Classical Stretch

I set a record by completing one of my New Year’s resolutions on January 1st! How did I do it? Well, I didn’t wake up sick like I did on January 1st of 2017. Dr. Myron Wentz who developed the test for diagnosing Epstein-Barr virus infection, said “Families are living too short and dying too long.” There is much we can do to reverse this trend so we can live longer and die shorter—one is simply move our bodies. At this time of the year, much of the population recommits to incorporating exercise in their lives so I want to share one form of exercise I really like.


Miranda Esmonde-White, author of Aging Backwards, created an exercise routine called Classical Stretch which is designed to rebalance our bodies, increase mobility, and keep joints healthy and pain-free. You can find her on PBS. Apparently her television workout series has been the #1 fitness show on Public Television for over 18 years. She believes, “The human body is designed to age, slowly not rapidly. We’re designed to stay young well into our senior years. Gentle, regular exercise is all you need to do to keep your body feeling young.” Miranda Esmonde-White seems to be one who is aging backwards because she is currently 69-years old and still going strong!

I describe Classical Stretch as a combination of Thi Chi and Yoga. Each 22-minute routine is designed to work all 650+ muscles using continuous, fluid movements. I record her workouts on the television and I have purchased her workout DVDs on eBay. You can also purchase the workouts on her website. To view sample  Classical Stretch routines, click on this link: Classical Stretch by Essentrics - YouTube - YouTube

Paying It Forward

The Christmas season is upon us, which brings me to one of my favorite things—an organization called Kiva.

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco. Its mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty and to help individuals create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Kiva has a 97% repayment rate. My husband and I have contributed to 10 loans and so far we have experienced 100% in repayments. Many of us have access to everything we need to live a happy and productive life. So to offer a loan to someone in need in the name of a loved one can be very rewarding on many fronts.


When I choose a loan, I try to look for something in common between the individual seeking a loan and the person to whom the loan will be dedicated as a gift. For example, we have a friend who has a passion for helping female, non-traditional students get access to higher education. As a Christmas gift to our friend, we combined our efforts with 20 other lenders and contributed to a loan for Sara, a woman (age 30) living in Lebanon, to help pay tuition costs so she could receive higher education. Over the past year she has repaid 91% of the loan and she is scheduled to pay it off entirely in the beginning of 2018.

By lending as little as $25, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.

100% of every dollar lent through Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations and support from grants and sponsors. As of this writing Kiva has accomplished the following milestones:

  • 2.6 Million Borrowers have been assisted
  • $1.7 Billion in loans have been funded 
  • 84 Countries have been introduced to Kiva's services
  • 1.7 Million Lenders have contributed 

To learn more about Kiva go here.

Click here to watch a two minute video about Flordelisa, a hard working woman in the Philippines, who received a Kiva loan. Her family has been greatly blessed as a result.

If you are looking for a way to pay it forward, I invite you to consider a Kiva loan.

Organizing Oils

Years ago I added essential oils to my arsenal of natural remedies. Although I initially got into oils to add to our emergency preparedness supplies, I have have since incorporated them in my daily health routine. I had little bottles all over my bathroom vanity until I found these very handy containers at my local dollar store. Now my vanity is much more tidy and organized. Yay!

If you would like to learn more about essential oils, feel free to contact any of the following practitioners. I know them all and they are competent in their knowledge of essential oils and how they can be helpful in improving and sustaining good health. 

Julie Herbert

Amber Swalberg
(360) 771-7317

Keely Rogers

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Save My Honey


When your toast is hot, it’s hard to wait for the honey if it has turned too thick. This little pot is perfect for gradually warming honey to squeezable consistency. I also use it to heat maple syrup for our pumpkin spiced pancakes topped with pecans, for making glazes, reheating leftover sauces, and occasionally boiling a couple of eggs. I purchased this on Amazon. Here is the link in case you want to add one to your next order: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 5/8-Quart Butter Warmer: Butter Melting Sauce Pan: Kitchen & Dining