Do Not be Discouraged!!

I have been given a gift; a wonderful gift. It is the gift of determination. When I was younger, some people mistook it for stubbornness. As I grew, some thought it was DRIVE, then ambition….then strength. The truth is though, it is none of these. It is simple determination. That does not mean that I wake up everyday with the ability to get everything done that I would like to. What it means is that throughout my life, I have had dreams and goals that have been put on the back burner, but have NEVER gone away. The determination kicks in and I realize it’s time. I bring them forward and work on them and sure enough they begin to become what they were always meant to be.

Why do I share this with you? Because as I sit here this morning I realize I haven’t written in a while. I hadn’t written because I was busy. I was living my life and building my dreams. The “balance” I’ve been looking for is happening. My business is growing and I am developing it slowly while still making time for my family and friends. It hasn’t been easy and my kids are often the ones who throw that balance off….asking for more and more while doing as little as possible for anyone… including themselves. (Human nature I guess, but something that has to be addressed.)

The joy though, is that I see it and am able to confront it head on with time and energy that I seemed to never have before. So what does this mean to you? It means, so what that you’ve left things on the back burner. If you feel in your heart the time is now…bring them to the forefront of your life. It isn’t too late. Determination to me means holding on when others would have long since have given up.


The low down on the rub down!!

Over the last six to eight months, I’ve learned so much about massage and while those who get one regularly already know this, if you are new to massage, you may want to keep these things in mind.

First, a massage really should not hurt. Yes, there may be moments of pain if you are working an area of soreness or injury, but continued pain is NOT a good thing. Speak to your therapist. If something hurts, let them know.

Second, more is not necessarily better. Pressing harder may be what you want a therapist to do, but if you need a specific treatment, deep pressure may not be ideal. In fact, it may very well be counter-productive. Again, communication is the key here. If the therapist is doing something you wonder about, ask them.

Third, you have the right to tell the therapist what you want them to do. In fact, it makes their job easier. If you don’t like your ears to be touched, tell them. If you don’t like your feet to be touched, tell them….kicking them may cause a bit of a strain in your relationship.

Fourth, be sure you are working with a therapist who is flexible and does what is in the client’s best interest. For example, the elderly often need a shorter massage. They may not be able to tolerate lying on the table for a full hour. They may need a chair instead of a table. If you have an injury and just want a specific injury treated, a full hour may not be called for. If the therapist is insisting on hour long appointments and you want shorter sessions, they may not be looking out for you….but for their pocketbook.

Finally, don’t go to get a massage if you are sick…especially if you have a fever. A good therapist will not work on you. They will ask you to reschedule. That may not be what you want to hear, but massage during an acute sickness is generally contraindicated. You may be contagious and the massage may actually make things worse.

Now, I have to let you go….my daughter wants a massage. Have a great week!!!

Calling ALL Villagers!!!

We joke about it. We complain about it. Everyone KNOWS it’s happening, but no one seems to realize that this is what is wrong with our society. We are too dang busy and everyone thinks we all need to have double income families and all the things money can buy. Let me tell you what money cannot and does not buy. It does not buy memories or time we’ve missed with our loved ones. It does not buy back the opportunities we pass up because we have something “better” to do.

I know many people get reflective after a loved one passes, but this is not a new feeling for me. This is really my life’s purpose; looking to create memories for my children and teach them to cherish those memories. When I was a child, I spent weeks not just days with Grandparents and cousins. We had cookouts and get-togethers and traditions that were mandatory for family….not optional. As a teenager, I may have resisted that once or twice, but even then, I took a great deal of comfort in knowing that I had a large number of people to turn to, to count on.

I once heard a story about a band of young elephants that were invading a village and killing off the people. This was very unusual so people began to study it to try and figure out why it was happening. It was happening because the elder elephants had been killed off by hunters. The only way to teach the younger generation was to reintroduce older elephants back into the herds. The elders taught the younger ones respect and how to “behave”. It was what had to happen.

Now we already know as a society that we need our daddy’s to be involved, but what I lament right now is how so many other people just seem to put the responsibility of raising children strictly on the parents. If a child misbehaves, everyone judges the parents instead of trying to help. Whatever happened to the days when people just picked up someone else’s kids just because they enjoy spending time with them. My aunts and uncles did that with me. So did my grandparents, my music teacher, my pastor and his wife….the list goes on and on.

WE parents struggle because it feels like we are doing this all by ourselves. Gone are the days where grandma lived in our house and we could count on that extra pair of loving arms to help with the babies. Now she’s off “doing her thing” or is unable or unwilling to help. Siblings live too far apart or every adult in the family works 24/7. If you stay home with your kids, people stop inviting you places….”because you have the kids”. People stop just dropping by…”because the kids might be napping.” They forget that WE NEED YOU!!! We need each other. The kids need to have more adults around to be examples. Mom’s and Dad’s need more adults around to help us feel human again…not just like servants to the demanding little beings that have invaded our homes.

I feel like one of the SUPER lucky ones most of the time. I have super loving friends, in-laws and step-kids who work to keep the ties strong. Still, I am saddened that my own brother lives 100 miles away and doesn’t try to steal my children….and I really do wish he would. He would be the perfect person to teach them how to fish.

I call on you now Villagers. Think about your loved ones. Think of your nieces, nephews, grandkids, cousins, friends…whomever it might be….steal them for the day. Take them to the movies or just go hang out at their house to be that extra pair of arms. It really does mean the world to them….and their parents.


So I started this blog to share my journey as I searched for a better way to live my life. Something more balanced and focused on my true priorities. Now, I write to help me through the grieving process. As many of you already know, I’ve recently lost my father….my Daddy.

He got cancer in his brain and on his spine in 1992. I know because it was the year I graduated high school. I was devastated. The cancer was aggressive, but treatable….but the treatment should have killed him. Well, I guess it did, just not back then. They beat the cancer, but the treatment increased his odds of having Parkinson’s by something like 60%….and in 2007, that became a reality.

I got to start losing him again. The cancer had taken so much…his strength, his determination. Now, Parkinson’s was taking his pride, his self-worth….at times…his sanity. I watched with utter helplessness as he slipped away from us. At first it was barely noticeable, then it was scary. The stories he made up. The fears. The falls.

So one would think that when I got the call that mom had taken him in with no pulse, there would be a sense of relief, if only for his sake. I guess there was. At first I didn’t even cry thinking he would finally feel like himself again, but then…

A day or two later, my heart broke. The reality that my sweet Daddy, the kindest man I’d ever known would never say my name again in this lifetime. I would never hear his laugh again or see his silly smile. For all the horrible things Parkinson’s had done to him…it had not taken his sense of humor. He loved to laugh. He loved to tease and watch others react to his “out of the blue” comments that took everyone by surprise. Those memories make me smile. The fact that I cannot enjoy them with him again makes me cry.

It has now only been two weeks and I’ve discovered quite a lot about grief. It subsides briefly, then sneaks back up on you like a sickness. It makes your bones ache, your eyes twitch, your body tremor. I wake up in the middle of the night only to relive the funeral over and over. One minute I cannot stand being alone. The next I want to hide from the world. On one hand I feel like one of my very reasons for living has been snatched away from me. On the other, I thank the Lord for taking him before the Parkinson’s got worse and destroyed both my parents.

Where will this thing called grief take me next? Yesterday, I hid from it with sweet family. Today I got so busy it never found me. A dear friend let me hide in her company…but now…now…I cry.

Adductors and Hamstrings

Here are some of the notes Robin gave us:


Pectineus (Also flexes the hip) 

  • Origin – Superior pubic ramus and Pectineal line on pubis
  • Insertions – Posterior proximal femoral shaft (inferior to lesser trochanter

Adductor Brevis

  • Origin – Inferior pubic ramus
  • Insertion – Proximal third of linea aspera (medial lip)

Adductor Longus 

  • Origin – Anterior pubic body
  • Insertion – Middle third of the linea aspera (medial lip)

Adductor Magnus (Also flexes and extends  the hip)

  • Origins – Ischial tuberosity, Inferior pubic ramus and Ischial ramus
  • Insertions – Linea aspera and Adductor tubercle of the femur

Gracilis  (Longest muscle in the body) (Also Flexes the hip, flexes the knee and medially rotates leg when knee is flexed.)

  • Origin – Inferior pubic ramus
  • Insertion – Medial proximal tibial shaft (at the pes anserinus)

These muscles all adduct and are all innervated by the Obturator nerve….except the Pectineus which is innervated by the Femoral nerve. The Adductor Magnus is also innervated by the sciatic nerve.



  • Origins – Ischial tuberosity
  • Insertion – Medial condyle of the tibia (posterior surface)
  • Actions – Flexes knee, medially rotates leg (when knee is flexed), extends hip, medially rotates hip and posteriorly tilts pelvis


  • Origin – Ischial tuberosity
  • Insertion – Medial proximal tibial shaft (at pes anserinus)
  • Actions – Flexes knee, medially rotates leg (when knee is flexed), extends hip, medially rotates hip and posteriorly tilts pelvis

Biceps Femoris –

  • Origins – Ischial tuberosity (long head) and Linea Aspera; lower lateral lip (short head)
  • Insertion – Fibular head
  • Actions – Flexes knee, laterally rotates the leg when knee is flexed, extends hip, laterally rotates hip, posteriorly tilts pelvis

All three of the hamstrings are innervated by the tibial nerve. The Biceps Femoris is also innervated by the common fibular/ peroneal nerve (short head). (They make up the sciatic nerve.)


Stone Massage Notes

1. The physiological process that draws blood to the surface or periphery of the body by means of heat is known as Retrostasis.

2.  Heat causes the viscosity of synovial fluids in the joints to thin.

3. Cold’s analgesic effect is caused by reduced nerve conduction.

4. Heat and cold should be alternated for clients with arthritis.

5. The stone table is ideally placed at the center side of the table, 3 feet away.

6. A therapy room used for hot stone massage must have access to electricity.

7. Essential oils are particularly useful not only for creating a pleasing aroma, but also for disinfecting the stones AND increasing the therapeutic effect of the massage.

8. Stones that form deep within the earth are cooled slowly, have sharp edges AND are roughly textured with large grain.

9. Common metamorphic rocks are jadestone, marble and quartzite.

10. Marble is formed by uplift of limestone bearing mountains.

11. When collecting your own set of stones, look in past volcanic activity and old, wide, calm rivers.

12. White marble holds cold the longest.

13. In general, large, thick stones hold heat the longest.

14. A static placement stone that is covered can hold its heat up to 30 minutes.

15. Cold stones can be stored in a freezer or a bowl of ice water.

16. Placement of stones on the face should be comprised of warm or cold stones or both at the same time.

17. Static placement of stones are best used in addition to massaging with stones.

18. Devices that are used to help hold stones in place are oven pockets, a sand bags or stone wrappers.

19. The first stone that is introduced to the client’s skin should be tepid.

20. If the client is feeling lightheaded during or after the massage, the therapist should stop the massage, check in with the client AND be sure the client is safe to drive before leaving.

Please check to see if my answers match yours. If you find a mistake, PLEASE let me know. I want to correct it as soon as I can!

Lesson Ten – Hip & Knee Joint (Updated)

Good Morning Classmates! Here are the tips Robin gave us to help us study:

1.  The two hip flexors are the Psoas Major and the Iliacus.

2.  The Deep six Rotators are:

  • Piriformis
  • Gemellus Superior
  • Gemellus Inferior
  • Obturator Internus
  • Obturator Externus
  • Quadratus Femoris

These muscles all laterally rotate, have attachments at the Greater Trochanter and are innervated by the sciatic nerve.

3.  The Gluteal Group is:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus

Remember in this group that the Inferior gluteal nerve is in the Gluteus Maximus while the Superior gluteal nerve is in the medius and minimus. Think of the body compass and how the inferior nerve would be BELOW and the superior nerve would be above. The Gluteus Maximus originates below the others.

4. Tensor Fasciae Latae

  • Originates on the Anterior iliac crest and the ASIS.
  • Inserts on the IT band
  • Abducts, flexes and medially rotates the hip
  • Is innervated by the Superior gluteal nerve

5.  Next are the Quadriceps, the strongest muscles in the body. They are:

  • Rectus Femoris
  • Vastus Intermedius
  • Vastus Medialis
  • Vastus Lateralis

The quads all extend the knee, but the Rectus Femoris also flexes the hip and anteriorly tilts the pelvis. They are innervated by the femoral nerve and found on the anterior side of the body. The Sartorius shares the nerve and the location, but it does not extend the knee. The Sartorius flexes the hip, laterally rotates the hip, abducts the hip and medially rotates the knee when the knee is flexed.

If you want to add to what I have here, please feel free to leave it in the comments! Happy studying!