Happy Birthday, America!

A few years ago, we received this homemade card from our son and daughter-in-law.  Both of their fathers were Air Force career men, so they remember the sacrifices that military families make.

I pray, as a nation, we never forget the men and women who have served and sacrificed for this imperfect, but still the best, country on the planet.  It's true that freedom isn't free.  Today, because of those who have served, we can:

1.  Grill and burn as many hot dogs as we want.

2.  Fight over the last corn-on-the-cob.

3.  Pellet each other with water balloons.

4.  Drink too much beer.

5.  Display the American flag on our property.

6.  Own property.

7.  Enjoy all kinds of red-white-and-blue Jello salads.

8.  Raise the water bill by running through the sprinkler all afternoon.

9.  Follow the town parade down the street.

10.  Write our name in the dark with sparklers.

11.  Spend too much money on firecrackers.

12.  Annoy our neighbors with firecrackers.

13.  Injure ourselves with firecrackers.

14.  Sing America, the Beautiful.  

15.  Spit watermelon seeds at each other.

16.  Vote.

17.  Argue over whom to vote for.

18.  Enjoy the DVD John Adams, the excellent (originally HBO) mini-series.

19.  Make a patriotic pinwheel out of a paper plate, a pencil, and a thumb tack.

20.  Remember that we are all created equal. 

Have a patriotic day!


Great Essential Oils Resource - Sale Ends Tonight!

I spent a couple hours this morning watching two very informative e-courses on essential oils (EOs) and herbs, and I have to say...I wish I would have paid more attention to this topic years ago.  It seems I'm often late to the game on things many others have already embraced. (We were the last family in Florida to transfer over to DVDs, and everyone on the planet was watching Downton Abbey before I fell in love with it.)

I'm not a trend-follower. I've seen too many things come and go (bell bottom pants, cabbage-patch dolls, the cabbage soup diet, fondue pots, and Richard Simmons.) And I try to screen everything through the lens of eternity. In 5 years, will this still be beneficial? In 100 years? When I meet St. Peter at the gate, will he tell me I wasted time/energy/money on such and such?

I'm cursed with the long-term view. So, sometimes I miss out on fleeting pleasures, like glitter eyeliner and culottes. I'm OK with that.

So, I've been slow to warm to essentials oils. However, as I've gotten older, I've developed more ailments, and I just don't want to take a pill for everything. My dad is on about 13 medications, and he started out with just 1. He's 93, and some could argue those meds have kept him around this long. I'm sure that's true. But, his quality of life is not ideal. He's not that happy, just sees being on the planet as better than the alternative.

So, I've been educating myself on essential oils and herbs. They always struck me as a bit "out there," but as time goes by, they are establishing credibility. So, I'm building my EO pharmacy. A great resource for me has been the HERBS AND ESSENTIAL OILS SUPER BUNDLE. These 2 e-courses alone have given me the background and confidence I need to move forward. 

Sarah Josey is a clinical herbalist with an EO pharmacy in Colorado. I just ordered three oils from her with the 50% off bonus I got from ordering this bundle. You'll get it too. :-)

Dr. Edie Wadsworth practiced medicine for 6 years and finally left the field because she felt she was just managing illnesses rather than preventing them. She was a chemistry major in college, so brings a wealth of molecular knowledge to the world of essential oils.

Dr. Edie is a woman of faith as well and in this 45-min. course talks about how God provides us with an abundance of natural resources in plants and herbs that can keep us healthy and strong without the side effects so many pharmaceuticals bring. With a twinkle in her eye, she points out that Adam and Eve were born and lived in a garden. :-)  Essential oils have been around since the first leaf sprouted from the dirt, and they are mentioned many times in scripture. (I'm really late to the game on this one.) Dr. Edie is bright and articulate and genuine.

These videos are just two of 20 e-resources in the HERBS AND EO BUNDLE. There are 445 EO recipes/blends in the package! I'm preparing to mix up a few for the skin issues I have (granuloma annulare), and I'm making a ginger EO/coconut oil salve for my joints that ache on occasion, due to inflammatory issues.  I love mixing up natural potions in my own kitchen!

I'm writing about this bundle for the second (and last) time because today is the final day of the sale. Ultimate Bundles are only available short-tem, because the authors involved commit to just 6 days of collaboration. Then, they're free agents again, and the cost of their product goes back to its regular price.

Check out all the info. on this instructive and comprehensive bundle HERE. You can see the details on all the individual e-books/courses.

You can share the resources with a friend (that's what I'm doing), or share the cost of the bundle - just $29.97 - with a buddy and begin your EO journey together. There's a money back guarantee, so you can't lose.

As a nation, we're getting more unhealthy every year. Health care is getting less predictable and more expensive. I've learned I need to take more responsibility for my own well-being, and I need to adopt more natural methods of doing that. Maybe you feel the same way.

Don't miss the opportunity to equip yourself with everything you need to know about essential oils and herb remedies. Sale ends tonight at midnight! 

Let's get healthy!


I'm Dipping Myself into Essential Oils

I've heard about essential oils for a decade, and I've dabbled in them a bit. I love the idea of using natural products, remedies God gives us through the earth's goodness. But, I have to say, I was intimidated by the number of oils available, by my lack of knowledge about them, and the price.

I'm happy to say I'm educating myself this week through the latest Ultimate Bundles package, Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle I've learned so much from the first three (of the 20 resources!) e-books I've read.

Basic things like this:

1. Essential oils (EOs) are not a substitute for medicines. (Although many people do get off medicines once they adopt better lifestyle choices, and EO's help them do that.)

2. EOs should not be viewed as in competition with prescribed medicines.

3. EOs are not "cure-alls" and do not "un-do" poor lifestyle choices like overeating, smoking, alcohol abuse, etc.

4. There IS credible research that shows EOs can improve health, soothe many afflictions, speed healing, and maintain a balance of body systems.

5. There are three methods of using EOs: aromatherapy, topical, and ingestion (which should be guided by a knowledgeable practitioner.)

If you already use EO's, you know these things. I'm a newbie, but I'm encouraged by what I'm learning. I'm going to start building my EO collection (that's the key to balancing the cost - purchase only one or two oils at a time) because it's a path that parallels beautifully with my own journey of avoiding (or at least delaying) RA, which my doctor suspects I have.  (Two years ago, I overhauled my diet, and symptoms abated. I was elated; my doc was cautiously optimistic. Time will tell.)

The Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle is available now through June 27.  Here are the important facts:

1.  17 e-books and 4 e-courses/videos for only $29.97. ($400 + worth of resources)
2.  Money back guarantee within 30 days. (Nothing to lose.)
3.  50% off coupon at GOLDEN POPPY HERBS  (you can start your oil collection there - that's what I'm doing. I just purchased three oils for under $20.)
4.  Share the resources with friends/family.

I've mentioned just three books here. You can check out all the other 17 titles here: HERBS AND EO SUPER BUNDLE.

I worked with the Ultimate Bundles team in April when my own e-book, The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure, was part of their Homemaking Bundle. I don't have a book in this current bundle, but I love this group and their products, so I'm letting you know about their various bundles as they come along.

Baby James loves essential oils. He has a few smelly-good ones in his after-bath lotion.

I'm in the process of moving my blog (it's going to take all summer) and if you'd like to make sure you stay connected to the Ballpark, I suggest you get my In the Dugout newsletter, in case everything blows up. My blog link will always be solid there, no matter where I am in the blogosphere. You can join me on the bench here: IN THE DUGOUT.

As always, thanks for coming by! 
Off to enjoy another EO book. :-)  (I'm already sold on lavender.)


Disclaimer: as an affiliate with Ultimate Bundles, I receive a commission on bundles sold through my links only. It's a win/win situation; you get a great deal, and I get to maintain my malted milk ball stash. :-)


Terrorism Hit My Corner of the World This Week

So much has been said about the recent Orlando shooting, I'm just one more voice that may or may not be heard.

Still...I can't not say some things.

1. First of all, it sickens me to see we are here again. More senseless killing.

2.  I live 45 minutes from Orlando. My daughter and I frequent the city often to visit The Container Store, Ikea, Whole Foods, and to pick up loved ones from the airport. We'd never heard of the Pulse nightclub until this past weekend. No matter...Orlando is our extended family city.  Terrorism just got a lot closer.

3. I wish the media would stop stressing that Pulse was a gay nightclub. It was a nightclub with people in it. Innocent people loved by friends and family. The shooter injured and slaughtered human beings - lives God formed with His Divine hand and loved unconditionally.

Throughout history, yes, particular groups have been targeted for elimination: Jews, Catholics, African Americans, the unborn, and more. The human heart has an infinite ability to hate. We can disagree with belief systems and lifestyle choices, (and in the end, God sorts that out - not us), but we never have the right to take a life. When evil purposely destroys life, victims have only one label: Children of God.

4. Mister Rogers tells a great story of how a young child once asked him (in more childlike words), in the face of danger, or a tragedy, what are we to do? How can we not be scared? He replied, "Look for the helpers. There are always people who are helping."


There were many helpers over the course of the Orlando tragedy: the police officers who battled Mateen, officers who dragged people to safety; the surgeons and nurses and hospital staff who battled equally hard to save lives and reduce suffering; Orlando residents who lined up to give blood; and Chick-fil-A, who opened their normally-closed-on-Sunday stores to provide sandwiches and sweet tea to volunteers. The human heart has an infinite capacity to love as well.

5. As I do with every one of these tragedies, I pray after this one too that we all examine our own hearts and see what drives our own choices. Do we live from a place of humility, or arrogance? Fear, or trust in God's sovereignty?  Do we operate from a place of entitlement, or service? Selfishness, or compassion? We create the world we live in, and if we want it to be less violent, we have to work on ourselves. Ghandi said it best: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

OK, I'm done. I feel better. Thanks for reading what's on my heavy heart.


I'm Moving. And I'm Nervous.

I'm getting ready to attempt a scary thing. It involves an arena that intimidates me and, frankly, confuses me. It's a change I have to make, but I'm dragging my feet.

I have to move to a new blog server and get a domain name email address.

See? I hardly even understand what I just wrote. I'm about as technically savvy as a worm. And when it comes to technology, I move about as slow.

I've loved being on blogger, it's a great site for beginner bloggers, which I was in 2010.  Six years later, I have things I want to do I can't do here. This means several not-so-fun transitions will occur:

1.  Formatting a new site. UGH. It took me six years to get this site to work as beautifully as it does. It's like my first little house. I know all the glitches, the cozy spots, and when to clean out the dugout. At the new place, I'll have to place and rearrange the furniture all over again. For a non-tech worm like me, it's kind of exhausting.


2.  Moving readers. If you follow Adventures in the Ballpark now, you'll have to re-subscribe at the new site. It's not hard to do that, you just have to remember to do it. If you read a lot of blogs (as I do), it might slip your mind (as it has mine on occasion) and pretty soon, Adventures is off your radar. I hope you'll follow me to the new site, because I don't want to be over there all alone. 

3.  Losing readers. You might come here looking for the old Adventures, and due to some temporary cyberpsace glitch (they do occur now and then), the link to the new one won't work, and you'll just say, Oh, forget it. I pray you don't fall into a black hole during this transition. I'll tell ya - I'm gonna worry about this.  I don't want anyone flailing around in cyberspace, longing for the Ballpark Brownie recipe and not having access to it, or wondering how my parents (93 and 96) are doing.

4. It will probably be a few weeks before all the kinks are worked out. I could be wrong on this, but I have NEVER known any Internet transition to be without hiccups. Sometimes big ones. Being the pessimist I am, I'm expecting the worst. I'm going to be positive about this and pray God directs the entire thing. Then any mess-up will be His problem.

So....because you guys are my buds, I'm sharing my heart about this move, which feels like I'm ripping out bleeding roots off on a new adventure! This is my summer project. I'd rather be getting a root canal. I'll keep you posted here, or on facebook/twitter as to how the move is going.

If you get my newsletter, I'll keep you updated that way too. (If you don't get it, you can sign-up HERE.)

What are your projects this summer? Probably fun stuff like hanging out at the pool, making Popsicles, and catching up on summer reading.

I'm so jealous.