Category Archives: Things to Try

It’s Kind of Great

Meridian, Idaho

I went to an acupuncturist yesterday (more about that in tomorrow’s post), and one of the first things she said to me after “Hello!” was, “You’re consuming too much sugar.”

And I was like, “Well, duh!” 🙂

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She’s right. I do eat too much sugar. So I’m going to cut back, but I won’t go cold turkey.

As I wean myself off of the hard stuff, I’ll have one of these now and then…

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They are quite yummy. I first found them at least 18 months ago at an Albertson’s here in Boise. But since then they are EVERYWHERE!

There are lots of different flavors, and some of them have only five grams of sugar! Woohoo!

5-grams-of-sugarIn comparison, two Oreo cookies have nearly three times that amount.

And the Kind bars are full of nuts with fiber and protein so they are actually even more filling than Oreos.

Oh, and you can even buy Kind bars on amazon.com with free shipping if you have a prime account.

There are a variety of flavors and sizes to suit most everyone’s taste buds.

Happy Snacking!

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Pins and Needles

Meridian, Idaho

As you read this Gentle Blog Reader, I will be getting my first acupuncture treatment.

I’m hoping to get relief from pain in my left shoulder blade.

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It’s a recurring problem that I’ve finally had enough of so I’m desperate to try something new.

Acupuncture has been around for centuries.

From the Mayo Clinic

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.

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Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow.

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If it helps, I don’t really care how it works. I’ll just be glad it did.

I’ve talked with a few who have had it done. They report positive results. Not miracles, but improvements.

I’ve done a bit of research. Some people feel relaxed after treatment; some feel jazzed.

I will let you know how it goes…

Oh My Gourd!

Meridian, Idaho

Last week I had a wonderful visit with my great friend Sharon. First we chatted and chatted, solving all the world’s problems.

Then she taught me how to carve gourds. Well, actually she gave me an introductory lesson. I need to practice, a lot, before I move on to more difficult gourd patterns.

And I don’t think if I practice 40 hours a week, I’ll ever do work as beautiful as Sharon does. Here are a few of her pieces.

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The detail on all of her work is stunning.

I’m a sucker for leaves, and I would steal the leaf globe if I thought I could get away with it.  🙂

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Sharon also makes the most amazing thunder gourds. Here’s hers. 
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And here’s the one she gave us that I just LOVE.

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And here’s what thunder gourds sound like:

So here are the basics on how to carve gourds. Sharon has a special wood working tool that is basically like a dentist’s drill–high speed and with a foot pedal to make it go super, super fast.

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She holds the drill like a pencil and creates shapes. Oh, and she makes it look really easy, but it’s not. 🙂

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Once a hole is cut into the gourd, all the innards are pulled out. It’s a bit tricky because you have to stir inside the gourd to loosen the fibers and then use tweezers to pull those fibers out the hole.

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Sharon then let me take a turn on the drill. 0529151416

I tried to guide it, but like a Ouija Board pointer the drill had a mind of its own. 0529151415c

At this point of my tutorial, I figured it knew better than I did. 0529151415b


Tom and Martha, our wonderful friends in Fallon, gave us a bunch of gourds. I was supposed to give them to one of my sisters who does gourd work, but I kept them for us to experiment on. (She needs bigger gourds for her pieces. More about her work in another post.)

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My hope is to make light covers for some solar lights that I recently bought.

Here’s the first prototype…

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Oh, Amma!

Meridian, Idaho

I had a wonderful treat yesterday — a massage!

I haven’t had one for a very, very long time. Too long.

I’ve had several different types of massages (deep tissue, sports, etc…), but my favorite type of massage is called an Amma.

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The Amma massage is an ancient style of therapeutic deep tissue massage that has been perfected for the last 5000 years. It affects your body throughout, loosening muscle, joints, and connective tissues to allow your body to function properly.

Chinese in origin, this technique implements deep tissue therapy, pressure, friction, and touch. The technique affects not only tissue, but energy channels throughout the body. The nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory systems all are affected, allowing your body to function more productively.

Yesterday’s massage was with a new (to me) therapist. And she did a great job, but I just didn’t experience the same connection with her as I did with Kerri–my first Amma therapist.

I first saw Kerri over four years ago. I was feeling depleted and was hoping that a massage would help. I (naturally) did a Google search on ‘energizing massage Boise’ and Kerri’s Web site came up. I called and made an appointment.

I filled out a brief health survey. Then Kerri and I sat down for a brief chat. I told her how I came across her practice and what I was after–relaxation and energy.

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Sounds like an oxymoron, but I was hoping that if I could relax then I would have more energy.

As I got ready for the massage, I glanced around the room. Everything was tranquil from the soft colors to the music and the light essential oil aromas.

The massage table was soft and warm. Perfect!

Kerri came in and explained that Amma is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and that she would do and ask things that might not happen during another type of massage session.

“Ooooookaaaaayyyy”, I said a bit nervously.

She then asked me to open my mouth so she could look at my tongue. In TCM the tongue is examined to determine overall health. For example, a red tipped tongue indicates that a person might be suffering from insomnia and stress.

meridian-3Kerri took one look at my tongue and said, “You eat your food hard.” I thought about it for a minute and agreed. I prefer apples over applesauce and I like my veggies al dente. She continued on to say that by eating so much of my food under cooked, I was missing some key nutrients.

There were more physical exams like taking my pulse in several locations and examination of the temperature of my hands and feet.

Then the massage started. An Amma massage incorporates both deep tissue pressure and small circular movements.

Much of the small circular movements are along meridian lines and intended to generate chi–life’s energy force.

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When Kerri finished, I tried to tip her, but she said, “I don’t accept tips. I consider what I do a medical treatment and you don’t tip your doctor.”

As I left the office, I thought, “Well, that was nice.”

And it was. Very nice.

But it wasn’t until later in the day and over the next few days that I realized how GREAT I felt.

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My energy level was higher. I was happier. My body felt more connected with my mind. And I was very, very relaxed.

I continued seeing Kerri every four to six weeks for massages until she quit to raise her daughters.

And while I was seeing her, I felt amazing! 🙂

Foot Golf

Boise, Idaho

Color me excited…

There’s a new sport in town!

Foot Golf has just come to the Boise area.

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FootgolfLogo (1)And I can’t wait to try it…

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It’s a combination of soccer and golf. I’ve never played either sport, but I think I’ll really like the hybrid sport.

Played on a modified golf course with a soccer ball, each hole is about half the length of a regular golf hole. And the ball cup is 21″ in diameter.

Apparently, hideous shorts are encouraged.

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Both Richie and Melissa have played, so I’ll have great coaches! 🙂

Can’t wait to try it!