Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar, as much as 10-25% in diabetics. It can also lower cholesterol levels and help fight inflammation.


Peppermint: Peppermint has been shown to be a pain killer and can help with irritable bowel syndrome and nausea. It can relax the muscles in the colon which can reduce pain during bowel movements.


Holy Basil: Holy Basil is not the same as regular Basil or Thai Basil. It’s has the name holy because it’s considered a sacred plant in India. It also helps with anxiety and can lower blood sugar. Holy Basil also inhibits the growth of bacterias, yeasts, and molds. 

Holy Basil.


Fenugreek: Fenugreek is a herb that helps your body in many ways, like improving your blood sugar. It contains a plant protein which can help diabetics. Fenugreek is overall a great herb and is very helpful to your body. 


Garlic: Garlic is used as a medicine and also is used for various cooking purposes. Garlic can be used to combat the common cold and reduce your blood pressure. Garlic can be very delicious in many dishes too. 

Chives: Chives contain many different minerals that help your body, and can relieve you from sunburns, headaches, and migraines. They have culinary uses too. They grow on flowering plants. 




Ginger can be used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help get rid of the flu and the common cold. There’s an oil inside that can also be used to help your body, which is called gingerol. 



Lavender contains lots of iron, gives you many vitamins, mainly vitamin A, and provides lots of calcium. There is an oil called Lavender oil, and other benefits are to relieve stress, promote restful sleep, lower skin irritation, and prevent stomach bloating. 


Cayenne powder and peppers.

Cayenne pepper is a pepper that has many health benefits, such as: it helps weight loss, prevents blood clots so you can sprinkle some of the flakes onto a cut and it will stop the bleeding, it helps digestion, boosts your metabolism, reduces hunger, and lowers blood pressure. 



Sage is highly nutritious and it has lots of healthy vitamins and minerals. It is also loaded with Antioxidants and helps your Oral health. It is known to ease menopause symptoms. Other benefits are: improves brain functions, lowers inflammation, boosts your immune system, strengthens bones, and prevents diabetes. 



Turmeric can reduce blood cholesterol, relieves chronic kidney disease, but it can also be fatal if taken during pregnancy. 

Zeke’s black eye

Gabe and Zeke’s baseball team (the Tigers) was playing Houston’s team (the Angels) last night. We had been anticipating the game all season. But the 3 Amigos’ big bro-down had a 20-minute rain delay, so both teams horsed around on the field as it barely drizzled and thundered way off in the distance … and then this happened.

Egad! First, let me say, Zeke is okay now, but it was frightening as all get out when we spotted him. He was crying, the kid who accidentally hit him in the face with a (luckily underhand-tossed) baseball was crying, the parents who saw it unfold were nearly crying – it was chaos! This pic was taken about four hours after the injury occurred.

By this time, the swelling had gone down immensely, and his vision, and cheek and eyebrow bones seemed to be fine. He was even a bit peppy before bed, having eaten popcorn and watched for the first time “The Wizard of Oz.”

I assured Zeke that he survived TTTS, being a preemie, and having a CCAM removed via lobectomy, so we weren’t gonna let some stray baseball bring him down. But honestly, I was scared to death. Thank you, Lord, for protecting my sweet boy, helping Stephen and me make wise decisions regarding his care, and giving Zeke two brothers who care so much about his well-being!

Here’s Zeke this afternoon. We decided to take him to an urgent care, just to make sure his orbital bones weren’t fractured. His x-rays checked out fine, as did his vision tests, physical exam, and even an ocular test that numbed his eye and turned it green so that the doc could make sure his lens and iris and other necessary seeing parts weren’t scratched or damaged.

Zeke was seen by the same lady who treated Houston during his shoulder trauma a few months back. She’s extremely thorough and competent, so we left feeling relieved of his “he’s one lucky dude” diagnosis. I mean, if he had been hit 1 mm differently in any direction, it could have been so much worse. Lord have mercy.

Thanks be to God for Houston’s healing

Our sweet Houston continues to improve by leaps and bounds. He can now brush and floss, put on and take off a shirt, tie his shoes, and cut food with a knife and fork all by himself. His fevers have disappeared and his appetite has come back with a vengeance!

I’ve had Houston doing a little schoolwork, too, now that he can write legibly and comfortably, and type at the keyboard. He’s also been lucking out of chores up till now, obviously, but we just keep testing out his abilities. So far, he’s straightened up the living room, loaded the dryer, and even helped Gabriel sweep the kitchen, albeit a bit slowly and crooked-armed.

Houston did fantastic at piano yesterday. He was able to play for about 30 minutes before his shoulder started to hurt. He read his newest Jack London book with me while his brothers had their lessons with Miss Julie and then crashed on her couch for the duration of our time there. Poor kid was pooped just from tickling the ivories.

Saint Panteleimon

We met with Dr. Xu again today. Just to be on the safe side, I mentioned some medical history from my side of the family (rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and Scleroderma) that I thought may be related to Houston’s current sickness. The doc allayed our concerns, stressing that what Houston is experiencing – although autoimmune in nature – isn’t one of those serious chronic-pain conditions. What Houston has is temporary and is curable. Whew!

And in fact, Houston is right on track for his recovery. Xu said that he should be back to 100% in about two weeks and that physical therapy will not be necessary. The doc gave him the thumbs-up for spring baseball and told us to just keep encouraging use of his right arm as much as possible.

Our kind priest, Father Christopher, met us in the parking lot prior to the appointment to anoint Houston with Holy oil and cover him in prayers of healing and good health. Father also spoke of Saint Panteleimon, the Great Martyr and Healer.

My friend Maggie, who brought the family a huge home-cooked meal yesterday, had mentioned this saint, as well. His baptismal name means “all-merciful,” which was apt since Panteleimon dedicated his entire life to healing the sick and suffering in the name of Christ.

Interesting, too, that the saint’s birth name, Pantoleon, means “a lion in everything.” Both descriptors seem to fit Houston’s character to a tee – bold and strong, yet compassionate and tender. How cool is that?!

“Of Three Hands”

Maggie also told me about Saint John Damascene’s icon, “Of Three Hands,” which she thought spoke to Houston’s current health predicament. It represents the fascinating story of the saint’s miraculously healed hand and his thankfulness to the Mother of God for interceding on his behalf.

Well, we too are very thankful for Houston’s healing and all the prayers and love y’all have showered upon our family during this trying time. A special shout-out goes to our cherished and tough-as-nails Granny, who came to stay with us during this whole medical scare. We’d be a lot worse for the wear without her undying patience, care, and hard work!

And of course, we are most grateful to our amazing God for answering our prayers for our son’s recovery and good health and for our wisdom. So I’ll close in prayer.

“Lord Jesus Christ our God, the God of boundless mercies and compassion, Whose love for mankind is indescribable and immeasurable: I fall before Your glory with fear and trembling as I offer You thanks for all the good things You have granted me, Your unworthy servant. I glorify You, praise You and sing to You, the only Lord, the Master, and Benefactor.

“Again, falling before You, I offer thanks for Your unspeakable compassion and pray that from this day forth, as before, You continue to work Your wonders for me, that thus I may grow in love for You and to cry out and sing to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”