“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.” Part 2

“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.”

Part 2

Photography by Hay Alexander

It was one of those nights where I was exhausted. I had a million things running through my head. Was Bernadette getting better? Was she going to crash again? Did I write down that last Turkey order? I hope those sly foxes or cunning coyotes don’t find their way into the Turkey pens or I will be in big trouble! And then by some divine intervention, I had some sensation in my breast. So I felt around, like I am supposed to do on a frequent basis when you get to be my age, and something was there. It was in my right breast. There was a lump. It wasn’t there before but it is definitely there now. And it is big! I thought to myself, “How on earth have I not noticed this? How long has it been there? When was my last mammogram?” The stream of thoughts went on forever.

The next morning I woke up and told my husband that I needed to get a mammogram. So I did. Of course they found what I could feel, but they needed to see more. I needed a needle aspiration. I was nervous but there was so much going on around the farm that I needed to stay strong. I couldn’t show my fears. The needle aspiration came and went and then I waited and waited and waited for what seemed like FOREVER!

I did what I could, staying focused on running the farm and all the turkey orders!  November, December, January, and finally February rolled around for when my surgery was scheduled. I didn’t dare tell anyone at that time because my amazing customers are the type they would worry and not want to bother me. I was worried the business would fall off, and we’ve come too far to let that happen.

And so it was confirmed. I have a possible Phyllodes tumor (for more details, also click here) – a rare, large breast tumor. (Par for the course with my family history.) What was next? I began my research.

Phyllodes tumors typically are not cancerous, but if they are they don’t respond to treatment like the more common types of breast cancer and are treated like a soft tissue sarcoma. Not good and either way, it had to come out. The doctors would have to take a large enough margin to ensure they removed everything or it could grow back faster and be more aggressive. Once again, THANK GOD for Dr’s Pete and Lolin Hilgartner who ordered my mammogram, guided me, and kept me calm throughout the process. And for Dr. Lando, my endocrinologist, who got me in with Dr. David Weintritt at The National Breast Center.

With the surgery done, tumor benign, and a huge sigh of relief,  I began to focus on the maintenance and healing of my body once again at a renewed level. I am now monitored on a frequent basis. Tumor regrowth or occurrence in my other breast is my reality just as it is Bernadette’s.  Nothing like a little dose of reality to get me back in line and grounded. I know, you must be thinking: Don’t you drink your bone broth every day?

Welllllll sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I have to admit it gets hard for me to drink a lot of it when I am brewing broth day in and day out. I have to say, I love making “MY BONE BROTH” and touching others in their healthy healing as we ship across the country. This is something really special.

I must also confess it is much easier for me to tell Bernadette and her sisters to drink it! Ha.

Seriously though, in times of stress my approach is to focus on staying healthy. So I discipline myself to get strict in my diet and my personal care: Spiritual, physical, and emotional.

Mary Undoer of Knots

Mary Undoer of Knots

  1. Spiritual: Spirituality has always been of the utmost importance to me. I admit there are times when I feel empty spiritually and it’s more like I’m in a desert. I say my prayers but feel nothing. But here is what I have learned: Do. It. Anyway.

Right now, spiritually, I am in a really good space and I don’t want to lose that. I love this space but sometimes it takes time and repetition to get to. The prayers working for me right now are shared in our Inspiration page.

  1. Physical: Lots of water with lemon, decaf tea’s, bone broth in the morning instead of coffee, lots of veggies, salad and of course, good meat! 

And Oils! I love Young Living Oils. For my breast cancer scare I went deep into using Sacred Frankincense in the months before my surgery and drinking plenty of water with Lemon, Orange and Tangerine oils added in for my belief in their effects in fighting tumor growth. After surgery my oils of choice were Copaiba, Helichrysum and Myrrh. I continue to use a little Sacred Frankincense each week as one drop on my thumb and hold to the roof of my mouth.

I went weekly to Ardelle Baldwin at Hilgartner Health and Wellness for Vibrational Rain Drop Therapy, where oils and vibrations are applied to the body to draw out toxins. It was amazing! This was also something Tara Rayburn had done for Bernadette before her brain surgery.

  1. Emotional: It is easy for one to get caught up in emotions and feelings of discontent. When this happens to me I find that spiritually I am dry, physically I am strapped, and my overall persona is out of balance. The scale is tipped a little too far, one sided.

Mentally I am usually the culprit and not anyone else. This is when I really need to get structured, take time to myself, sleep more, refocus, and remember how beautiful and important my family is to me. I take walks and work more outdoors. This tends to reground me emotionally.

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Peony from the Fields of Athenry Gardens

Each of these areas in my life need continual maintenance, and the fix doesn’t just happen overnight. I am perpetually learning to be patient with myself and with others. This is not something that is necessarily easy for me.  One thing I do know for sure, when I eat right, drink the benefits of MY BONE BROTH I feel strength in my joints, more mental clarity and a soothing way down deep in my soul. I get my act together and regain a new focus and purpose. Check out a favorite summer recipe we use to get our Bone Broth in during the warmer months.

As for Bernadette, she’s also healthy and thriving again. Stay tuned, she’s got more to say soon about what she’s learned about leading a healthy and balanced life.

What are your steps to staying healthy? What do you do to nurture your physical, mental, and emotional sides? Share with us in the comments below!

Summer Broth Pasta – just say no to the microwave!

As the experts say: Never heat a baby’s milk in a microwave! Well why then, would we heat any of our food in one?

We do not recommend using microwave ovens to heat your food, especially My Bone Broth. The microwave oven causes hot spots within the food that also destroys enzymes, kill’s the nutrients you just paid good money for, giving you nothing of value. When the enzymes are destroyed it makes your food lifeless and more difficult to digest. See more from Dr. Mercola on this subject: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx#!

We suggest you simply warm in a pan and sip away like a cup of tea or coffee! And of course, ENJOY!

Another favorite simple recipe in our household is to use broth in a simple, fresh pasta dish. We especially like this in the summer when fresh herbs and vegetables are in abundance. Check out the steps below, whip some up and tell us what you used to make a lovely round dish.

Summer Time Broth Pasta

  1. Begin to cook the pasta according to the box directions. – My favorite is Bonta’ d’ Italia gluten-free pasta!
  2. Warm our Bernadette’s or Liquid Gold Chicken Broth in pan. At this point you may want to add boneless cubed chicken (if uncooked let simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes to cook through ), or cubed pre-cooked beef.
  3. Add fresh diced veggies of choice. We are fans of zucchini and yellow squash. Simmer veggies to consistency of products how you like (less simmer time for crunchy veggies, or longer for soft veggies).
  4. Pour broth, meat and veggies over pasta.
  5. If you like cheese, grate some of our favorite Romano over the top and then with kitchen scissors cut fresh parsley to top off. YUM YUM YUM

This really is my favorite Summer Time dish to get Bone Broth into my girls in the heat of the summer!

“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.” Part 1

“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.”

Part 1

Isn’t this just the perfect motto? This is one of my favorite motto’s, but I have to say, time is one thing there never seems to be enough of. I love it when life goes perfectly smooth but quite honestly that is not the norm. In fact 2014 into 2015 has been quite the “rolly” coaster!

Last summer, 2014, my dear Bernadette decided she was ready to move into a little cottage where she worked at the time, and make life on her own in the big world. I have to admit it was the perfect cottage and not too far from home! At all of 17 years old, it was time for her to move out of our home. In fact, she would be heading into her first year of college come fall, so why wouldn’t she move into her own place? Or so she told her parents.

Bright yellow paint, scrubbed bathroom, successful antiquing for adorable furniture, and even a special place for her dog to sleep (Right on Bernie’s bed!) and she was ready to move in! There was still a smell though. Leave it to Mom’s nose to have forewarned her dearest daughter that the smell coming from the cottage could very well be mold. You see, this cottage dates back to the 1800’s. When you walked into the first floor’s teeny tiny kitchen you might as well have been a solidly drunk sailor navigating on a sloping deck.

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Move In Day with her new roomie! (Bernadette and Molly)

Bernadette was two weeks into living and loving life on her own when I get “that phone call,” “Mom, I am shaky, really shaky. I can’t control my hands and I feel like I could pass out. My hands are shaking like Papa’s hands shake. I can’t even stay on my horse.”

MOLD took her strong healthy body down like a Mohamed Ali blow. Bernadette’s Cushing’s disease leaves her with weakened adrenal glands, immune system and God only knows what else. Bernadette crashed and crashed hard. Her cortisol levels dropped dangerously low and Dr. Howard Lando put her back on cortisol (steroid). We work so hard to avoid the use of cortisol by means of diet and supplements so she hopefully never has to become steroid dependent. There is a delicate balance with the added cortisol. Her body can very easily become dependent on it and could fail to produce cortisol on its own. When her levels fall so low we have to supplement her cortisol to “jump start” her system again. Dr. Pete and Lolin Hilgartner immediately had her back to consuming bone broth every day and on a solid mold fighting regiment.

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Bernadette’s Bone Broth

Strict orders! No if’s, and’s or but’s, from all of her doctors to immediately move out of the cottage and return back home into a mold free environment. She was heartbroken. Brad and I hurt for her too. Nothing worse than living out on your own in the big world, in the perfect slanting cottage, and then having to move back in with your parents! Even Nellie, Bernie’s dog, was devastated, as she would not be treated as the queen bee among our menagerie of farm dogs.

Nellie on Bernies bed

Queen Bee Nellie

Life back on the farm rolled on day in and day out. Fall came, life was picking up, Bernie was back in school climbing slowly out of her mold fog, and we headed into turkey season full speed ahead. I felt tired, but then again I seemed to always be tired. Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and besides, there is a heck of a lot going on here at the farm. So I told myself…