Friday, October 28, 2011

A Fairly Full Week

On Monday Dominic hosted an IPED table at a grad school fair in San Fransisco and on Wednesday and Friday I held corporate tables at our client's health fairs in Manhattan. It was a fair-full week!

Health fairs are fun for people like Dominic and I. You get a great opportunity to talk about something you care about in front of an attentive audience (if you have freebies to distribute that is). For someone who works from home, having the chance to meet and chat with hundreds of people in a few hours is stimulating.

I love my job and I love the population health industry. If people are going to spend between 40-50 hours at work each week it's my pleasure to build a culture of healthy living in workplaces. Typically, health fairs include your standard big businesses and local athletic clubs, but Friday was different. My table happened to be right next to that of a woman named Jamie Smith-Helper who was handing out fresh tea and selling essential oils. She took a second to give me some information on their uses and benefits. I think my AeroGarden may be calling...

Jamie had a tea made from fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme. I had never considered making tea from herbs, but everyone who tried it at her booth really seemed to enjoy it. She was explaining what each herb's internal and external therapeutic uses were. For example, parsley contains vitamins A & C, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. A handout she gave me adds: "Diuretic - stimulates kidney function and acts as a liver tonic. High chlorophyll content aids in digestion and sweetens breath." When sipped in this fresh-herb tea, parsley can sooth coughs and address indigestion. Not bad for a plate decoration I usually throw out! I was entertained all day by her conversations. Did you know oregano has anti-fungal, antiseptic and antioxidant properties? She recommends adding fresh or dry oregano to face steam for acne.

Someday I dream of having a full herb garden. Perhaps when I do I'll try Jamie's Rosemary Infused Olive Oil recipe once I can grow my own:

1 cup dried rosemary leaves
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 quart sized Mason jar
Opaque bottle for storage (re-use the olive oil bottle)
Medium sauce pan 1/2 full with water

Use dried rosemary for this recipe as any water in the plant material may spoil the oil. Place pan of water on stove to boil. Add rosemary leaves to a clean jar followed by the olive oil, cap jar. Reduce heat on pot of water to low simmer and place jar into pot, allow oil to warm for 2-4 hours (longer is better, all day is fine), taking care not to let the water evaporate. Once the oil is removed from heat, allow the herbs to steep for 24 hours before straining. Pour oil into an opaque bottle for storage. "Rosemary oil makes an excellent moisturizer for body and scalp massage and may also be used to impart a strong rosemary flavor to food."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beauty Around Town

This is a Chrysanthemum
Believe it or not, 320 kiku flowers (as you can see) have been grown from a single stem. You can train them!

Learn more about ozukuri displays by calling (718) 362-9561 and press 146#.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mother Kathy, Sister Rose and the Whole Act

Earlier this month Mom & Dad drove out to New York for a weekend get-a-way. We did a little hiking in Vermont and enjoyed the just-changing colors through Massachusetts.

Lovely colors, loving parents

When we got back into the city, the men went to bond while Mom and I went to Broadway. We had been waiting months to see the divine Sister Act. The songs were new, but the show was all glitz and glamour. Just like us.

Just a week later I was looking forward to leaving the city behind for a weekend in Milwaukee. It was there that Dominic and I were honored to spend a Friday afternoon with a real Sister. One who is dear to the entire family and whom I've owed a visit to for quite some time.

We hustled to make it for lunch - and boy were we thankful we did! Trays in hand, we walked down the line ordering everything from fish (it was a Friday after all) to turtle cake. The convent sure knows how to serve up a hearty meal! Little did we know we would get to meet our Sister Rose's dear sisters in person. We had a very nice visit over lunch.

Did you know the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have a healthcare ministry? I could certainly use more of their compassion and creativity in my work. The ministry has existed for more than 100 years and manages change, ensures stewardship of resources, and integrates mission and values. It sure would be nice to have a their mission in the healthcare industry I'm familiar with...

The Franciscan sisters do more than healthcare. As parochial and secondary teachers they instruct on the college level, direct spiritually, administrate parishes and outreach in communities. Our Sister served for many years as a music teacher. My does she have a gift for the piano! Although they couldn't make it personally, my parents dedicated a Big Piano song to her while in NYC:

After lunch Sister Rose gave us a tour of the convent:

Starting with the Packer room (above). This room is our second favorite room after the chapel where Sister Rose's electronic organ is located.

After our tour of the convent and Sister Rose's office we got to sit in our own private visiting room and... visit. It was so nice to relax and catch up. These two had only ever met via Skype so this was a special opportunity for them to get to know one another better.

Thank you for everything Sisters! We had a ball seeing and meeting each of you!