December 14, 2009

Winter comes to the UP - AGAIN!!!

Well, we knew it wouldn't be long and sure enough, winter arrived with a vengence! As the cold front swept across the middle of the country, it stopped to dump about 2 feet of the fluffy white stuff on us up here on "God's holy mountain".

We spent Thanksgiving with both sons in Colorado and just beat the snow back. As we pulled into the driveway, large soft flakes the size of silver dollars were falling with a soft woosh, woosh that you can actually hear if you listen carefully.

The deer herd survived the hunting season and we even have a young six point buck coming to the feeding area this year. There are about 8 including does and the yearlings, so it's a good sized group. We feed them through the tough winters with corn and hay. We also feed a tribe of blue jays, mourning doves, evening grosbeaks, chickadees, several varieties of woodpeckers and lots of finches that rival the US Marine Corps the way they eat! But we love having them all, and winters are very hard here, so we supplement their food.

As I concentrate on correspondence courses as I usually do in the long winter months, I'm doing more classes locally now. We will be starting the New Year out right by teaching a workshop on Cleaning Green! I will be giving recipes, doing demonstrations and sharing information on the therapeutic values of various herbs and essential oils used in natural cleaning products. It should be great fun and one lucky participant will walk away with a $30.00 gift basket of home-made natural green cleaning products! For all the locals, you can go to the website under classes and workshops in the SHOPPE section to register.

Keep taking your vitamin C and zinc. From 3000 to 6000 mg. per day for adults. Also, keep those immune systems strong with echinacea and goldenseal. 

One of my favorite remedies for winter is garlic oil and I make a gallon of it over the winter months to keep the Mallinger clan healthy.

  • Take 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, mince, and put in a pint canning jar. 
  • Cover with virgin olive oil and sit on your counter where you will see it every day. 
  • Shake it daily to mix the oil and the garlic for a week. 
  • Then strain off the garlic and use it to saute some veggies or in your pasta. 

Put the oil into a pump bottle and use it whenever you feel that little telling tickle in the throat. Rub it on the soles of the feet, put on your warmest wooley socks and jump into bed. The next morning, you should feel great and have no signs of a cold. This works wonderfully for the kids.

Another favorite remedy of mine is for when I feel a sinus infection coming on, or if I have been exposed to folks sneezing or coughing in a closed in place. As soon as I can, I put a drop or two of tea tree essential oil on the end of a Q-tip and swab the inside of my nasal passages. Use a different end for each nostril and fresh Tea Tree oil on each tip to avoid cross contamination. Dispose of the Q-tip. Tea tree is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I use it extensively during the winter.

Until next time, STAY WELL!

November 2, 2009

Winter comes to the UP!

Hi Everyone!

Well, winter has officially arrived here in Michigan's beautiful UP. The autumn was much too short for me as the days were filled with Farmers' Markets, harvesting and preparing for the winter months to come. We have had several small snows already this year. Fortunatley, my husband, Michael managed to get a picture of our local "Pterodactyl" on one of my "natural planters" before the frost killed all my flowers! Here he is!

The Piliated Woodpeckers frequent the woods up here and are always exciting when they show up. It's hard to tell from the picture, but these birds are almost 2 feet long from beak to tail!

As you can see, I use old tree stumps as natural planters in the landscape. Just have your hubby hollow out the inside for you with a drill or a chisel. Then plant with your favorite annuals or perennials. It makes a wonderful planter and looks great, especially in a wooded setting. Vines are also attractive trailing down the sides. It's a perfect way to make use of unsightly stumps on the property.

This week I have a special recipe to share with all of you.

I used up the Pineapple sage in my garden right before the frost to make Jelly for the local market and for gift baskets for family and friends. It's very easy to do and a wonderful way for you to save your herbs.

You can use any of your favorite herbs in this recipe. Try some lemon balm, or any of the mints to make mint jelly. Sage, thyme, rosemary - any herb will work. You may want to vary the juice you use to vary the taste. Experiment and see what you can come up with! But rest in the knowledge that once again, you are getting all the medicinal benefits of those wonderful herbs. And it's delicious to boot!

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple sage leaves with 3 1/4 cups apple cider or apple juice. I packed the leaves and chopped them up before putting them in the juice

  • Bring to a boil. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain off the herbs.
  • Add one packet of powdered no sugar pectin and 1/2 tsp butter.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add 4 cups sugar all at once or 1 1/2 cups honey
  • Bring to a boil again and boil hard for one minute.
  • I always test by taking a little in a spoon and putting it in the fridge to see if it jells. If it does, you're good. If it's still runny, cook it a little longer.
  • Pack in jars which you've already sterilized and seal. Then send to friends and family!!!
That's it! Easy, right? This jelly is wonderful for oriental chicken, as a glaze on a pork roast or ham or just with butter on an English muffin!

Hope all of you are prepped for the Flu Season. If you've been following the blog, you already know what to do. If not, check the archives and go to the website to get products for your family to help you through the cold and flu season.

Until next time, BE WELL!!! (Valere!)

October 16, 2009

Where'd You Learn all this Stuff?!

Hi Everyone!

Well winter is on its way to the UP. The woods are ablaze with color right now, but the leaves are falling like snow, so it won't be long before the ground is covered for the season. We've already had a mild dusting of an inch, so the harvest is in and only the cool weather crops and hardy herbs are still alive here on God's Holy Mountain tucked under their fall cold frames.

The question I get asked most at all my seminars is: "What's the best school to go to if I want to be an Herbalist?"

That's a tough question. There are lots of wonderful schools all over the country. Many of the most respected herbalists of yesterday and some who are still around, got their start learning from their mothers, grandmothers or an older trusted herbalist who was "self-taught". Courses are available at universitites, community colleges, adult learning programs, online correspondence etc. The list is endless and you must choose the path that best suits your particular situation.

But I want to focus on an excellent resource that would be my first suggestion for those who are in the "dabbling" stage right now and aren't ready to invest in a full blown course.

John Gallagher and his lovely wife, Kim have two wonderful websites. Learning Herbs and Herb Mentor. John and Kimberly Gallagher started in 2005 to show people how simple it was to treat yourself naturally with herbs and good food.

They created the Herbal Medicine Making Kit as well as Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game.

They have also started a new community called HerbMentor. This is NOT about John and Kimberly mentoring you. HerbMentor about a community of herbal learners of all experience levels joining together to help each other deepen relationships with the plants and our health.

Where many herbal courses eventually come to an end, HerbMentor keeps you growing with ongoing inspiration and education. John Gallagher, L.Ac., CCH is a Community Centered Herbalist. He is also a licensed five element acupuncturist with Cascade Acupuncture in Redmond, WA. Since 1991, he has worked at Wilderness Awareness School, where he teaches herbal studies with the Residential Program.

This is "one stop shopping" for anyone interested in seriously persuing the herbal path, or even those who just want to scratch the surface. You will find wonderful teaching videos, forums where you can get your questions answered, and a plethora of other herbal information.

I have included links to the websites and some of their best selling products like Wildcraft! and the Herbal Medicine Making Kit. Go check it out. You'll be glad you did!

Till next time, be blessed and BE WELL!

September 22, 2009

Catching Up!

Hi Everyone!

So sorry I've been seemingly out of commission for the last three months, but here in the great North, when things start blooming, the harvest has to come quickly before the snow flies!

I have been so busy since the last post, so here's a quick update of what I've been doing.

July was filled with activity. I went to Indianapolis to test for my Certified Natural Health Professional. It was an eight day intensive filled with seminars and exams. All went well and I learned so much. I think I could go to school forever and be perfectly content! CNHP is affiliated with Trinity College where I got my degrees. If anyone is looking for an online course that is very well balanced, I cannot recommend them highly enough. Here is a link to their

I got home the end of the month and much to my delight, the St. John's Wort was blooming all over the place! Normally, SJW blooms on June 22, but up here in the UP, we are about a month behind the rest of the country. I went out and started gathering the beautiful golden blossoms for tinctures and infused oils. Folks along the roads just ignore me. They are used to seeing me walking along the road with a gallon jar in my hand filled with all sorts of botanicals!

August brought the Farmers' Market and weekend commitments. This is my first year doing the local market and it has been very profitable for me. They tell me we will be going until December 3'rd, but I'm not sure how, since the snow will fly starting in October! Stay tuned for pictures of me selling my wares in the snow!!

The season was very cool this year, with not much rain and temps at night were already starting to dip back into the 40's. My loving husband, Michael made sure all the critter cages that go over the veggie boxes had plastic on them so we could keep the tomatoes warm at night.

September got here so quickly I almost missed it! Pineapple sage was blooming as was the lavender, so I was busy making lavender wands for market and Pineapple sage jelly. I have a few jars of this left, so if you'd like to try some, they are $4.00 for a 4 oz. jar. I don't list them on the website, but with any order, just put in the comments, PINEAPPLE JELLY and I'll add a jar to your order. This is a special for those who read the blog only!

Yesterday I made a batch of peach butter using the red haven peaches that grow down state. It turned out wonderfully!

So that brings you up to date with my doings for the summer. As my favorite season comes into beautiful fullness, I'll be writing about the antics of the wildlife, suggestions for the sniffles and colds that are probably plaguing your children and recipes for some wonderful cool weather treats.

Check out the
for all things herbal to keep your family safe and healthy during the coming months as we prepare up here on God's Holy Mountain for the long winter sleep.

Until next time, Be Blessed and Be WELL!

June 24, 2009

Swine Flu "Unstoppable" - REALLY?

This statement was recently released by the World Health Organization (WHO):
"The world is moving into the early days of its first influenza pandemic in the 21st century. The swine flu virus is now unstoppable."-World Health Organization Chief Dr. Margaret Chan
While the whole swine flu is a scary thing, there's no reason for angst. I've copied an article here from Master Herbalist David Christopher which speaks common sense to an uncommon problem. Enjoy!
"So…. we are having a PANDEMIC!

With the announcement by WHO that the swine flu (or H1N1 flu) is a pandemic many people are in a panic and looking for answers. In fact, in Argentina the health care system was essentially shut down by hordes of people rushing to the hospitals to find out if they had swine flu.

Every article in the media indicates something different; from how many cases there are worldwide; to how soon a vaccine will be ready for the general public, to when it is predicted to get worse (after all, WHO has declared it unstoppable). Who and what are we supposed to believe?

First – what is the flu? Influenza (or flu) is a respiratory infection caused by any number of viruses. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year from the seasonal flu and about 36,000 die each year. Flu season happens during bad weather when people stay indoors and the therefore don’t get the fresh air, exercise, or sunshine with its accompanying vitamin D production. In other words, we create a personal environment conducive for viral invasion.

Influenza becomes pandemic when many people are subjected to a weakened or polluted personal or communal environment. A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide.
Here are a few examples of Pandemics you may have heard about:

The Plague - middle ages-1347 AD
The Spanish Flu – 1918
HIV/Aids virus – 1980’s +
Swine Flu – 1976
Gulf War Syndrome -1990’s
Swine/ Avian (H1N1) - present
Avian Flu – it has been predicted that this will be a pandemic in the future

The pandemic of 1918 was devastating to the population at large. It is estimated that it killed 50-100 million people worldwide ( However, there was one simple home remedy that was not only effective in curing people; it also prevented others from contracting it. What is that simple remedy? It is something that can be found anywhere in the world and is often overlooked by the medical profession. We can easily purchase it in any grocery store for under $1.00! Many of us already have it in our homes and use it in cooking but don’t realize the medicinal qualities it contains. This easy home remedy is simply ………garlic.

How does it work? Garlic has over 28 sulphide compounds, one of which is created when garlic is crushed. The amino acid Alliin is in a compartment and the enzyme Allinase is in a separate compartment. The crushing combines these two ingredients and creates a new substance named Allicin. This smelly, unstable sulphide is more powerful than any antibiotic and is potent in crushed fresh garlic. This super herb has appeared in close to 1,000 published papers and has been shown to kill bacteria in concentrations as low as 1 part extract in 50,000 parts water. The odor kills bacteria in Petri dishes at 20 centimeters distance and killed bacteria that were resistant to the antibiotic chloramphenicol. Garlic is the only antibiotic that also promotes healthy digestion and protects the body from toxins produced by the infection.

The best insurance in the world against the “predicted coming plagues” and “killing diseases” is to have the body in a good healthy condition. Disease germs are merely scavengers and can only live on toxins, mucous and residue from junk foods. They cannot and will not damage healthy cell structure. Therein lies the key! Have a healthy, clean body and disease germs will by-pass you - wanting nothing to do with your body, because it would be “obnoxiously clean” (in their language) and have no filth for them to live on.

If you do get sick, however, you should not be around other people. You should stay home and take care of yourself.

Avoid all animal products (especially dairy) and go on a liquid diet of fresh juices and plenty of distilled water and red raspberry tea. Make sure the bowels are moving so as to eliminate toxins quickly.

Next, lubricate the body liberally with garlic oil (fresh garlic pressed into olive oil) – especially the chest and soles of the feet. This is an easy way to take in a lot of garlic.
One woman called because many at her work had been out with a flu that was lasting about two weeks. She came home from work feeling sick and called to see what she could do. She wasn’t up to going to the store so I questioned her to see what she had in the house that she could use. I told her about this simple remedy which includes the juice from two apples, four stalks of celery, and one inch square of ginger.
The Chinese have done studies that show that effectiveness of ginger in killing viruses. She drank this juice all day along with water. She also stayed down and rested. The next day she was back at work.

To complete the process of healing, we suggest you stay on fresh juices, fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of distilled water."

June 11, 2009

Yogi the Bear is finally out of hibernation!

I've been griping about the late arrival of summer in everything from my Twitter site to the lists I belong to. Well this morning, over coffee, my husband suddenly jumped up and yelled, "BEAR!"

He ran for the camera and I ran to the back door to make sure the dogs were all inside. Sure enough, there in the seasonal creek that runs past the back door was our local black bear.

Normally we see these guys in April or May after the "real" winter is over. They wake up and are immediately hungry. Our first year here in the UP we woke up one morning to find all of our bird feeders and suet feeders either torn to pieces on the ground or gone completely! After asking around, we figured out that it was probably a bear. When they wake up, the first thing they eat is something green. Then they go for suet, sunflower seeds, corn or anything else they can find to satisfy them until the berries start to come in.

Black Bears aren't particularly vicious unless they have cubs with them, so a loud noise is usually enough to scare them off. So Michael opened the door and yelled, "BANG!"

Funny as this sounds, it usually works. I don't think the bears realize how big and scary they are! But if you get caught in the woods and happen to come face to face with one of the furry ones, first, remember that they are NOT Teddy Bears!!! Second, DO NOT RUN!! If you act like prey, they will perceive you as prey and act accordingly by chasing. And trust me when I tell you, that you will probably NOT be able to outrun them. Raise your arms above your head and make as much noise as you can, while slowly backing away. As I said, they are really big cowards unless it is a she-bear with cubs. They will usually lumber off.

Here's a picture of Yogi. That blur that you see is him deciding that he was NOT leaving without his lunch. He took one swipe at the suet feeder and knocked it off the hook, grabbed it in his mouth and ran back over the creek and into the woods.

I'm running a special for the month of June on the website. Anyone who puts "YOGI" in the comments section of the order form will get 20% OFF!
Now, aren't you glad you read the blog!!?
See you next time!

May 1, 2009

Spring Comes to the UP - FINALLY!!!!!

Well, there are two SURE signs that spring has come to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. One is that distictive sound of the Spring Peepers! Last night for the first time, I heard the familiar sound of the peepers in the cold night air. It was thrilling!!! The local wildlife here are much better predictors of the weather than our local weatherman. They never seem to be fooled into coming home to soon or leaving too early.

The Spring Peepers, for those of you who aren't familiar with them, are small brown tree frogs that have an excruciatingly high pitched "chirp". Many people have actually heard these tiny harbingers of Spring, but don't know what they look like.

Here's a link to hear the spring peepers singing!

The spring peeper produces glucose, or sugar, and "freezes" itself for the winter. In winter, peepers' bodies freeze--but their cells don't rupture because of the concentrated sugars in them. These sugars act as a kind of natural anti-freeze.

Their Latin name, Pseudacris crucifer, was chosen due for the cross, or 'crucifix' located on the back of this species.

I look forward to the males wooing the females with their "jingle bells" chorus every year. That way I know that spring is finally on its way and soon I'll be digging in the dirt!

So for those of you in the eastern portion of the U. S. get away from the city noises, someplace where there's water and trees and listen for the peepers!

Valere!!! (Be Well!!!)


April 20, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the garden!

Well, the snow finally started melting up here in the great frozen north last week. I could see the seed heads of last year's plantain in the driveway! A sure sign that Spring was on the way!

Then, last night, we got 6 inches of snow in a late April snowstorm. These are common here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, so it was no great surprise to any of us. I haven't seen the 200 pound black bear that frequents the "feeding area" in the back, so I think he knows something the rest of us don't!

I have to admit I was a little disappointed to wake up to winter white again. I am SO ready for the bulbs to start blooming and to get digging in the dirt. But those of us who know don't even think about putting our gardens in until the end of May. I can get by with some cold weather crops like lettuce, arugula and spinach if I put the lids on the raised boxes and treat them as cold frames. But anything serious has to wait until the end of May or risk being lost to a late season snow storm.

Classes are going well and I went to Munising on Thursday to do an Introduction to Herbalism. The class was well attended and we had a lively discussion. It's one of my favorite things to do. Keep watching for notices about upcoming online classes. That's something I hope to offer this year.

While you're looking, don't forget to stop by the Apothecary for some herbal elixirs to help with those seasonal allergies. May will soon be here and that's when the "yoopers" head for their camps. Our Campers Bar and Bugger Off are two MUST HAVES for camping and summer fun.

Hopefully, the next time you hear from me, I'll have GREEN news to report! (Like sprouts in the garden!)

Until next time,


February 27, 2009

A Tribute To Taz

Last week I said good-bye to the sweetest soul I've ever known. My heart is aching and there is an emptiness that nothing or no one else will ever be able to fill.

Taz came into our lives over 13 years ago in the form of a little ball of fluff. We lived in Colorado and already had one Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but wanted another. We made the 1 hour drive to a very reputable breeder in Denver and went in to see what she had available. Of course, I had my eye on the $1000 plus show prospect puppy. But my husband, Michael was looking in another kennel on the other side of the room.

"Those are pet quality puppies" The breeder explained. "That one is a fluffy"

I've owned, bred and showed dogs for over 25 years, but I didn't know what a "fluffy" corgi was. Evidently, they are considered genetically defective. They are perfectly wonderful and healthy, but the long hair does not meet the breed standard for corgis, so they cannot be shown in the conformation ring or bred. Evidently, many fine show dogs will "throw" the fluff gene occasionally. When they do, this is what you get.

Taz was a holy terror around the house. Running and barking in this tiny little voice at Mindy our older corgi, who had decided that her "new little brother" was no bargain!

Soon, it became very apparant that Taz was very special. His intelligence was superior and his endurance made Mindy look like an old dog! As our "pack" increased through the years, we added Bailey, Abbey, Pebbles and Cody. Through it all, Taz remained ever faithful and steadfast. He was not an "alpha" by any stretch, so he would wait until all the other dogs had eaten or had water to take his turn. His sweet disposition made him a favorite with everyone who met him, and he became my husband's "little buddy".

Walking the corgis was always entertaining. No matter how far we would walk, Taz would circle the others and herd them. Corgis are by nature herding dogs, and Taz had a natural gift of it. Whether it was the other dogs, children or us, he could always be found bringing up the rear and making sure everyone kept moving forward. He was always prancing at the end of the walk when the other dogs had long since lost their energy and had tongues hanging out.

As he got older, Taz would take his post at the top of a hill or on the porch keeping watch over his "domain".

He was always the clown, singing for his dinner every night with a sort of howl that was distinctly his when Michael would sing the "Dinner time Song".

Then one day, Taz stopped singing. He was sleeping a lot and other than getting up to go outside, he spent his days on the kitchen floor under our table, close to Michael's seat. I keep all the dogs healthy with natural, organic food and glycerites when they have a problem, so we took Taz to the vet to see what was the matter. They told us he had diabetes. His glucose levels were over 600 and we could not get them stabalized. Taz stopped eating, slept most of the days and did not have the same "happy man" expression we had come to know and appreciate so much over the last 13 years.

We tried giving him insulin shots in a desperate attempt to save him, but we finally realized it was time for us to let him go. He was suffering and this was no quality of life for him. I left the decision to Michael since Taz had long ago become "his little buddy". It took a couple of days, but he finally decided it was most humane to let Taz go. We took him to the Vet and held him while they gave him the shot that would put him to sleep. I bent down and stroked his soft fur and whispered, "It's OK, Taz. Run to the bridge."

I let go of the sweetest soul I've ever know. I can't ever remember Taz misbehaving. He was always sweet, even though the other dogs picked on him. I never saw him bare his teeth or even growl or snap at anyone. He was, as most animals are, the perfect example of God's unconditional love.

No one will ever replace Taz in our lives or our hearts. We will bury his ashes up on "Mindy's Hill" in the Spring where Mindy and Abbey are. He was the kindest and sweetest of all the Corgis and we will miss him for a long time. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still hear that happy bark of his as he ran through the woods behind Michael and the other dogs, making sure everyone was accounted for and in their place. Good-bye, dear, sweet Taz.

January 1, 2009

New Year's Day Musings

New Year's day always finds me in deep contemplation about life, family, the business etc. Like most of you, I'm sure. Today, the Detroit Redwings are playing hockey outside at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Black Hawks, so there is no peace in my home!

I grabbed my coat and called Bailey, the official Herb Shoppe Guard Dog and headed out through the 3 foot deep snow to the cabin where my herbs and my computer await. It's so quiet outside. You can actually hear the snow flakes hitting the ground. My feet make crunching sounds as I wind my way down the path to the cabin. Here, the only sounds are the intermittent sound of the wood pellet stove pushing more pellets down into the oven and Bailey's soft snoring. (Hey, it's not easy being the Herb Shoppe Guard Dog!)

I think over the past year. So many changes. The economy in bad shape. We have a brand new President. Soldiers still fight for our freedoms in a land far away.

I saw a report on the news the other day that the number one goal of those interviewed was to "get healthier". Really? Don't we do that every year? Promise to work out, eat better, go on a diet, etc etc etc. Usually by mid February, most of us have conveniently forgotten those promises and moved back into our old, sometimes destructive routines.

But as I think about it, striving to be healthy and take care of ourselves first really sounds like a good idea if we can truly stick with it. Ask most women what their priorities are and they will tell you, "my husband, my family, my job, my church, my God" in various order. But I would submit to all of you that if YOU are not your number one priority, you're misguided.

Now don't start screaming about selfishness and narcissism. Hear me out. I'd submit to you that if I do not take proper care of my body, my mind and my spirit, do I really have 100% to devote to anyone or anything else?

I know, I know. There's no time. Will there be time when you're sick? Will there be time if you are in the hospital? I recently went through a very short bout with a virus. I don't get sick, so this was very odd for me. My loving husband remarked he had never seen me so sick. Although it only lasted 10 days total, I was useless for almost the entire time.

As I looked back to see where I blew it, I had to admit that my exercise schedule had waned over the holidays, I had given in to the temptation to indulge in culinary delights that were best left on the plate, and had not been diligent about taking my supplements and my tinctures every morning.

I think as we age, our bodies are not as resilient and do not handle such lapses in routine well. Two years ago, my brother-in-law, who is the same age as me, had a major stroke. Jeff is strong and always outside working. Very active. Golfing every chance he gets. I admit his diet left something to be desired, but other than that, he was pretty healthy by all standards. Now he is on all sorts of medications and cannot work for very long without getting tired. He seldom plays golf anymore. He's only 53!

I know that our health is one of the most important things in our lives and if we are not conscious of it, it will get our attention one way or the other. So in this time of resolutions, how about some NON-resolutions for 2009?

I will NOT sleep less than 8 hours a night.
I will NOT put white sugar into my body in any form.
I will NOT hit the snooze button instead of getting up and working out.
I will NOT put my job before my health and well-being.

OK, now you try it! Take baby steps. These changes don't happen all at once, but the basics still work. Pure food and water, daily exercise (foreget this 3 times a week garbage!!), plenty of sleep, time to meditate or pray and loving yourself enough to put your health first!!!

My prayer for everyone reading the blog as well as my faithful customers, is that God will richly bless you this year. That you will enjoy health and happiness. That you will take the time to spend 5 more minutes on the floor with your children. That you will remember to laugh heartily every day and that you will remember to take care of you.

Happy New Year everyone!