Spring is finally here. It’s been a long, brutal winter, but it’s over now and it’s time to start thinking about of what spring means: fresh starts, planting seeds to nurture and birth our creative ideas, thinking about what we want to create in our lives… all beautiful gifts of the spring season. I love this time of year.
May is always host to two of our annual fundraising events: our annual Plant Sale and our annual Walk for Faye’s Light. The Plant Sale is this weekend at the Homewood Church on 183rd & Governor’s Hwy., Homewood on Friday the 9th from 9:00 – 5:00 and Saturday the 10th from 9:00 – 2:00. Once again the flowers will be from Zeldenrust Farm Nursery in Chicago Heights. We’ll have a large selection of potted and hanging plants, as well as a variety of vegetable plants and herbs…. perfect for us and Mother’s Day! We’ll also have a small selection available both days at Art 4 Soul in Homewood. Thank you, Jen! Check out this video link that my girlfriend, Jean, sent me about when to tomato plants when you live in Chicago. Who knew???
Our annual walk is Sunday, Mother’s Day. I can’t believe this will be our 9th Annual Walk for Faye’s Light! It has been an honor and privilege to provide our services for the past almost 9 years. We could not have done it without your support. Thank you. We would love to see you again this Sunday. Bring your family, neighbors, and friends. You’ll be finished walking by 10:00 and can take off if you need to, or stay and visit in the park for a while.
I hope you’ll take time to sit and relax for a few minutes, and enjoy our newsletter. I think you’ll be happy you did.
Many blessings…. Vicky
By Vicky Weis
My girlfriend Jean made this salad at one of our girlfriend birthday celebrations. She found it on Allrecipes; I could not get enough of it. I have always said that I don’t like anchovies. Then one day Jean showed us how to make the best pasta sauces by melting the anchovies into the olive oil, and it doesn’t taste fishy…it tastes nutty and gives the dish a great depth. So then I said, “Okay, I like anchovies when they’re melted into a sauce, but I don’t like raw anchovies”…and then I had this salad with this delicious dressing. I’m not kidding, I could not stop eating this. I was addicted and it never had a fishy taste. Please, try it. You will love it!
Caesar Salad Supreme
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
"The garlic croutons that top this classic salad are wonderful, as is the anchovy-infused, very creamy dressing."
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 5 anchovy fillets, minced
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cups day-old bread, cubed
- 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1. Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, and then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.
By Vicky Weis
Speaking of creating something fresh… my girlfriend Lori gave me a bottle of a facial cleanser she made. I love it. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated, and it’s good for your skin; no harsh chemicals or synthetics mixed in. You can make about 6 oz. for around $2.00 and it’s so easy. What’s not to love?
DIY Honey Lemon Face Wash
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/8 C Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 C Honey
1/8 C Organic Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Vitamin E oil
10 - 15 Drops of essential oils: grapefruit, sweet orange, or lemon (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients and pour into a 6-8 ounce bottle with a pump or disk cap. Shake gently before each use. How easy is that?
In case you were wondering about castile soap, this is information I got from the Dr. Bronner website:
“In earlier centuries, an all-vegetable-based soap was made in the Castile region of Spain from local olive oil. By the turn of this century, ‘Castile’ had come to mean any vegetable oil-based soap, as distinct from animal (tallow) fat-based soap. ‘Pure-Castile’ is now also your guarantee that what you are using is a genuinely ecological and simple soap – not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to the waste stream created during manufacturing and the detergents’ slower biodegradability.”
I’d also like to share and article I read on the Crunchy Betty website. It’s about the benefits of using honey on the skin… very interesting. A Dr. of Chinese Medicine told me the same thing, only he said to leave it on for an hour if possible. He said that doing this a few times a week is all that’s needed! I would suggest using only organic, raw, or Manuka honey. http://www.crunchybetty.com/food-on-your-face-honey
By Joan Clark
There are so many wonderful things our pets bring to us, as pet owners, that warm our hearts, put a smile on our face and make us feel happy and joy-filled.
As I write this, it is a year to the day that my beloved 16-year old dog, Spirit, passed over. My heart aches but my heart is also filled with so much gratitude for the time we had together.
“Love is,” my heart says.
Love is - and I understand that in a much more powerful way than I ever have today. I know his physical presence is not here with me, lying next to me on the bed, as he so often did as I would work, but his spirit sure is. I can feel his presence and that is the power of love and loving.
As I write this for Faye’s Light, I understand that many of those reading this have lost loved ones. Yet, I also know that as you read this, you will understand the truth that I am feeling today - Love Is. It is energy, and as Albert Einstein wrote:
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another.”
Love is energy - It is incapable of dying. It is just changing form, for it is eternal.
In the last few months of Spirit’s life, he taught me so much. He was moving into another stage of his existence and he understood it. He was not afraid of the next part of the journey, because there is something benevolent that takes place at the last stages of the lifecycle that is so subtle, and not usually felt by those of us that are grieving the loss and the letting go of our cherished ones.
But my little guy showed me (us) that field of love that begins to envelope and emanate around the body. It actually feels like a peace that comes forth. A total acceptance of what is happening begins to take over.
I felt this with Spirit, and as well when my father passed over. It was this energy field of great love and calm.
In Spirit’s transition process it was like he was the generator of such great love for all of us. We thought we were caretaking him when actually it was the other way around - preparing us for his transition. He was showing us that he was fine, that he was being loved from the other side, as he was loving us so we could accept it; and when he knew we could, he could change his energy form.
He shared with us that his body was shifting and changing, but his spirit - that beautiful spirit that bonded us from the first moment we met - was still ever-present and would continue to be.
We just needed to accept the transitional stage of moving from one field of presence to another.
It is bittersweet, on so many levels. Yet today, on the anniversary of his death, I get it. I miss him terribly, but I always feel his love. The love that married our hearts and spirits together is as strong as ever.
So on the anniversary of his death, I am assisted by an aromatic farewell blend that was created to honor him, his life, our link to one another.
Scents creates memories. They hold and capture what we cherish dear. As I have anointed this on my heart today, as I anointed him on the day he transitioned, I feel the strength of that love that we shared, that commitment we made to one another 17 years ago... which is still alive.
It helps me to breathe in deeply and calms the feelings of loss so I can celebrate the joy of the union we shared so magnificently and sweetly together.
I believe in the power of nature to help us with day-to-day physical ailments but I also believe that same power in nature is here to help us move through the emotional and spiritual moments that we go through as well.
To celebrate and honor those we love and have lost, be it a pet or a loved one - anointing blends can help to soothe the heart and spirit so acceptance can come forth more quickly.
Let the power of nature assist in the healing and the remembering process that always guides us back to the truth—that LOVE IS.
It is eternal, everlasting and that is the gift.
For all whom we loved, for all who loved us... I celebrate, and believe that LOVE IS!
Pet Alchemist Rainbow Bridge Anointing Blend is available at the Pet Alchemist.
“Only the best for our pets.”
Now that spring has finally sprung, many of us are pulled outside to clean up what winter mess is left behind! And so many of us still would rather spend an entire day outside getting everything done - even when our body tells us it's over-stressed and we should stop - rather than listening to our body's messages! "No," we say to ourselves , "the sun is shining and I'm soldiering on, no matter how tired I am!"
We have all heard so much about the role that stress plays in creating illness and disease. The stresses of our lives - if not managed - often create an inflammation response in our tissues, among other things, much of which is low-level inflammation. Actually, the inflammatory response is a good thing - it is designed to stop "foreign" bodies from invading our system - so when there is some type of inflammation, we do need to see it as a kind of warning from our body - a sort of "red flag" that tells us we need to notice what's going on with our physical self.
Johan Boswinkel - a pioneer of healing with biophoton energy ( a form of light healing for the body) - claims that stress "fans the flames of inflammation." He sees inflammation as the cause, rather than just a symptom for some diseases, such as arthritis. And, if his belief is correct, that means we have the ability to manage much of our illness with a simple change to our lifestyle - it's called listening to our body!
As a rule, many of us tend to want to ignore most of the pain that we experience in our day-to-day lives. Often, it's not unmanageable pain or may be simply an annoying ache that we can ignore. This way of treating the "warnings" that our bodies give us lead us down the path to increased pain and to a point where we simply cannot ignore it any longer because it's gotten so much worse! Eventually, our body will force us to face what is going on with our physical selves - and often, we then need to spend time, money and effort to reverse the effects of what our body was telling us was wrong in the first place! If we had only listened when it first began speaking to us!
Johan Boswinkel said it best when he said:
"At this time and this culture, people spend more energy than they have, using their body like they use credit cards - spend now, pay later. But the body wants to be paid back immediately."
As a culture, using willpower, "no pain, no gain" and "pushing through the pain" is a common theme. Just recently, I went with my husband on a 10 mile hike. Of course, it was a lovely experience, but there was a point as we walked where I knew I should stop. I didn't. I made myself move on and suffered the consequences of that decision for the next few days and even weeks afterwards. I ask myself "why?" now, because had I simply stopped when I needed to, I could have avoided a lot of wasted recovery time and money! But, that's what we do, isn't it? We've been trained to not listen to our bodies - and not believe what it's telling us. This is something we need to change in our lives in order to live happy, healthy ones!
So, let's believe what our bodies are telling us! When we get tired, we can rest. Our body will thank us for the immediate care it receives and will continue to function better when we pay it back as it needs. Pushing ourselves to draw on our willpower only creates stress, and any form of stress costs us more energy (not to mention money and recovery time). "More debt that must eventually be paid, if not in rest, than in chronic health complaints" says J. Boswinkel.
So, here's to changing how we listen to our body! And, more importantly, believing what it's saying to us! What Resting when our body tells us we need to? What a thought!
What a life changing thought!
Ingalls Hospice Memorial Service May 17 to Feature Acclaimed Author, Speaker and Grief Expert
By Debra Robbins, Ingalls Memorial Hospital
Acclaimed life coach, motivational speaker and author Tom Zuba will offer a new perspective on grieving at the Ingalls Hospice Semi-annual Memorial Service Saturday, May 17.
Rockford-based Zuba became an unwilling expert on grief after suffering several devastating losses within his own young family beginning in 1990. That’s when he lost his 18-month-old daughter Erin to a sudden illness.
Tragically, his 43-year-old wife died equally as suddenly on New Year’s Day 1999 from a rare blood disorder. His 13-year-old son Rory died from brain cancer in 2005.
Zuba says he and his remaining son Sean explore life one day at a time.
“After my daughter Erin died I was broken, shattered, lost, confused, angry, shaken, sad and many, many other things for many, many years,” he explains. “My foundation was destroyed. I had no way of knowing if there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It took me a long, long time to discover that yes, indeed, there was a light.”
As devastating as Zuba’s wife’s death was, he said he knew he would survive because he had two young sons depending on him. Six years later, after his son died, Zuba questioned whether survival was even something he wanted to do.
“But in time, I realized that not only was there light at the end of the tunnel, but this time the tunnel was lit,” he adds. “This time I was able to observe my journey... not simply feel victim to it… I learned so much. I realized that I could consciously participate in my own transformation.”
At the May 17 Ingalls Hospice event, Zuba will share important tools and knowledge about living with loss, as well as wisdom and knowledge he has gained over the years to create a full, joy-filled life.
“It’s not about denying the dark,” Zuba said. “It’s about making space for the light, alongside the dark.”
The Memorial Service will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Marie Irwin Community Center, 8120 Highland Road in Homewood. The event will also feature a ceremony of remembrance and a celebration of loved ones who have passed, including a symbolic release of doves.
For more information or to register, call Ingalls Bereavement Services at 708.331.1360.
Journaling to Better Health
By Jessie Jury
“Don't give up! It's not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back.”
- Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Is there truly a gift in every challenge?
It can be hard to count your blessings when you’re going through hard times. I speak from experience. The past several months have been particularly hard on my family. But, often that’s when you most need to do just that. Simply enjoying a beautiful spring day after enduring the worst winter in our history seems a sweet reward. Today, I'm thankful for sunshine and gorgeous weather.
This month, make your journal writing focus on the good things in your life. If you need inspiration, look to nature for reminders of spring and renewal. Write about what you notice… the beautiful bird perched on your feeder during breakfast, the sound and smell of a soft rain, and the rustle of leaves in the breeze.
Listen to uplifting music while you write (and anytime) and see if that helps lift your spirits. Try incorporating sketches in your journal, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. You may be surprised at how little drawings enrich your journal-writing practice and keep the creative gears turning.
My 8 and 6 year old boys do this constantly. They keep themed journals and draw and write on every page. One favorite is the “Robot” journal. Each page has a different dreamed up robot, complete with name and description. I just know I’m going to love exploring these with them as they get older.
And on that note, draw inspiration from children (no pun intended!). See what happens when you write each line in a different color or start drawing butterflies in the margins (or on your grocery list). It might just improve your mood.
Bernie Siegel, an internationally recognized expert in the field of cancer treatment and complementary, holistic medicine says,“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.”
So that, I suppose, is the gift.