How To Start Decluttering Your Life

Declutter,  organize, minimize
Photo by Jazmin Quaynor of Unsplash
It’s that time of year

Personally, my New Year’s Resolution is to slowly and over time, begin to declutter and organize my home.  I think it’s a great place to start.  When you begin to remove non-essential, non-sentimental items, you are creating space for the arrival of new elements.  The only problem is, in the past I always rushed and was overwhelmed with the process.  So, this time I made rules for myself, and perhaps they will help you too.

take your time

Don’t stress yourself out.  We all have very busy lives.  Work, children, pets, etc.  Don’t hurry at all, but do start the process to declutter.  Pick one very small section of your home.  Maybe just your desk, or one of your kitchen cupboards.  Take a before photo, so you can reward yourself later down the road, with an after photo.  Even if the process takes an entire year, pat yourself on the back.  

divide your area into sections

You don’t need boxes, just designate your small declutter area into three sections.  1.  Keep pile  2.  Throw away pile  3.  Donate or give pile.  Anything you keep, give it a home, whether it’s an important document, utensil, or chair.  

Starting within the office
Declutter, Organize,  Minimize
Photo by Gabriel Beaudry of Unsplash

I happen to be starting in my office, one file at a time.  Suze Orman has a wonderful list of what and how long you should keep documents here.  I will be referring to her list often, as I slowly make my way through each and every paper.  You can scan any documents you’re not sure whether to keep or throw.  Make sure you also save them on an external hard drive, just in case.  You can keep the most important documents in a safe or a small file.  And then get to shredding all the junk you don’t need. 

keep focused on one session per week

Pick one very tiny section of your home per week on which to focus.  Try to make it a quiet time of your day.  You don’t need any distractions while decluttering.  And, it bears repeating.  Take it as slowly as you need to.  Before you know it,  you will be loving your new, decluttered, organized home.  You’ll feel lighter, breathe easier, work easier, and won’t waste time looking for things.  Then, you can start working on bad habits, worn out ideas and toxic relationships that no longer serve you.

Hope this article helped you out a bit, and until next time, have an incredible day!


Do You Have Gluten Sensitivity?

gluten wheat rye barley oats
Photo by Fleur Treurniet of Unsplash
Are you sensitive to gluten?

Gluten is a crazy thing, and I’m just beginning to learn about it now.  So, please follow along……as I have a story to share with you.  And hopefully we can start to understand this mystery, together, as it unravels.

diagnosed with proctitis

Recently,  I was diagnosed with proctitis, which is an inflammation of the rectum.  Along with an external inflamed hemorrhoid.   It’s difficult to describe the pain.  Every bowel movement is painful.  And, after each,  the only minor relief is limping into a very warm bathtub.  Then, there is a constant pressure throughout the day in your abdomen and groin area.  It’s difficult to concentrate on anything, whatsoever.  Just doing simple, daily tasks are difficult.  And forget about sleeping.  That’s your entire focus:  the pain.

urgent care

I thought it would go away on it’s own…….but a very long one month later, I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  So, I finally went to the local urgent care facility.  They diagnosed the proctitis, and inflamed hemorrhoid, and had me follow up with a gastroenterology specialist.  In the interim, they prescribed hydrocortizone suppositories, which helped the pain briefly subside.  But, they did not fully make the pain go away, and was still taking sitz baths.  

visit to gastroenterology specialist

So, my next stop was to the G.I. people.  I discovered, by surprise,  some relatives of mine have had celiac disease.  So, the nice lady doctor took two blood samples.  One to see if I had celiac disease, and the other to see if I had it in my DNA.  

The results

Fortunately, I do not have celiac disease.  Unfortunately, according to the specialist,  I am at moderate to high risk for getting celiac disease.  And, she told me, once you get the disease, there’s no way to reverse it.  So, she suggested I stop eating anything with gluten immediately, and return to her in one month.  

going gluten-free

As gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant folks know,  you must read the labels.  Finding gluten free foods is not the easiest task.  Especially, when you are vegan, or already on a restricted diet of some sort.  As I said, I’m new to this completely gluten free stuff.  So, perhaps, if you also need to eat gluten free,  we can help each other out.  I’ve been eating gluten free, three days now, and amazingly, I’m already feeling better.

examples of things I ate

1.  Spaghetti squash topped with homemade tomato sauce and mushrooms. 

2.  Mashed potatoes (with almond milk and vegan butter) topped with delicious vegan shiitake/button mushroom gravy.

3.  Potato salad with vegan mayo.

4.  Lots of whole fruits and veggies.  Like oranges, pears,  nectarines,  celery sticks, homemade guacamole, etc.


I have learned, in a very short period of time, that SO many processed foods, include gluten, it’s astounding!  I also learned I need to find a way to make homemade, gluten-free garlic bread.  Garlic bread is one of my all time favorite foods!  It’s very hard to live without bread products.  So, now, I get to be creative and learn how to intake food that my body appreciates.

you and gluten

If you have celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity/intolerance, please share your story with me.  Perhaps we can help each other and others, struggling with this problem.  We can share our thoughts and maybe some recipes, and walk this journey together.

Hope you liked today’s post and until next time,  have a wonderful day!

“After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I said yes to food, with great enthusiasm. . . . I vowed to taste everything I could eat, rather than focusing on what I could not.”
Shauna James Ahern


Elderly People Rock

Elderly Couples Love Fun
Photo by Nathalia Bariani of Unsplash
Old people rock

I absolutely adore the elderly, and always have.  You just know, intuitively they have been through hell and back.  They’ve been through all sorts of natural disasters.  Like floods,  fires,  tornadoes, earthquakes,  mudslides,  ice-storms, wind storms and so forth.  

So many have suffered all sorts of ailments in their lifetimes.  Broken bones,  hemorrhoids,  cancer,  diabetes, auto-immune diseases.  Also,  high blood pressure, asthma,  depression,  eczema,  tooth decay,  acid reflux,  the flu,  colds, and the list goes on.

They have been in several accidents.  Perhaps tormented by a car crash,  a fall,  a boating incident, or any kind of other misfortune. 

Many have been robbed,  or scammed, or beaten.  Tormented by evil sorts who have zero compassion.

Almost every elderly person I’ve have the pleasure to meet or know are very kind,  yet do not mince words.  They are usually quiet, and never belittle you.  Occasionally, they speak their minds, because well……….the way I see it,  they certainly earned this right.  And this is why I always respect anyone older than myself.

My first remembrance

Every week our family always went to church.  We usually sat in the same pew, behind Mr. and Mrs. Tekippe.  They both donned very grey hair and Mr. Tekippe walked slowly with a cane.  It was a particularly special Sunday in May, as the Virgin Mary was to be crowned.  As a 7 year old, services seemed like forever, and I always squirmed.  That morning my little tummy hurt.  I created a “oh no” uniform congregation  whisper.  Just as the honorary was placing the wreath on Mary, I stood up and puked on Alois Tekippe’s right shoulder.  

My second recollection

This time I was 15.  My grandma had passed, so I spent a summer taking care of grandpa, Frank.  Hunching over Grandpa walked “by the inch.”  It was a 5 minute trek for him to get from the bedroom to the kitchen.  And it was a small home.  I look back now, and laugh so hard, because I can’t imagine how he could ever been so kind to me.  The only recipe I knew how to make at that time was creole pork chops.  That poor man endured a couple months of eating the same exact supper without once complaining.  Sorry Grandpa!

the elderly deserve respect

Finally, I would like to say, please give people older than you a chance.  After all, they have most likely experienced way more than you have.  Some older people will tell you what’s on their mind.  I don’t blame them.  Just let them say their peace, and move on.  The best way to understand them, is to simply visit them.  Sit down and have a heart to heart.  I have found they are extraordinary story-tellers, and you may be excited to get some worthy advice from them.  

Hope you enjoyed today’s post, and until next time…..have a beautiful day!


Some Common Ailments You May Have Suffered

Common ailments You may have suffered
ailments health body mind spirit
Photo by Patrick Hendry of Unsplash
Fairly common ailments

There are so unbelievably many ailments that people have suffered through.  So, I thought I’d break it down to ones I’ve encountered personally.  I’ve had these medical conditions over the course of my life thus far.  And I will try to explain each one I experienced.  Please keep in mind 75% of these afflictions came about when I was a heavy meat and dairy eater.  I was morbidly obese weighing 240 lbs, when my ideal weight is 165 pounds.  Perhaps some of you can relate, and have gone through these yourself.  Read on to see.  I have a pain-o-meter scale for each from 1 to 10.  One is on the minor pain side and ten for the most critically severe pain.

1.  Bladder infections

I am the master of bladder infections.  The infections started when I was just a little girl and intermittently continued all the way into my thirties.  In fact, I had so many, that I became immune to any antibiotics prescribed to me.   The symptoms are painful urination,  stinging and burning, and the constant feeling you need to pee.  And, occasionally blood in the toilet.  You can read about bladder infections here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  4

2.  Ringworm

This nice fungus I received as a child.  It showed up like a round “worm-like” (hence the name, ringworm) area on my arm.  I can only recall some major itching and Mom applying some sort of medicated cream.  You can read more about it here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  1

3.  Poison Ivy Rash

This one I brought on myself.  My mother told me to wear pants when we went into the woods to hunt morel mushrooms.  I wore shorts like an idiot.  The itching will drive you insane.  More about this type of rash here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  3

4.  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis/Hypothyroidism

This disease is still currently haunting me.  But since I’ve lost a lot of weight since I was first diagnosed I’m managing.  In the beginning the symptoms were horrible.  I was fatigued beyond fatigued constantly.  My periods lasted 2 full weeks.  My hands and toes were numb.  I was fat as hell, and continuously lethargic.  My brain was in a serious fog, which led to all sorts of other things.  Hair was falling out, and I was always freezing!  To read more about these diseases, please click here.  Pain-O-Meter when first diagnosed:  9  Pain-O-Meter management now:  2

5.  Depression

Because I was so lethargic constantly, the only thing I ever wanted to do was lay down and sleep.  Had zero energy.  Didn’t want to talk to anyone.  Cried a lot.  Slept a lot.  Zombied around a lot.  Never went anywhere for a very long time.  Let me know what you think, but I think most depressed people don’t even know it when it arrives.  You can read more about this terrible condition here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  Not sure

6.  Migraines

I’ve known countless individuals who have had migraines.  They are no fun at all, are they?  When they strike, you KNOW it!  If the phone rings it sounds like 20 children shrieking at the top of their lungs.  You can’t even manage to look out a window, because of extreme sensitivity to light.  You just want to lay down under the darkness of the covers.  Here you can read more.  Pain-O-meter reading:  Varies from 5-10

7.  sunburn with blisters

Again, my fault.  Rode bike all day long in sweltering heat and sun, in a bikini.  My entire back was beet red and within hours the blisters were everywhere.  It’s very difficult to want to put on clothes,and very hard to sleep or even move properly.  If I recall correctly, it took two to three weeks to get back to normal.  Read about sunburns here.  Pain-O-Meter 9

8.  strep throat

I’ve had strep throat many times in my life.  I recall one time, I was very broke, and had to walk six miles in 90 degree weather.  I was lethargic, super achy, and had to sit down quite often on the way there.  My body was on fire.  I had 103 temperature.  I could not swallow due to all the white patches and pus in my throat.  When I did swallow, each time is very painful.  It is exhausting.  More info on it here Pain-O-Meter reading 10

9.  whiplash

Everyone knows what whiplash is.  Got one in a car accident a few years back.  Not too much pain, but you’re wearing a neck brace for about 6 weeks along with meds.  Read more here.  Pain-O-Meter reading 2

10.  sciatica

This one definitely came about due to me being fiercely over weight.  This is a sharp, intense nerve pain that extends from your spine, buttock and down your leg.  It’s literally very difficult to walk with no substantial pain.  Just standing up is an accomplishment.  You can read more about sciatic nerve here Pain-O-Meter reading 9

11. seasonal Allergies

It’s scary when you find it difficult to breath.  The signs usually come about when there is high tree or grass pollen counts.  I feel terrible for those with asthma, as they deal with this hell, almost every day.  Learn more about seasonal allergies here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  10 when rushed to the hospital cause you can’t breath.  A 2 otherwise.

12.  bronchitis

I chose bronchitis next, because it’s very similar to number eleven.  With bronchitis, you cough, and cough and cough and cough some more, without any relief.  It’s a deep cough that comes from your gut.  And the mucous that comes with it, is discolored and disgusting.  Read here about bronchitis.  Pain-O-Meter reading 3

13.  Pink eye

Pink eye is more uncomfortable than painful.  Your eye is red.  It itches, and mucous secrets.  Read about pink eye here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  1

14.  Flared hemorrhoids/Proctitis

Hemorrhoids are super common, but I had no idea how painful they can be.  So, those who have them, I feel your suffering.  Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum.  It’s difficult to explain.  It’s a terribly uncomfortable constant pressure in that area.  During and after a bowel movement, it takes all you got to get into a hot bath.  You can read about hemorrhoids here and proctitis here.  Pain-O-Meter reading 8-9

15.  broken elbow

I tripped over one of our doggies and came down real hard flat on my right hand.  After several therapy, doctor visits and casts, it finally healed.  The only difficult part is you can’t drive, and doing daily work is nearly impossible.  You have to type with one hand.  Also, it takes a couple months to heal properly.  Read about broken elbows here.  Pain-O-Meter reading:  10 initial fall,  4 for movement

16.  my all time favorite:  Anal Fissure

Anal fissures are extremely painful and I personally feel horrible for anyone whose had the joy to get them.  Sometimes they can heal themselves, and other’s, like mine, require surgery.  I recall laughing in the surgery room, because about 6 people had a direct view of my ass.  Instantly, I knew when it happened.  My constipation was like moving a watermelon through a pinhole.  Pushed hard taking a bm, and it hurt so bad, I thought I saw God looking at me.  When I was finally able to stand, there was a 1/2 inch line of blood on my stool.  This pain disables you completely.  Every single time you stool, it literally feels like you’re passing razor blades. You are completely terrified to use the bathroom, so you don’t eat.  My physician prescribed Nitroglycerin Cream to apply.  I lovingly called it my “bomb” ointment.  The cream helps you relax, but also gives you a massive headache, and dizziness.  It is difficult to focus on anything, but the pain.  Read here Pain-O-Meter reading:  25  Ouch!!!

In Conclusion

I wish I knew a long time ago, all about the ailments that came my way. Do you think pre-preventative measures can go a long way in stopping this pain from ravaging our bodies?  Most all of these problems could have been avoided.  And I truly believe  so many of them were due to eating dairy and dead animal carcasses, and being severely overweight.  I’m hoping this article helps you prevent them from happening to you.  Like so many posts I’ve read:  Be active/exercise,  eat tons of fruits and veggies,  and listen to what your body is telling you.

Until next time, much love and hope you have a great day!





Wishing You All An Amazing 2018

Happy 2018 New Year's Day
Photo by Julie Zbornik
Happy 2018

I would like to wish you a beautiful, happy and healthy 2018!  But, first, I’d like to give you an update on our little Ratatouille friend.  If you recall, he was perched up eating a french fry on our stove top.  Well,  I purchased some essential peppermint oil, and placed it strategically on cotton balls.  Haven’t seen him since, so hopefully he’s moved on to another safe place. 

goodbye 2017

Many of you may have experienced different amazing things.  Like a birth in your family.  Or, a newly married family member.  Perhaps you learned a new past time, or got a new career.  You might have traveled to your dream destination.  Or become more spiritual.  So many endless possibilities for good things that happened.  

On the other hand, maybe some of you experienced the loss of a loved one.  Or had some type of surgery, accident, or illness that caused a hospital stay, or ongoing treatments.  Others might have had a devastating fire in their living quarters.  Tragedy and pain strikes when we least expect it.  

A few things that stick out in my mind

Looking back at the year 2017, some of the things that impacted our lives personally are as follows:

1.  My dear sister Cathy, at the young age of 54, passed away.  It devastated me, and I was in “a fog” for several months.

2.  We needed to replace the entire roof of our home.  The 101 mile an hour Chinook wind gusts destroyed it within a few hours on January ninth.  

3.  My partner, Wayne, almost lost his right eye.  In June, he slept in his contacts one night, and therefore, received a corneal abrasion.  His eye specialist said had we not come in that day that he would have most likely gone blind.  He’s had to apply expensive eye drops, and his eye is STILL healing as I write this.

4.  I tripped over our dog Dolly in early March and broke my elbow.  I’m so grateful now to have both arms to use everyday.  After many hours of therapy, and casts,  I’m happy to say, it’s healed.  

So, happy 2018

It’s the start of an entirely new year.  Every minute of each day is important for all to be happy and in the moment.  We can’t always control those random, unexpected things in our lives.  But we can take the time to always try to stay positive,  and choose how to live happily in the present.  

So, Happy New Year 2018 everyone, and until next time, be safe and be happy!


The Cinnamon Roll Disaster

Cinnamon Rolls Food Vegan
Cinnamon Roll Disaster
Cinnamon Roll disaster

So, I’m always trying out new plant-based recipes but these cinnamon rolls were an astronomical disaster!   The rolls in the above photo are actually baked!!  They still look like raw dough.  Oh.  My.  God.  

Always searching for new recipes on the web

A lovely website I frequent often to get amazing plant based recipes is called Minimalist Baker.   John and Dana are a husband/wife team based in Oregon.  I’ve made several recipes from their site and all were delicious thus far.  I got this recipe for the cinnamon rolls from Dana here,  and her rolls look absolutely scrumptious.  And this is a vegan recipe, so I thought I’d give it a go.

What in the heck did I do wrong?

As you can see in the photo, I did something critically incorrect.  They look like globs of sick cinnamon fingers.  Little piles of tiny looking mountains, with melted, caramelized sugar all over the pan.  As a matter of fact,  my partner and I thought it was so funny, we gave them different mountain names.  The one in the center we named Pike’s Peak because it was big and leaning.  

Cinnamon Roll Rolls Baking
Pike’s Peak Cinnamon Roll

The one in the bottom right hand corner became Mount Everest.

Cinnamon Roll
Mount Everest Cinnamon Roll

The ruins next to it became McClure Pass near Aspen in Colorado, because it’s know for it’s epic landslides.  

Cinnamon Rolls Baked goods
McClure Pass Cinnamon Roll
Baked bads

My baked goods became baked bads.  These cinnamon buns truly an epic failure on my part.  But…..on the bright side,  after I frosted the ugly things, they actually tasted pretty decent.  So, Dana, I apologize for messing up your glorious, fluffy, tantalizing cinnamon rolls.  Hopefully, in the future,  I can reattempt your creative recipe and possibly get them to look exactly like yours.  

Until next time, have a beautiful day!