Wednesday, June 6

Here's an interesting Read:

Why Gardening Makes You Happy and Cures Depression
Written by Robyn Francis   

While mental health experts warn about depression as a global epidemic, other researchers are discovering ways we trigger our natural production of happy chemicals that keep depression at bay, with surprising results. All you need to do is get your fingers dirty and harvest your own food.
In recent years I’ve come across two completely independent bits of research that identified key environmental triggers for two important chemicals that boost our immune system and keep us happy - serotonin and dopamine. What fascinated me as a permaculturist and gardener were that the environmental triggers happen in the garden when you handle the soil and harvest your crops.

Saturday, July 23


 My mom has been sick and I've been sitting a lot. This made me realize no matter what we're doing these days, we're likely doing some of it on the computer. Whether we're researching medicines and illnesses, or gathering information on how to care for a new plant variety, or posting pictures of the garden on the internet, we're sitting while we do it. And while it's been so hot, I'm guessing many are spending more time indoors than usual.  I just posted this on my website and thought it might have some usefulness here as well:

On any given week new people  come to me seeking relief from low back pain.  And while the lower lumbar region is the area of their discomfort, it is typically a result of tight hamstrings, gluteals (buttocks), psoas and quads (hip flexors). 

Saturday, April 9

Aaahh Spring! Arrrrgh Weeding!

I really shouldn't growl at weeding. It is such a zen time for me; mindlessly cleaning out the beds from intruders who would like to evoke squatters rights. And this morning in Nashville was a perfect time to be out in the garden. Birds chirping as they tended to their nests, gentle breeze, and nowhere I had to be at any particular hour. Focusing on nothing but the earth, caring for nothing but the plants, and letting the stresses of the workaday world fall away.

And so I plucked the stray chickweed and hackberry wanna be's from my perennial bed, staked the peonies, and cleaned the last of the leaves out of the fern bed. My treat was finding two more asparagus ready for eating. and eat them I did, right there on the spot.

My take away for you today is that the main caution when weeding is

Sunday, March 20

Writer's Block

Writer's Block

This should actually be posted under a different blog called Cat Tales or something similar, but regardless here's what I have to contribute today:
I was diligently working on a writing project but had reached a point where it was clear that staring at the screen was not going to produce anything fruitful. So I decided to take a quick little respite and break my physical and mental stagnation by running to the store around the corner to pick up the only item I really need before tomorrow - kitty litter. I had forgotten it when I was out running errands this morning. Shouldn't take but ten minutes. the store is only 1/4 mile away. Getting out and moving my body will help shake things loose and I'll be back at the computer fully functional and productive again in no time.

So I picked up the kitty litter and on the way home noticed that there was no line at the car wash. So I popped in to do the auto wash thingy that only takes 5 minutes. A long time was being spent on the front of the car when I finally realized I was stuck and the automated system was not advancing me.

Saturday, March 12

Death by Monkey Grass

I was visited by a client last week who had numbness in her arm and hand. On closer investigation, it turns out she has been manicuring her Liriope by hand. Repeated pulling and holding with the left hand, clipping with the right and then pitching the clippings in the basket behind her and to the left. ... for hours at a time.

The body position alone is enough to get you in trouble. On your knees and hunched over; the neck and head are forced forward. The arms are out in front of you with nothing to support their weight.

And then there's the repetitive motion. The trifecta of garden injuries.

Monday, February 7

Lifting PreHab

OK, Last night we sat on the couch eating cheese and cheering cheese. Time to get up and moving this morning. For me I still have four minutes until workout time!

 I've been looking out over my garden and making the list of all the things that need to happen out there. I've still got some mulching to do in the fern beds and a stack of stone waiting to finish the walkway. Lifting chores like that are going to require a strong back and abdominals. So today's work out will concentrate on strengthening those body parts.

 One arm rows will help the latissimus dorsi. (right now 20pounds is the right weight for me)  Bent over rows and Seated rows for the upper back. I'm not a huge fan of

Tuesday, January 11



Just as Weeding is not done just to make your garden look good - (remember, it’s really about keeping more nutrients for the plants you cultivate) Fitness is not just about image, looking good or how much you weigh. It is all about physical ability and function. Here we are focused on how be fit enough to function well in the garden to be able to do all the things you want to do.

If strength training does not mimic the way muscles are used in our everyday life, then it might have a cosmetic effect (helping you look good/fit) but it will not necessarily translate into an injury preventing result. It is important to perform ‘functional exercise’ and to be specific in

Tuesday, December 14

Muscles and Joints

It’s all about balance.  Those guy wires imitate how the muscles work to keep your bones and joints in good placement.  Most muscles are attached to  different bones on each end (like the ropes are attached to the ground and the tree) and when they contract, that action pulls one bone closer to the other. That’s how joints move.  When one muscle shortens, its partner muscle is stretched and a joint moves.
 Take your elbow for example. The muscles that control the elbow in flexion/extension (bending/straightening) are the biceps and triceps. Most of you are familiar with these muscles. The biceps is the muscle in the front part of your upper arm, and the triceps is in the back of the arm. When the biceps contracts and shortens, the arm bends at the elbow and the triceps muscle

Saturday, December 4

Good Bones = the Hardscape = Human Posture

My computer fried last week just as I had taken a week off from work to do so much writing and organization. C'est la vie!  But I'm able to limp along with some auxillary tech help, so here we go......
Overall structural design is what gives a garden its ‘bones’ or framework. When we say a garden has ‘good bones’ we are usually referring to an engaging placement of the solid, more permanent landscaping features.  A successful hardscape of pathways, fences, arbors, water features, trees, or shrubs provides the armature upon which you build and shape the garden with your plantings. These are the things that remain constant even through the dormant seasons.  They define your little paradise, providing interest and contour, until they are utilized again in the spring to function as support for the movement of the garden when those creeping phlox spill over the walls and wisteria climbs up over the arbors.
Just as the garden benefits from having a good structural design, the human body also needs to have a solid and well-placed framework upon which to

Wednesday, November 24

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I found this great recipe and article on NPR.
If you had a bumper crop of pumpkins, I'm sure you've already made the pies for tomorrow's Feast, but save an extra one for this scrumptious side dish.  A pumpkin stuffed with bread, bacon, garlic and cheese can be a main course, according to cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Sunday, November 21


For a healthy garden, whether vegetable or floral, we need nutrient-rich soil, proper preparation of that soil, adequate sunlight for photosynthesis, water in regular amounts sufficient for strong root development and good drainage.  We need a nice allotment of insects and bees to help pollinate and eat harmful bacteria and pests. And we need regular maintenance in the form of fertilizing, deadheading, weeding, cleaning out leaves and debris, staking tall plants and trailing vines, turning and aerating the soil, so it won’t compact and become hard and deter proper root growth, and mulching for protection and moisture retention. The human body requires all those same ingredients to be healthy and robust. 

I remember as a child I used to think that you simply put a plant in the ground and it grew to its potential without any additional attention. At the time, I didn’t recognize that


What a fantastic weekend it has been in Nashville!! As promised, I went out to rake some leaves. Notice I said 'some' leaves. The color and texture they provide for my eyes, makes me reluctant to pick them all up in a perfect manicure. And anyone who's seen my lawn will be splitting their sides with laughter at the thought of me and 'perfectly manicured' existing in the same sentence.  I was tempted to

Thursday, November 11

The Laws of Nature

Apprentice yourself to nature. Not a day will pass without her opening a new and wondrous world of experience to learn from and enjoy.” - Richard W. Langer

In the 20 years I’ve been practicing as a neuromuscular therapist, I’ve noticed the majority of people don’t really know how to take responsibility for their body/pain. They think pain is only due to injury or comes automatically with getting older. Most of my new clients don’t realize they have any control whatsoever over their situation. They tend to think all injuries are accidental happenstance. Not many are educated about the cause and effect relationships of the human body and postural influence over the long term that may predispose us to a particular injury. We were taught at an early age that brushing our teeth is very important, and we understand the consequences, and most have incorporated this habit into their daily routine. But no one seems to be out there teaching about the  consequences of  poor posture and how it contributes to physical breakdown and pain.
               Two basic natural laws applicable are the Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Gravity. The Law of Cause and Effect states that every consequence (effect) has a cause. If one desires a certain outcome, one must identify and then enact the course of action in order to produce the desired results. For example, a beautiful lush garden (the effect) requires a certain course of action (the cause). If a gardener fertilizes but does not weed the beds, the garden will not immediately perish altogether, but it will