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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

 Alzheimer’s Disease is on the rise with someone being diagnosed every 70 seconds. Families are choosing to keep loved ones at home, hiring in home care agencies to help or

choosing a reputable facility specializing in Alzheimer Care.

One of the top Alzheimer Care facilities in the Buffalo, NY area is Harris Hill Nursing Facility, not because of one of my family members resides here, but the various activities, parties and projects offered.

For Alzheimer patients who are aware of their surroundings and have the desire to feel needed, activities are crucial on a daily basis.

Activities range from tactile (papercrafting, repetitive projects), audio (singing, listening to story-telling or music), physical (gardening or house keeping). Depending on the patients level of function, there is an activity for them, even if for only a few minutes per day.

 

When I visit Harris Hill, one particular woman with Alzheimer’s Disease is always carrying her baby doll in her arms being so attentive with such love in her eyes.

 

The parties and events are long processes with staff moving very slow. It is not the destination it is the journey. High strung people like myself have to slow down and enjoy the talk, dance and smiles of the residents who think they have known you all of their lives.

 

Find out what kind of activities are offered when you are selecting your loved ones new home. The disease may bring out new personality traits and hidden talents, which are just a moment away of being revealed to you.

Alzheimer’s Disease facilities in the Piedmont Triad Area can schedule gardening activities with Diana Digs Dirt

of papercrafting projects with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal

We are looking for a monthly papercrafting location in the Greensboro, NC for a workshop to meet on the 3rd Friday of the month from 5-11PM. This would be added exposure for your facility where workshops will be photographed and posted on Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal’s Blog. The workshops will reach out to community members wanting to learn how to compose keepsakes of loved ones, pets or baby’s gone too soon in the form of journal books, scrapbooks, collages, cards and more.

Email- Diana (@) justacloudaway.com to schedule activities

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Crafting and Gardening are activities offered by

Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal and Diana Digs Dirt, engaging Alzheimer Patients in projects with minimal stress and optimal enjoyment for residents, caregivers and staff, including facilities and in private homes.

Often it’s hard to know just how to react and interact with Alzheimer’s patients. With a little knowledge, consistent practice, and lots of patience,  daily life for the patient and caregiver can improve. Just remember to keep activities simple, to provide a routine, and to individualize the activities according to the patient’s interest and abilities. You and the Alzheimer’s patient will be rewarded for your efforts.

Some of the recreational activities for Alzheimer’s patients are craft ideas, like scrapbooking, sorting out the photographs, making a collage, writing notes to relatives and posting notes. While trying out some craft ideas with dementia patients, make sure you choose an activity that is less complex. For instance, if you are making a collage, let a dementia patient only paste in a guided sequence. If you make them cut the paper pieces, draw and add more activities, as they are likely to get frustrated and express a long-lasting bout of anger. Thus, be very patient and avoid any complications, while working with such patients

Gardening is another simple, effective and meaningful activity.

Gardens can help patients feel connected to nature and to life, whether they can actively participate in the preparation and cultivation of the garden or simply be observers of the wonders of nature.  Exposure to nature’s sights, sounds, smells and physical sensations can be noticeably beneficial to a patient’s spiritual, psychological, social and physical health.  The idea is to engage the senses and provide a connection to the creation and growth of living things, mentioned by Sandra Webber.

Simple crafting in a Malaysia  Alzheimer facility creates an atmosphere with a greater sense of peace for residents, caregivers and staff.

Please contact Diana (@) justacloudaway.com for activity scheduling. All materials, supplies and tools are provided. Click, to view a past workshop.

We are happy to photograph the workshops at your facility, for inclusion on the blog of:

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Earth Harmony: Healing Foods for All written by Terry Rader as published in AWB Winter 2006

Terry Rader enjoys connecting people to nature helping them find their personal creativity and vision. She has been an avid lover of  plants and trees since childhood and is a self-practicing wellness herbalist. Terry makes custom herbal tea blends, tinctures, custom flower essence blends and other home remedies used in treating herself and her family (pets included) since 1994 and has continued to expand this work into the community since 2003. Please visit her site www.doedreamers.com for additional information.

As we drove away from the city, I settled into a calmer state of mind. I looked forward to getting outside and spending some time in the country. I welcomed that warm, comfortable feeling that penetrates my soul each time I get away and allow my spirit to expand. We drove past the pastures and lakes and woods – oh for the love of the trees! Rounding one last curve, we pulled into the driveway of our friend’s farm. The dogs came running, free and full of life, to greet us. The farmhouse stood strong against the big blue sky as it’s doors opened and our friends emerged to join us. We took off across the land, past the fruit trees and barns, to the gardens. Walking down the path, my eyes soaked up the light, dancing on the sweet majestic corn tassels swaying in the country breeze. With each step, I felt more grounded with the Earth. We picked some plump red tomatoes, crispy green peppers, golden sunny squash and purple earthy eggplant. I found myself wishing for a garden to tend, feeling such admiration for these stewards of the land.

As my heart exhaled a great sigh of expansion, I felt my blood connect to the dirt of the fields and remembered what one of my shaman teachers had said to me: “The land is crying out and sometimes the land chooses people to tell the story of its pain. You are one of those people, so keep telling the story.” I stood there holding the brightly colored summer harvest in my heart, tears glistening on my cheeks in the warm sunshine. I wondered how I could share this feeling of living in harmony with the Earth? I’m not a farmer. How could I help others understand the value of the land? Today, I am still receiving answers as I continue to ask the questions. Earth Harmony is just one answer. If it ignites your inner desire to want to make changes for the sustainability of Earth and mankind, it is a garden worth tending. We are all a part of this beautiful bounty and I am honored to help it grow with these simple seeds I sow.

One thing we all have in common is WE HAVE TO EAT. The food we eat is the foundation for all natural medicine. If you are feeling out of balance, perhaps the first thing to consider is your food. If you are not eating pesticide-free or organically grown food, you may be loading your liver, kidneys, heart and lungs with more chemicals than they can process. If you are not shopping from local sources for your food, meat, bread, cheese, milk, honey, etc., then you are supporting the loss of our Earth’s precious fuels to truck your dinner in.

By supporting your local farmers, you build community – you contribute to the healing of the Earth, which in turn continues to feed you with healing foods. Some people believe that organic foods cost too much. When you add up the nutritional value, it far outweighs the cost. You’d have to eat extra large portions of processed food to get the equivalent nourishment. And that’s exactly what Americans are doing, eating more than they should, seeking satisfaction from food that is simply not healthy. Pat Bush of Handance Farms explains: “How can you have a healthy community if you depend upon other places to grow your food? The life-force energy of the food we eat is what makes us healthy. Most foods begin to lose life-force as soon as they are picked. I am always awed when I see the life-force of the food we produce – it glows! This comes from a combination of healthy, balanced soils and planting with celebration and ceremony … this is what supports a healthy community … When people ask me what makes your food so different, I reply with this: You know how you say grace before you eat? We say grace before we plant.” You can find Pat and Brian’s remarkable produce at The Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market.

I know first-hand what she is saying to be true. Her foods and flowers have an energy that is missing from the store-bought varieties. Soups made with her veggies are like Medicine soups, they are healing and satisfying. You walk away from a meal made with fresh food feeling nurtured, like you would after eating at your Grandmother’s house. Part of the reason that Grandmother’s meals were so appreciated by our bodies is that she cooked with foods that were in season. Our bodies have a connection to the time of year that certain foods are harvested. When we eat with the seasons, we connect to an ancient form of gratification.

January is a great time to make a commitment to healing yourself and the community with the purchase of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSAs are formed by a group of individuals who agree to support a farm by purchasing a CSA at the beginning of the growing season. The CSA subscriptions allow the farmers to buy their seeds and supplies upfront. And the farmers provide CSA members with a weekly share of the harvest.

Begin the New Year with healthy food from local resources. You’ll have lots of choices with all that is available today, not to mention the fun and fellowship that goes along with shopping in a bustling year-round market with unique products such as Goat Lady Dairy’s wonderful goat cheeses. Steve Tate shared this: “Our goal at Goat Lady Dairy is to build a sustainable way of working and living. We believe that the food we produce improves in quality as we nourish our partnership with the land and animals here.”

Feed your community as you feed yourself and your family – keep the circle flowing. Doing this today will mean a greater harvest for us and for the Earth tomorrow.

Thank you for this wonderful article Terry and I’ll see you at the Farmer’s Market.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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The color white feels so right when designing a garden for a baby angel. Whether your baby passed early in pregnancy or as an infant, a garden of beauty can be created to honor little angels gone too soon.

 When I see white flowers I think pure, sweet, angelic, innocent and uncomplicated. The color white is prevalent in life changing events and bridges the past to the future.  People who have endured near death experiences claim to be surrounded by warm, white lights.

We wear white to weddings, to christen our babies and white shirts are worn to funerals by many. White has a true respect and dignity by various cultures.  White flowers not only have meaningful properties, they are the only color that is highly visible at dusk and in the moonlight.  The moonlit or white garden has a classic beauty that transcends time. If your baby passed before their gender was determined, white would be suitable for both. Maybe the early evening hours are significant and reminiscent of your angel. It could have been the time you told your family you were pregnant, when your baby was the most active, or the time you said nighty night to your sweet child.  Whether or not the time of day has relevance, a moonlit garden is more likely to be enjoyed because of work schedules. If you have an existing garden for your angel, I highly recommend adding some white blooms within. 

White flowers display incredible contrast with the dark, lustrous green foliage of certain plants.  This contrast automatically attracts your eyes while brightening a dark space.  Here are some plants that offer this contrast in a shady location; gardenia, otto luyken laurel, hills of snow hydrangea, immortality iris, and winters cupid camellia. Some suggestions for full sun areas are; annual periwinkle, swamp hibiscus, daisy and Diana rose of sharon.

Not all flower blooms are the same in shape and you may want to explore the different forms that could be significant to you and your baby. The white bleeding heart perennial has heart-shaped blooms that line the stem and the white balloon flower looks as if it could fly into the clouds. There are several white blooms shaped like snowballs; yoshino cherry tree, album rhododendron, hills of snow hydrangea, and snowball viburnum. There are several flower blooms that are bell-shaped which will add a very unique element to the garden. Some of the plant varieties are; pieris, lily of the valley, enkianthus, rabbiteye blueberry, and japanese snowbell tree. A few flowers are shaped like small bottle brushes including; otto luyken laurel, itea and monroe’s white liriope. Other plants have a fringe-type flower with strap-like petals like the fringe tree, white chinese loropetalum and cleome.

White flowers not only add beauty but also sweet fragrance. This could be one of your favorite scents to breathe in while reflecting upon your child. Some highly intoxicating flowers for sunny areas are; daffodils, crinium, garden phlox, dianthus, oriental lily, hyacinth, peony, sweetbay magnolia, sweet alyssum, petunia, gingerlily and snowball viburnum. Some shade-loving plants are; himalayan sweet box, itea, winter daphne, hollyleaf osmanthus, camellias, and fortune osmanthus.

You can also include the sense of audio in your baby’s garden. Blown by a gentle breeze, the sound of grass can be very soothing. Ornamental grasses add a fine and delicate texture to the garden and wonderful contrast beside course textured plants. The white, feathery plumes usually stand a bit higher than the strap-like foliage and can be seen from a distance. Grasses are usually drought tolerant, grow in full sun and very easy to maintain. Some good choices are; pampas grass, quaking grass, switch grass and maiden grass.

If you have a structure like a fence, vine pole or pergola, you may want to select a vine- like plant to cascade or climb along it. There are several plants to choose from, including; climbing iceberg or sally holmes rose, climbing hydrangea, silver lace vine, armand clematis, alba plena lady bank’s rose, moonflower, hybrid henryi clematis, sweet autumn clematis, perennial sweet pea vine (pictured above), star jasmine and  white japanese wisteria.

No matter if your loved one was your baby or your grandmother, white is soothing and comforting. Adding white blooms will contribute to the overall beauty of your memory garden for you and your loved ones.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

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This article is submitted by Suki K Tranqille, certified Square Foot Garden Instructor. For more information please visit http://www.gokiheals.com or e-mail Suki at gokiheals@yahoo.com.

Generally most people who eat from their vegetable gardens are already eating healthy vegetables, so what is a health and healing garden? I will start by sharing with you the evolution that led me to my health and healing garden.

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with anemia. Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. A common cause of anemia is not having enough Iron. Anemia afflicts women who experience heavy periods and can be hereditary. For me, this was a double whammy – my mother had also been diagnosed as having anemia. I was not surprised after the doctor explained the diagnosis because I was well aware that I experienced a number of the symptoms. Fatigue was a part of my daily life and had been for many years along with cold hands/feet and headaches. The fatigue was such that afternoon naps were a must. That was fine during college but a big problem when I started to go into an office to work. I would sometimes take naps in the bathroom stalls at work and though my commute to and from work consisted of two hours on a bus, I welcomed the time to sleep. I was not as consistent taking the Iron Supplements that were required because they wrecked havoc on my stomach. My choices were to either be tired and suffer headaches or suffer daily stomach pains. I chose the former as the lesser of two evils. To combat the fatigue I tried a number of things – mocha latte with a double shot of espresso in the mornings for the fatigue and a daily Advil for the headaches. The caffeine seemed to make the headaches worse so I had to move up to two Advil pills a day. While experiencing the effects of the caffeine I was a whirlwind of energy but when I came down, I crashed. Going to sleep was like going into a black hole. This was an expensive proposition but as my job required a lot of energy and constant interaction with people, I did not see too many options. As is common with those who suffer an Iron Deficiency, I began to notice my hair thinning and beginning to bald on the side – I seriously considered and looked into hair transplant surgery. Luckily around this time, I was fired from my job and had time to think.

I no longer passed by the coffee shop with the mocha latte and I felt that something had to be really wrong if I could not get through a day without Advil. Several doctors visits over the years complaining about headaches and fatigue produced no results and I realized it was my responsibility to fix myself. I knew that I had an Iron Deficiency and I also knew that the supplements caused me pain – I needed to know why and what I could do to get the Iron I needed without the pain. I started by researching foods that were high in Iron and found this basic list:

  • Liver and other meats
  • Seafood
  • Dried fruits like apricots, prunes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Beans, especially lima beans
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Whole grains
  • Iron-fortified breads and cereals (check the label)

By this time meat had already been eliminated from my diet and I still remembered the first time I realized the liver my mother made was actually a liver. While researching the foods that have high Iron content, I came across some favorites (Cream of Wheat) and an article that dealt with Iron Absorbtion. It turns out that my diet was inhibiting my body’s ability to absorb Iron. For example, according to some, coffee and tea reduces Iron absortion while Vitamin C enhances Iron absortion. After a lot of research, I developed a regimen that did work – Vitamin A, B, C and Iron (Chelated) in the morning and any herbal tea in the afternoon (by this time I eliminated coffee and all caffeine from my diet). Along with my supplements I made sure to eat at least one of the items on the list and would get my vegetables from the fresh section of the supermarket.

My nature of continual study led me to the FDA’s website of nutritional values of various fruits and vegetables in an effort to decrease my dependence on supplements (which I started to feel took the place of the Advil). I thought, if I would just eat more broccoli, spinach and carrots I would be able to come up with a high Iron absorbing diet negating my need for supplements. It turns out that the vegetables I was eating did not have all the nutritional value that I thought because both fruits and vegetables begin to loose their nutritional value from the time they are picked/harvested. Frozen vegetables, assuming they were frozen pretty immediately after picking retained the most vitamins and nutrients but of course, I wasn’t at the packaging facility – what did I know? Add to that the pesticides that were used in non-organic fruits and vegetables and things started getting really complex. All I wanted to do was to be independent of any pills or supplements. One day, I took a piece of garlic out of the refrigerator that started to grow and realized the answer was there all along – I just had to open my eyes and see it. To get the maximum nutritional value that my body needs (my particular body) – I was going to have to grow it myself. I started by digging up parts of my backyard which drew a big “NO” from my husband, but then I stumbled on a way to garden – The Square Foot Garden (that was a “yes”). Now each health and healing garden is designated for each person in my family and their particular needs. My table grows Cabbage, Broccoli, Spinach, Eggplant, Rosemary, Potatoes, and Carrots. The children’s tables reflect a greater need for the B vitamins allowing their bodies to process carbohydrates and sugars and my husband’s box consists of more broccoli, tomatoes, licorice and garlic.

Now, the headaches are completely gone and though the bald section of my hair is still rather obvious, the improvement causes me to smile in the mornings. I cheer at the sight of all new baby hairs, proudly displaying them to my husband and children. My body is healing and my health is maintained all thanks, I have no doubt, to my health and healing garden.

Thank you for this informative article to improve the quality of lives within our community Suki.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana Gardner-Williams

Publisher- Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

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