose and some people gain with climate change and the answer may well be time for those on the East Coast in harms way to re-locate to PMC. 
  4. I am grateful for my new neighbors. They have seven children, all home schooled and such clean fun.
  5. I am grateful for our new store at the Flying J Plaza on the I-5 mid-way between Los Angeles and the Bay area. (great half-way stop) It is working out far better than we ever anticipated.
  6. I am grateful for my health and for my hair which at age seventy  is still its natural color.
  7. I am grateful for Trader Joe.  Even in the hard times to go there is a joyous experience
  8. Most of all though I am grateful for that feeling of goodwill after a joyous Thanksgiving feast.

Bliss!

cat passed out

Faith & Gratitude

The grateful mind is focused on the positive so it attracts good things.to it.

  • You can concentrate on the bad like hurricanes, and the homeless, or you can be grateful for your family, your work, your creative home making  and the good weather in California.
  • You can gripe about the dysfunctional political system or you can be glad that all those horrible attack ads have gone away and that we have another four long years to learn to work together to solve our problems. This is a wonderful country for which I for one am  truly grateful.

Should one give thanks During Hard Times?  Yes indeed.  Making gratitude an art and a skill and  something to teach your children will come back to you as a benefit.  We can even remember to be grateful when bad things go away and yes, they always do.

Quote for the Month 

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. 

William Arthur Ward.

 

Vincent Van Gogh

Featured Artist for the Month

I met a delightful customer at our store in the Flying J this last week. She was particularly interested in the Art of the Old Masters. In our American rush for the novel and the new we sometimes forget the lasting quality of art  and products that have stood the test of time.  In her house she  had the Van Gogh sunflowers and we carry a spectacular version of this picture in Art-Tex that seems to bring out every brushstroke. It was she that inspired me to write this post.

art masterpiece

Van Gogh Sunflowers

There are some misconceptions about this artist:

  • Van Gogh did indeed sell some paintings during his lifetime.
  • Although he was wild and suffered from some deep depressions and did some strange things, it is highly unlikely that he was really insane.
  • He was considered so good that he was often copied. He had a stong following of student admirers. Once during his lifetime his work was even forged.
  • He didn’t commit suicide with a shotgun. This was a gun accident, he tripped and fell on teh barrel of the gun causing it to go off.

The most remarkable thing about the artist is that we do not have a single mediocre picture from him, not even done in his formative years. All are masterpieces. Either he was so good or he had the good taste to destroy his early efforts.

His talent is astounding!  Many of us know and enjoy the the vitality and brilliance of his paintings like Starry Night, Night Stars, and Cafe Terrace.   These pictures are stunning when done with a white linen liner and a black ornamental frame that contrasts with the bright colors. They are perfect to add to your Creative Homemaker decorating for the fall.

What we remember about Van Gogh is that he is one of the most gifted draftsmen who ever lived. he is right up there in the same class as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso.

 Quote for the Week

To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one’s fling from time to time, smoke one’s pipe, and drink one’s coffee in peace.”  Vincent Van Gogh  

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A grandmother got together some known proverbs to quizz her three precious grandchildren.  Here are some of the precious answers that she got.

Strike while the bug is close!

It is always darkest before daylight savings!

No news is impossible!

An idle mind is the way to relax!

A penny saved is not very much!

Where there is smoke there is pollution!

You get out of something what you see pictured on the box.

When the blind lead the blind, get out of the way.

Love all but trust only me!

photo to artwork

A Precious Gift

A comment from The Picture Lady: We see Children are an essential part of the Creative Homemaking lifestyle. Being a good mother is the true test of a woman. We watch the children coming through at our store in the Travel Plaza at the Flying J and there is energy and love and goodwill in the American children. It gives us hope for the future.

Quote for the Week

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher