My Healing Container Garden

A gardener, I am not.  But, when I retired to Florida more than four years ago, I decided our lanai was too cold and sterile.  So to add life, I purchased a few plants to bring color and life into this space.

Since that time, the container garden has gotten bigger and bigger.  Daily, I retreat to My Healing Garden to meditate, pray, and be still.

My Healing Garden Photos

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Showing Off: DIY Project and Container Gardening

I am showing off in this week’s post and sharing photos of my DIY Project and Container Garden.

DIY Project

After many years of trying, I finally completed a DIY Project that makes me proud.  As you can see from the photos below the furniture on our front porch needed either a makeover or removal.

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Since, the pieces were only three years old, I chose the makeover option. Even though I was treading into unknown territory, I was confident.

First, I needed to find out what to do. I didn’t know anyone to ask.  So, I went to Google for an answer and asked, “how to refinish metal furniture pieces”.  Google directed me to detailed written instructions as well as video step-by-step demonstrations via You Tube. The only supplies I needed were sandpaper and spray paint.   Sanding was the most difficult.   Spray painting was the messiest. I must have overlooked the directions to wear rubber gloves and my hands sported green paint for almost a week.

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What do you think of my first DIY Project?

Container Garden

We retired and purchased our home in Florida a little over four years ago. During our fifty-four years of marriage, we lived in many homes. Some were rentals and others we owned; but they were all viewed as our sanctuary for peace, joy and happiness.

This home, for the first time, had an outdoor space that was livable year-round. I wanted to make the lanai, my special haven to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate.   I took the photos below on our first walk-through before purchasing the house. The lanai area was spacious, but barren. And, it remained that way for the first year while I was in recovery from a very serious and life-threatening illness.

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During this recovery, I learned to appreciate and value the beauty of nature; and, I decided to fill my haven with flowers and plants. And, I spent many hours picturing how it was going to look. These are photos of my dream Container Garden which has grown bigger and bigger each year.

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This year, Hubby invaded my haven and convinced me to add two tomato plants.

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And, I added the small herb garden.

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We are contemplating expanding the Container Garden, herbs and vegetables only, to the backyard.   Gardening is a new venture; and, I love it.   To become a better gardener, I seek the advice of other experienced gardeners and self-educate via books and the Internet.

What do you think of my Container Gardening efforts?  

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Post Script:  Photography is a work-in progress, too.  But, I am not ready to show off yet.  Still taking photos on my IPad or telephone.  New digital camera purchased months ago is on the learn-to-do list.

 

Living Life as One of God’s CREATIONs

The exact day of the week is unknown, but in February of 2010, I made a decision that would change the course of my life.    I chose to begin the journey of  “Living Life as One of God’s CREATIONs.”     On long-term medical leave, bedridden, recovering from a serious illness, bored, and television channel surfing, I landed on a religious cable network.   Immediately, I was drawn into the commentary and lively discussion on the topic of the day.   I have to admit, the religious cable network is not one of my “go to” networks.  My cable channel programming preferences lean more toward Home and Garden TV, The Food Network, OWN, and MSNBC.   But on this particular day, I chose to channel surf.  Why, I may never know, but the information shared in this program led me down a new path that has improved the overall quality of my life.

The discussion topic was the book by Monica Reed, M.D. entitled, “The CREATION Health Breakthrough.”  Dr. Reed, is a former Medical Officer of Florida Hospital and most recent the CEO of Florida Hospital’s medical facility – Celebration Health.  Having a lifetime commitment to whole health, Dr. Reed suggests there are “eight fundamentally, powerful and scientifically proven essentials to reverse the effects of lifestyle, prevent disease in at-risk people, and ultimately achieve total health and wellness.”

I questioned whether it was possible to “achieve total health and wellness.”   If so, I needed to get on board.  At that time, I was a chronic pain survivor having been diagnosed both with Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis more than seventeen years earlier.    After so many years of being by themselves, I guess these two conditions were getting lonely so in a two-year period, I brought them four new major conditions:  Breast Cancer (2008); Peripheral Neuropathy-Nerve Pain (2008); Epiglottitis-Severe Respiratory Distress (2010); and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (2010).

These last four conditions were due to the side effects from medications prescribed to treat one condition causing the onset of a new condition.  Most over-the-counter and prescribed medications will list the side effects – even some carry the statement, “rare but serious side effects.”   It is my understanding less than 1% of people prescribed a medication will have “rare but serious side effects.”    Four incidents in two years, was I qualified to be the poster child for the “rare but serious side effects” ?    I survived four, but what about the future.  I was even more concerned after reading an article on MedicationSense.com reporting that medication side effects are the #4 leading cause of deaths in America.”   So on this cold day in February 2010, recovering from a life-threatening illness, I was more than ready to look at alternative therapies to manage my existing health conditions.

As soon as the program ended, I ordered Dr. Reed’s book, willingly paid extra for the overnight delivery, and read the entire book in one-day.    What resonated most was the section on Lifestyle Diseases, which Dr. Reed defined as,  “a group of harmful behaviors practiced over time, which result in decreased quality of life and ultimately to the onset of chronic illnesses leading to premature death.”   I had to “fess up” to having more than less of the harmful behaviors.

  • Little or no physical exercise
  • Lack of sufficient or fulfilling sleep
  • Sustained exposure to stress
  • Participate in high risk behaviors such as smoking or drug use
  • Minimal or no personal playtime or time for solitude
  • Limited family or meaningful relationship time
  • Lack of a spiritual connection

Yes, regrettably I had a long-time relationship with five of the eight behaviors as indicated by those highlighted.     Actually, there could well be six, if I were to include “smoking,” a 20-year habit until I quit in 1980.  I was ready to get on board with Dr. Reed and the CREATION Health Lifestyle.”

Some three years later, I am grateful and humbled by the improvement in my life since starting the journey to “CREATION – God’s 8 Principles for Living Life to Its Fullest .

  • I no longer control my long-term chronic conditions with medications that carry the label “rare but serious risks.”
  • On March 8, 2013, I will celebrate my Fifth Anniversary as a Breast Cancer survivor.
  • My pulmonary issues are adequately managed with minimal use of an inhaler and nebulizer.

My personal CREATION plan for living life to its fullest is ever-changing, I am happy  to share the latest with you:

C = Choice – The choices I make, in large part, determines my destiny.  Strive daily to make good choices in all areas of my life.  Choose to be happy rather than sad. Choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.  Choose to show gratitude and appreciation daily for all of my blessings rather than coveting what other have.  Empowered and in control to make healthy choices relating to my health.

R = Rest –Take time out during the day for “solitude time.”   Reading, meditating, and “total silence” is what I choose to do during this time.  Take a full Sabbath Day on any day I feel my body is in need of rest and revitalization.

E = Environment – Home is a safe haven it brings me peace, serenity and tranquility.   I enjoy sitting on the rear patio looking at the vibrant colorful flowers overflowing in beautiful pots brings happiness into my life.  I love the feeling of “isolation.”  Large trees in the conservation area backing up to the rear of our home and flanked by tall shrubbery on both sides creates my own private oasis.

A = ActivityExercise at the YMCA four days per week for one hour.  Recognize exercise reduces my pain and stress levels.

T = Trust – Trust in God.  Develop healthy relationships based on mutual respect and trust.  Trust my other half.  Trust my children.

I = Interpersonal Relationships – Pursue supportive and positive interpersonal relationships beyond my immediate family.  Stay connected with my Wisconsin friends.  Open the door to attract new friends in Florida.

O = Outlook – Far better to find the good as opposed to the bad in any given situation.   Choose to be optimistic rather than pessimistic.  Keep a positive outlook and visualize the unlimited possibilities available during this season of my life.

N = Nutrition – Continue to develop a realistic nutrition plan.  Limit intake of animal fats and cholesterol.  Limit sweets and refined foods.  Increase intake of high fiber foods.

The quality of my life is getting better every day by – Making good Choices; Taking time for Rest; Enjoying the Environment; Exercising four days per week as an Activity;  Learning the true meaning of Trust; Expanding Interpersonal relationships; Maintaining a positive Outlook; and knowing the importance of Nutrition. 

I Am Gonna Make the Rest of My Life the Best of My Life