Buried Treasure


No I’m not talking about precious gems, coins or fossil fuels. Just plain, clean, refreshing spring water. I had heard about this spring months ago but finding it was put on the back burner due to family obligations (like preparing for my daughter’s wedding!). My interest in the spring rekindled itself so on a recent sunny, late summer morning, the husband & I set out on a treasure hunt to find this liquid gold. Thanks to the website fun springs we were able to locate the general vicinity and do some research on this local resource. Initially we passed right by our destination  and after 45 minutes  we almost gave up. Then I saw the white pipe and the gushing water. Yes, I was like a kid in a candy store. We had just purchased two five gallon collapsible containers and filled them up in no time.

So why was I so excited about this spring? Last fall I had listened to a lecture by Daniel Vitalis, rewilding pioneer, and learned about the benefits of drinking spring water vs. tap or filtered water. He introduced me to findaspring a website that shows the location of fresh springs all over the world. Was quite surprised to discover one right here in my own county. Learn more about the benefits of drinking local living water from his video. According to the fun springs website, this spring has been used by the locals for over 200 years. Reportedly, visitors come from as far away as neighboring states to stock up.  Dr Paul Check says “our bodies are designed to drink water from streams & rivers vs. filtered water” and “nature produces quality water if we don’t disturb it.” What’s in local water informs our bodies about what’s in the environment. So if you are in the mood for a treasure hunt, do some research and consider taking this experiment in reconnecting to our land; honoring the bodies need for fresh, clean water and as Dr. Check says “come to the party of health and well being.”

Happy Feet


No I don’t mean the movie with animated penguins. I mean truly happy tootsies after giving mine lots of attention last week. My first treat was a clinical reflexology treatment with wonder worker Jedidiah Smith at The Center For Holistic Wellness & Anti Aging Center. As he explained to me, reflexology is different from a foot rub. Practitioners train for up to 4 years to hone their skills & learn the subtleties of the feet. I learned that this type of care can calm the nervous system, balance hormones and bring all the systems of the body back into alignment. Wonderful news for my post menopausal ears. I guess one could say ‘the feet don’t lie’. I ended the week with some luxurious self care via a pedicure & fun color.

According to The Art of Reflexology, many practitioners believe it “originated in China some 5000 years ago” and has been around since ancient times. It is a precise technique that uses pressure points in the feet to target specific areas of the body, stimulate the body’s own ability to heal itself and return to homeostasis. This method treats the whole person, not just the symptoms, and can improve circulation, endocrine function and even control pain. Reflexology is suitable for anyone, however, our responses will all be different.

In the book, Earthing, the authors share the benefits of walking barefoot on the earth. The feet have the most nerve endings per square inch than any other part of ‘the body of comparable size’ (p. 18) and need to be in touch with the energies of the earth for optimal health. Many issues can either be prevented or corrected with more attention to the feet. Not ready for a full reflexology treatment? Some simple self care things to do include daily foot baths; roll the foot over a tennis ball; walk barefoot more often on grass, small stones or sand; apply natural creams or oils; try reflexology shoes or just do some gentle foot and ankle stretches. If you are curious about this form of self care and want to learn more before making an appointment some references and a list of local practitioners are listed below.

Jedidiah D. Smith, 8 East Second Street, Suite 102, Frederick, MD 21701  phone 410-480-8339

The Art of Reflexology,   Dougans, Inge and Ellis, SuzanneElement Books Limited, 1992

Earthing, Ober, Clinton, Sinatro, Stephen, MD and Zucker, Martin, Basic Health Publications, 2010

Something Old, Something New: Mother of the Bride Musings


On a recent July morning I woke up to a beautiful balmy, sunny day. As I walked out onto my deck to greet the day I closed my eyes and stuck my nose up to take a sniff. A memory washed over me from 7 weeks ago when my eldest daughter, Sarah, said her ‘I do’s’ to her beloved. That day, too, had dawned warm and calm with blue skies. Frequently checking the forecast for weeks ahead of time was reassuring as only clear weather was on the way. Eventually I  stopped looking and kept focusing on how everything would be all right. The day truly was one of the most magical experiences of my life.

The event started over a year and a half ago when the future “hubs” (as Sarah calls him) popped the question in true romantic fashion, flowers, candles, the works. Venue shopping began soon afterward with visits to several popular local places. But after a tour of the grounds of Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown the decision was made. They set in motion one of the “most beautiful weddings I have ever been to in my life” events (quote from family friend). Every detail was mindfully chosen, using local vendors whenever possible.

Invitation and dress shopping came soon after with trips to TLC Bridal Boutique and The Organized Bride in Frederick. Officiant (Rev Bill Freeman) and Photographer (Nat Wongsaroj) seeking were next along with long hours purusing Pinterest for unique wedding ideas. The bridal showers began in Pittsburgh (groom’s hometown) to meet his large extended family. A few weeks later the bride’s family gathered to celebrate. Ordering of final items, boxes for the cookie table (a Pittsburgh tradition), galvanized pails for the table center pieces, chalkboards for guest information, lots of mason jars either from local stores or internet searches from the comfort of home.


The weather forecasters got it right as the wedding week arrived with clear, blue skies and luscious weather. Our florist (Candlelight Florists) let us participate in arranging our own table settings. So bride, mother, mother in law, bridesmaids and friends gathered around a wooden table surrounded by pails of gorgeous flowers to begin to let our creative juices flow. Although we all used the same flowers each pail was unique and different. Loved seeing our handiwork on the reception tables. The “hubs” parents sponsored a lovely rehearsal dinner and happy hour (Brewers Alley) the night before the big day to launch the long awaited festivities. I had spent hours preparing a video (from my Mac computer) for Sarah & her beau to track their journey from childhood to this moment. I was able to display this gift from my heart to theirs during the evening.

The morning of the big day the bridal party met as scheduled at Structures salon in downtown Frederick for hair and makeup. We had lots of company since we were competing with First Saturday and The Frederick Arts Festival. All went without a hitch. A yummy pre-wedding lunch purchased from The Juice Plate nourished us as we waited our ”ride” a white limo to chariot us out to Middletown. Everything began to fall into place as the time came for the bridal party to get dressed and take a run through before the boys arrived.

Nothing but perfection from there as my husband and I walked our daughter into the next phase of her life journey. Tears, vows, pictures, eating (Carriage House Caterers) toasts, more pictures, dancing (Elan DJs), celebrating, cupcaking (Angelcakes), more dancing and picture taking (wedpics for uploading Iphone pics) until it was time to shut the doors on the evening, clean up and go home. I have read that ‘everyone renews their vows at a wedding’ and that rang true for me as I watched my husband dance with and toast to our first born and her now husband. Take some time this season of weddings and unions to ponder your own relationship vows, refresh ones that are stale and discard ones that are no longer useful.


Water Lilies, Lotus Flowers & Dragonflies


Last Sunday I took my first bike ride of the year with Washington Women Outdoors (WWO) to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. WWO, the metro areas premiere  organization promoting outdoor activities for women will be celebrating its 35th birthday this year. This particular trip was a scouting event to try out a new route. When scouting, as I was repeatedly told, things don’t always go according to the schedule or map. We started from the Rosllyn Metro Station (Arlington, VA) and followed the Mt Vernon Bicycle Trail eventually crossing the 14th St Bridge. I don’t get to D.C. much so was like a kid in a candy store when we passed the usual tourist attractions like the Jefferson Memorial, The Capital Building and the Washington Monument. We made our way by the Washington Nationals Stadium to the Anacostia River Walk Trail (one of my favorite views) which went by the Washington Naval Yard. Lovely ride until we came to a section that was closed (remember this is a scouting trip) and had to back track and find a new route.

While the group paused to recalibrate directions a local biker fortuitously stopped and led us to the gardens. The destination made all the wrong turns & detours worth it. After taking lots of pictures and refueling with snacks & H2O, we headed back to D.C. The ride back seemed so much quicker, taking us through Historic Capital Hill where we stopped for lunch near the Eastern Market. A big thumbs up for the WWO and your spirit of exploration & adventure. Was great to be back with the group & great company. Thanks for the ride! For more information on WWO go to www.washingtonwomenoutdoors.org. Remember “all who wander are not lost” so meander a bit this summer, wander, wonder and enjoy the ride!

The Hormone Cure Detox: Afterthoughts


So grateful for this wonderful map to good health created by Dr Sara Gottfried. Feeling lighter, leaner, cleaner, wiser (lost lbs & inches). On Day 22 noticed a change in wrinkles on my face – seemed to have faded and the scale & measurements began to shift! Surprised to discover caffeine to be main item I was cranky about not having when I wanted it but had no other cravings. I longed for my morning lattes but when reentry time came – could take it or leave it. Just proved the “takes 21 days to change a habit” theory. Have not introduced anything else and have grown fond of my dark chocolate, cocoa spice tea & Kombucha as a refreshing alternative to coffee or wine. My hubby thinks it stinks but I’m loving it and being able to tuck my shirt inside my pants! Will continue with my daily rituals and mindful eating habits and not beat myself up if I “choose” to indulge. I highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to make a shift in their health. Dr. Sara’s program is well researched and has tons of support & guidance. For more information just go to www.drsaragottfriedmd.com and take her free hormone survey. Her next group detox is in the Fall. In the meantime try your own elimination diet. Nutrition is a great place to begin a self inquiry on what you put on, in and around your body and how it can affect your mental, emotional and physical health. JJVirgin also has a great program to do on your own through the JJVirgin Diet or her cookbook. Happy cleansing and may good health be with you.