How many of you recall your mother telling you to eat your greens growing up? In fact, I am that clichÃ© to my kids now, harping on them to eat their greens. So what is so important about these vegetables? I am glad you asked, one vitamin that is so important is folate, or known as folic acid. The Arizona Department of Health Services PowerMeA2Z site, which is designed especially with women in mind, educate women and offer a way for women to order a 100-day supply of FREE multivitamins with 400mcg folic acid.Â The Arizona Department of Health Services PowerMeA2Z site says that this B-vitamin is intricate in reducing the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Beyond that, folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folate deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis. Who knew… but folic acid also makes your hair shine, your nails grow and your skin glow. Continue reading “Power Women’s Health Multi-Vitamins with Folic Acid”
Arizona has always been known for their five C’s: cotton, citrus, copper, cattle and climate. While Arizona boasts the dry,warm climate of the summer months, cooler temperatures in the northern climates are a wonderful escape. The other “C” that Arizona offers is the corn, as in sweet corn! In the town of Dewey, Arizona right outside of Prescott this welcoming community hosts the annual Arizona Sweet Corn Festival at Mortimer Farms every summer. Continue reading “Arizona Sweet Corn Festival”
Arizona has to be one of the harshest and arid climates. Living here we have brutally overprocessed water loaded with minerals, dry summers, winters and dust for days. With all of these factors skin can dry, crack and be in a constant state of thirst. Part of my struggles is to find a lotion and or moisturizer that will hydrate and soften my skin without feeling greasy, oily and or dry me out. I have been reading more about using vegetable oils in lieu of lotions. All that being said, for the last few weeks I have been using fractionated coconut oil for my hair and skin. Continue reading “Fractionated Coconut Oil Review and Giveaway”
Family is one of my most precious commodities. The holidays always seem to make me feel nostalgic and crave my family ever more. I am the oldest child and I considered myself rather close to my siblings and my parents. The Chad used to harass me about cutting the umbilical cord to my mother when she and I would partake in our monthly conversations while living in Albuquerque. Looking back, I see this was awkward for him as he was not close to either of his parents growing up, while I was close to much of my family. I see being close to my family as a way of honoring God, by honoring my family I am doing what feels right in my heart and in the eyes of the Lord.
My Mom and Dad, we talk rather frequently either on the phone, via text or I try to stop in and visit when I can. I suppose I am doing as the Lord has asked, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) My father and I have a beautiful rekindled relationship. We were never very close, but today we are and he is such a strength and light in my life. He brought me an amazing wisdom professionally and lifts me up personally. I have found great knowledge in learning more about myself by interacting with him, learning from him and learning to be a better mother, wife.
I am rather close to my grandmother, my father’s mother. She is someone I look up to on many levels. A fighter, a prayer warrior, God fearing woman and lady. She is always well kept, adorned with jewelry, the lightest touch of rouge, and I can always smell a new perfume on her. Her perfumes are the one thing I vied for as a young girl, she hooked me on the classic Lauren by Ralph Lauren circa 1978.
One afternoon this past November I had the most priceless opportunity to spend almost an entire day with my grandmother. Her home still smelled as it did when I was a child, while the dwelling and it’s locale completely different through the years, the smell remains the same. We swapped a few stories and then I sat like I did as a young girl, entranced in her many parables of love through the ages. Tears began to sweep across my face as she spoke so candidly and lovingly of my grandfather. I could still smell a hint of my grandfather in this new house as we discussed his antics. A warm, earthy, musky scent that wrapped around me like a warm blanket. The smell was comforting in spite of my feelings. I felt an emptiness as we both paused, his presence and lack thereof was so heavy and grand, the true patriarch of our family.Â Despite his passing I know my relationship meant that much more to visit my grandmother, to honor my grandfather, to honor her. His passing would not suggest that we have any less of a relationship.
Imagining a life without family and extended family would not behoove me. Confusion waves over me as I attempt to understand family who choose a distant life; to not have a close relationship, to be out of touch, estranged. The Chad and I have family who are not engaged in our family, they choose to not be active participants and rarely if ever keep in touch. I struggle deeply with these family members choice to be absent, more over to be absent from my children’s lives. Such a deep loss to miss out on watching these young people grow, evolve, and come into their own. I could not fathom a life devoid of generations of family, the stories, the experiences, missing their love and friendships.
I suppose had life been that way for them during their younger years, that the cycle of being with kin would be continued. Maybe I am the exception; to have had the opportunity to spend so much of my youth with a great deal of my family that I am in tune with them on many levels, through generations, and now with my children’s engagement in the same fashion.
Christmas Eve was indicative of the various lifetimes, spanning the ages through storytelling, reminiscent of my former childhood. My aunts and uncles were swapping stories of years past. Suddenly I was transported to a time where I could recall this same revelry as a child and a tremendous amount of joy filled my heart being with my aunts, uncles, cousins, my Dad and my grandmother. Memories danced in my head as the same laughter carried me to a time where we lit luminaries on this same cold evening. Moments flashed before me as I was of similar age to my children, adoring how my aunts and uncles were so in love with one another at such a joyous time. Laughing, joking, carousing around the Christmas tree and I watched in awe so hopeful to one day experience this same love and rejoicing in the name of our Father.
Which brings me back to why family would choose to be nonexistent in each others lives. Emptiness creeps in as I begin to imagine this life. I’m saddened by family who make such a drastic choice. I suppose in some way The Chad and I have made this choice. We chose to move to Arizona to be closer to my family and left New Mexico for the toxicity we experienced while living in that environment. Today we see that our choice was ours and was not malicious, healthy, but we see the toxicity even more so now from afar. So I find myself praying that one day the hearts of our family would be healed so they could see past their own pride to come visit as we have done for so long.
Family is such a funny thing. I never saw the mechanics of how the dynamics worked in a family. I just thought we were all one, and one for all. Yes, I suppose very fairy tale-esque of my beliefs, an optimist by heart.
As an adult I see the mechanics more clearly. I share these same dealings and workings with my children. I do not shelter them from the pain and suffering sometimes felt and inflicted by the ones we love. Maybe I share more for the simple fact that they should not be as I was, living a fairy tale of lies that family will always be present in our lives. Family isn’t always joyous, despite our best efforts.
I have faith. I have a hope that one day all our families will be able to share with one another once more. We can all celebrate again, together. Holiday’s can be spent together, with each other, carousing around dinner tables, experiencing the revelry as we trip through memories past. Or as I said, maybe I am the exception to see such a tremendous strength in the power of family, a legacy to pass on to our children and their children. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Proverbs 127:3-5)
For now I keep the faith. I never falter or get angry, more sad and disappointed, I make attempts to understand the point of view of these relatives who have made the choice to be estranged. I still honor family with cards, emails, texts and phone calls. I still reach out. My hope is that one day we can agree we have differences and embrace our differences as family, set aside our anger and our pride, to come together for the inheritance of our children and their children. Family is but our legacy.
My love recently moved back to Arizona and I have to say that I am so selfishly excited, exuberant, wetting myself in joy, bouncing happy to have my sister home again! I know she is happy to be around her family again, but I know her poor heart cries for the South. My sister should have been born in the deep South with the Confederate flag and all I swear!
For one, I named my sister. I named her after my best friend from Sunday school and her name was Brittany. So because I loved my best friend so much I thought what a fitting name for the person who was destined to be my best friend! So my sister was born and she has been a feather in the wind floating around to everyone and everywhere. From a very young age my sister would spastically wave to everyone…..and I mean everyone! I remember she would talk endlessly to the bakery staff at Bashas’ market, partly because we got free cookies, but my sister was friendly to everyone. If we moved, she had friends that day. If we went on vacation, she had friends to come with, new ones she would meet along the way, and she was by NO means shy. My sister was dainty without tact. By that I mean she was very lady like in she would wear a sweet night gown and put her hair in curlers, but then proceed to do kart wheels in the front yard….WITH NO PANTIES!
Yes….my sister was born to be a Southern Belle.
So to ail her poor aching heart for her southern pleasures in the dismal desert we call Arizona I have found some “Southern Comforts” replacements or close seconds:
Apple Ice Cream – The best I could find, which is right down the road from her house is The Apple Dumpling Cafe and they serve everything under the sun apple…including her ice cream.
Crickets – We got crickets. And later this summer she will her the never ending chirp, hum, hoop, and purr of the Arizona locusts, or as we call them “secadas” (suh-kA-duhs).
After the Rain – In Arizona she will get to see rivers flowing….literally, so no more crying your own as the Almighty will provide you with flash flood rivers through the neighborhoods and dry river beds, quite a sight!
The Deer – In Arizona, we don’t have the axis deer frolicking through the wood of the south, but we have PIG! Javelina will wander through your yard, maybe even a stray skunk, foraging for food. On a good day, maybe some coyotes, jackrabbits the size of a Bulldog, and your occasional Gila (thats HEE-LAH for you Yanks) Monster.
Wildflowers and blue bonnets – Those will be replaced by dandelions, sunflowers, Mesquite blossoms, tumbleweeds, Bouganvilla (BOO-gun-vee-yah), and the Fishhook Cactus blossoms.
Lightning bugs – We don’t have the glowy butt bugs that I miss too from a childhood spent in the midwest, but we have some SPECTACULAR lightning to be seen and FELT here during the Monsoon. We also have grasshoppers and locusts that fly in droves in early June through August that look like a dust storm. Only here too can you see a dust devil as high as a house.
So while I know your heart yearns for the dirt road, where everyone knows your name, and the pace that is just barely faster than a snail……..the desert and all her beauty are your South-Western home. And we are glad you are back and love to be able to spend so much time with you and your family.
Yesterday was so awesome. I woke up to my husband and three beautiful kids and to top the whole day off…….I got to open all my windows in the house and my back door. I think the high for yesterday was in the 70s and the day was absolutely fabulous! We went on our evening walk and I had to bundle up all the kids in sweaters and hoodies and Chad and I put light sweaters on because the wind was blowing and the night air was a bit chilly. However, you know you live in AZ when you are wearing a sweater, shorts and flip flops.
Then this morning I woke up to a bit of a chill in my house. I figured because the AC had just run not too long ago. WRONG! The thermostat said 68* and the thermometer outside my kitchen window said 50*. FABULOUS!!! I actually had to put a robe on this morning. More beautiful days to come as we head into the AZ winter. I love it here because 1) NO SNOW (Love the snow, very pretty…..but hate living where there is snow and bitter cold) and 2) 70* November and December’s rock.