Category Archives: RIO / Good Sam / Horticulture Therapy

A great ending to a fabulous day!

I went to LA Fitness today and had a great workout. Stopped by Joanne’s and did a little Christmas planning. Joanne’s is right next to the gym (DANGER). I walked to Walmart from Joanne’s, picked up a couple items and had an enjoyable ride home from a very pleasant Lift driver.

I was making Husband lunch and Fern popped by for a surprise visit. While Fern was here Cheryl Green called so I put her on speaker phone and we had a great conference call. Got a little work done for BIRRDsong, made lunch plans for tomorrow, laughed and just enjoyed being in one another’s company. Whether it be on the phone or face to face.

Called Mama this evening and she was in such a great mood! She was thrilled with her new place (she’s been there a year now) and the way we (her daughters) decorated. The fact she was so close to church and could walk there was wonderful so she didn’t have to drive. She hasn’t driven in well over a year however she thinks she was driving a month ago so no harm done.

After writing this, I’m going to lay down and relax the rest of the night. I didn’t get my afternoon nap and that’s NOT a good thing!

I also got a call from David Britton of To Make You Smile Birdhouses and he’ll be donating a birdhouse to Oregon Impact’s silent auction. His birdhouses grace all 5 Legacy Therapy gardens. They are so creative you can’t help but smile when you see them!

Tomorrow I’m gardening at Emanuel and having lunch with Maria, Fern and Cheryl. It’s gonna be a good day!!!!

Lovin’ the sunshine!!!

Maria I had a great day at Emanuel in the garden today. We now get to ad one more chore (not really a chore, a delight) to our gardening routine. We get to go to the gardens in the Randall’s Children’s Hospital on the 4th floor and keep that looking good. What an impressive hospital!!! It’s SOOOOO catered to kids that’s even the buttons in the elevators are kid friendly with animals etched in them. What an amazing display of architecture and imagination working together.

We worked hard in the 3 gardens we tended to but were lovin’ the sunshine as we played in the dirt and visited with kids and grownups : )


Great friends are a true blessing!!!

Yesterday 6-21-12 I had lunch after my volunteer gardening at Emanuel with a very dear friend of mine Rick Roise. Rick’s been a mentor of mine through all my years in optics. At one time he was not only my boss but husband’s too.  He was a great boss ’cause he was such a great friend. I had and still have the utmost respect for him as I do for his wife & my good friend Jan. Their friendship is very dear to husband & me. They were there all through the toughest (the crash) and most rewarding (our wedding) parts of our life. We were truly blessed that he was husband’s boss at the time of the crash that resulted in my TBI. Blessed for his support and the fact that he gave husband the time he needed to heal.

Today I spent the day with my good friend and interim President of BIRRDsong, Cheryl Green. Cheryl has a vision for BIRRDsong that is so like mine when I co-founded it, just being in her presence makes me feel me warm and very happy.

We worked on a flyer we’ll be sending out telling people about a presentation Dr. Bruce of NW EyeCare Professionals will be giving on August 4th at Good Samaritan Hospital. At his presentation called “A real LOOK into Brain Injury” he’ll be explaining why it’s imperative that a person who sustained a brain injury, or has any neurological deficit needs to be seen by a Behavioral Optometrist for optimum healing.

Let the garden begin~~~~~

My garden is beginning!! It’s going t be little but it’ll still pack a wallop!!

I had pictures I was hoping to post of the tomatoes, peppers, basil and rosemary I planted however I can’t seem to access them. Maybe when Shawn comes over tomorrow we can find them.

I worked just about all afternoon today. I was either planting or pulling. I used the timer Teresia Hazen the Horticulture Therapist at Legacy Good Samaritan gave me. I can work  longer using it ’cause I work smarter. I set the timer and work for 15 minutes and when it goes off, sit down, hydrate, stretch and relax for 10 minutes. Than do it all over again. I can work longer this way and don’t overdue it.

Gotta love the rain!

I’m a true Oregonian…………..I LOVE the rain!! Although, I was thinking it was going to be sunny today and even sent my gardening partner Maria an email yesterday stating how great it will be to spend time with her today in the Children’s and Burn Center gardens at Emanuel Hospital. While it was and always is wonderful to spend time in the gardens at all of the 5 Legacy Hospitals, today it was a bit ‘sloppy’ and tricky to get into the flower beds and do some clean up work. My balance isn’t the greatest, and my vision is still somewhat compromised so I need to be especially careful to stay in a upright position. So, I took my time and accomplished everything I set out to do in a safe fashion.

When I got home I opened the mail to find my nephew Jacob’s wedding invitation. It caught me off guard and so did my tears. I’ll leave it at that.

It was crying for attention!

Since I went to the Stenzel Healing Garden at Good Sam yesterday for my weekly volunteering, my own garden / flower beds were a bit jealous. So I needed to spend a little time today cleaning ’em up and getting them all prettied and protected before winter sets in.

Of course, and maybe this also happens to you, once I got started I found other things that needed my attention. I paced myself, took many breaks, and accomplished all I set out to do! Even getting dinner made so when husband gets home from work, he can turn on the World Series, take off his shoes, and eat as many tacos as he feels like eating all while watching the Cardinals kick the Ranger’s butts!

It’s raining now…………….life in Portland Or. I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Baby it’s cold outside!

It was cold today out in the Stenzel Healing Garden at Good Samaritan but ohhhh sooooo pretty!! The colors of the leaves are absolutely magnificent. Although me sweeping them up seemed to be ill fated  at times. Oh well, with rain in the forecast tomorrow safety is a priority and the leaves gotta come up. No matter if a bunch fall after I was finished. I know I’ve done my part and that’s the best I can do.

Teresia Hazen was doing some filming in the garden for Good Sam as she often does and asked my gardening partner and good friend Maria Bruce and I to be in the filming. We of course said yes so here we go again. Another video I’m in at, and about Good Sam. I love when it happens since Good Sam was such a miraculous part of my healing process after my TBI in 1999. And I really feel that when I was involved with horticulture therapy during my month stay in RIO, it was a turning point in my rehab. Teresia has that effect on the patients there with her knowledge, caring, and gently touch. She most definitely is “one with the earth” teaching “one with your body” using horticulture as the calming and saving grace.

Ahhhh the Stenzel Healing Garden at Good Sam!!!

Beauty courtesy of God
Peace, tranquility and healing

I spent another glorious day in the garden at Good Samaritan hospital today. I love volunteering there and helping maintain it’s beauty. There are patients, family and friends who come to Good Sam for medical procedures from all over the country and the garden has a calming effect on what can be a rough time someone is dealing with. It’s a place for tranquility and quiet all while taking in the variety of colors, smells, and textures.

It’s so rewarding to hear a “thank you the garden is beautiful” from a person whose spirit was just lifted and calmness took over an anxiety filled moment. It’s also a comfortable, safe and nurturing place to cry.  That’s why I volunteer there!! It’s my way of saying “thank you” to everyone who has touched my life and continuers to touch my life. After all my years there, I too still cry in the garden.

I was asked to be interviewd on camera today as to why I volunteer in the garden. With no makeup and crazy hair I jumped at the chance. I want to tell the world that the gardens at all our Legacy hopsitals are maintained by persons who want to bring peace and calm to everyone who visits them. Come enjoy our gardens at Legacy Gardens

Pretty garden however I’m pooped!

I went to Good Samaritan Hospital today for my volunteer work in the Healing Garden. I raked, swept, bagged, watered, cleaned, plucked and of course interacted with the people enjoying the beauty & serenity of the garden. I made the mistake of forgetting my timer at home that keeps me on track working 15 minute intervals and taking a 10 minute break in between each one. By doing this, it enables me to work at a slower pace and actually getting more done by allowing myself the rest I need in between tasks.

Without the timer keeping me on track I’m TOAST!!! I’m so pooped I took a nap when I got home & woke up when husband got home from work. Tonight he made us sandwiches for dinner. I’m in my jammies and I bid you all good night………………..

How cool is this????

Yesterday I spent the morning with my friend Bettina. Bettina and her husband Erwin are from Austria and have been here for two years learning more about their fields and how they can bring the techniques back to their native Austria. Her husband Erwin is a surgeon and Bettina is a clinical psychologist. She has plans when she returns to Austria at the end of this month, to implement Horticulture Therapy into her practice. Horticulture Therapy was a turning point in my rehab while in RIO at Good Samaritan Hospital and I couldn’t be more happy for Bettina’s students and patients who will  benefit from her knowledge in this field and passion for learning, teaching, and practicing all the things she has learned while here in Portland.

I share her passion of making Horticulture Therapy available to anyone going through some sort of rehabilitation, not just brain injury. She asked me if she could interview me and use the DVD for teaching as an example as to why the therapy is so important to her and actually vital for the fullest recovery possible. So yesterday she interviewed me in the Childrens’s Garden at Legacy Emanuel & Children’s Hospital.

Because I feel as strongly as Bettina, I will do whatever I can to help see her dreams made possible. My plan now is to get a sponsorship or sponsorships and as a representative from the brain injured community, go to Austria and share this and more of the different therapies that have helped myself and others and to bring hope to survivors & their families that there’s life after TBI. I want to also bring the things back that I learn in their way of treating brain injury. This is a win – win!

Bettina will do the work over there for Husband & I to come over and if everything works out the way it looks so far, the book about me will be finished and I’ll bring that as proof there’s not only life after brain injury, sometimes it’s the life you were supposed to be living in the first place.