Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Forty years ago I lived at the end of this tan ribbon of road.  This photo makes me smile.

I tend to go the way of a rebel.  However, I do not like going against the laws of God, nor those of our government. I’ve done my homework.  I hope this info helps shed light on a subject that is somewhat controversial and yet, here we are, on the overuse side because of freewill and a fearful side because of the lack of clinical studies.

In the past I considered the herb, Marijuana taboo.  It’s how I was brought up.  To some who miss-use perhaps it should be carefully considered, but for those with cancer and my son who suffers with seizures and behavioral issues, I have sought enlightenment.  I have come to understand that in our situation, it is a godsend.

We first heard of Charlottes Web, a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) strain of cannabis named after a seven-year-old girl, Charlotte Fiji, through a TED talk (stanley brothers charlotte’s web).  The Stanley brothers in Colorado had helped young Charlotte, who, at the time was having nearly 300 seizures per week caused by Dravet Syndrome, through this specific strain of marijuana.  The story was riveting.  Eyes glued.  Astounded at what held my eyes and the beautiful symphony that struck my eardrums called hope.  To say the least, I was deeply touched and impacted.  

In Oregon we have access to medical marijuana if we have run through the governmental hoops.  Thank you Ashland for making that process fairly easy.  We walked out feeling, not guilty, instead, we’d been given the moon.  I thought we’d have Charlottes Web in our hands in days and my son would begin to reap the benefits.  I showed the “medical marijuana pharmacy (aka head shop)” Zach’s legal medical marijuana card.  Told them I wanted a low THC, high CBD strain.  They gave guidance as best they could.  Cannabis for seizures is fairly new in the states.  They didn’t know Charlottes Web.  Yeah, they did sell me something.  I was told it was low THC, high CBD.  I handed them my green, they handed me their green.  Where my children are concerned, I will charge the gates of hell.  And I think I may have done just that.   I closed the door behind me carrying my little white bag of…hope.  I prayed it would work and that I would never have to go back there again.  

Newbie’s in the world of weed we were.  Zach was not himself that next day.  I was not impressed.  I plunged the contents of that vial into the commode, pushed the handle down and there it went.  

We happened upon a young man that had heard of Zach’s story and was moved by compassion (we are not so naive that we don’t know money is also a good motivator also) to try and find something that might be close to what we were looking for.  He has been very helpful in the hunt for organic high CBD low THC plants to help children with seizures.  It’s tricky.  I wish it weren’t.   

Unfortunately Zach still has seizures.  We need the Charlotte’s Web.  However, the really nice news is that this strain makes Zach happier and more stable emotionally.  We were not looking for these great side effects, but we will take them.  The THC barely registers in third party testing (1% THC to 16% CBD).  It’s a good start.  He smiles a lot.  

THC is a class of substances called cannabinoids and is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. Even so, THC has been found to have several therapeutic applications such as treatment of mild to moderate pain, appetite loss, insomnia, depression and nausea.

CBD, or Cannabidiol is another type of cannabinoid found in cannabis.  Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not contribute to a feeling of “being high”.  CBD has been found to provide relief from chronic pain due to muscle spasticity, muscle convulsions and inflammation.

So here we are.  Zach is the proud owner of a medical marijuana card.  He is not high.  He takes a nice little bit in the morning and a pleasant tad in the evening.  Stable, happy, sleeping better and less agitated.  When Zach’s smiles, we all smile.  

Zach’s blood work shows that he is one healthy dude.  In the beginning (we’ve been at this for 20 years) Zach was having between 15 to 20 seizures per day.  Anti-seizure meds had reduced his seizures, sometimes down to one a month and up as we lose efficacy.  Currently he has approxamitely 1 to 2 seizure per week.  We’d love to see zero.

We are still hoping to bring Charlottes Web to the Rogue Valley, so that it is available not only for Zach, but other children who suffer seizures.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014



Our beautiful organic juice shop.  NWRaw, we love you.
Note 1:  NWRaw opened in February!  We are trudging up K2, whipped by ice pellets and the blinding wind of running a raw food bistro and juice bar.  Good thing God can work with ignorant.  We may not have known what we were getting into, but we are committed to seeing our dream come true.  Thanks to those of you who are supporting us by putting foot to pavement and busting through our doors with fervor.  I love it when I see and hear of your enthusiasm for our juice!

We are going back to school as it were.  Reading...ever learning that our business is so much more than juice and healthy food choices.  NWRaw is our product.  And what a beautiful thing it is.  Now to do the dream and NWRaw justice and learn the art of how to create an excellent experience for our customers time and time again. To create the most beautiful, supreme juice bar business in the country; heck, in the world!  I get a lump the size of a lime in my gullet when I think that in a few months Northwest Raw will be one year old.

These past nine months have been harder than we’d imagined.  Hear me.  Having to plow winter wheat fields in a blinding snow storm, uphill behind a pair of oxen whilst pregnant with quadruplets might compare.  But, if you are going to climb you might as well go for the highest peak.  Right?  We are finding the quote, “it takes a village” too true when it comes to having a brand new baby business.  In May we brought to our staff, our son-in-law Trevor to manage along with our daughter Rachel (and the real boss, almost 2-year-old Elaithia June).  They have been such godsends.  They are young and beautiful and have energy.  Web and I don’t have as much of that precious commodity as we used to.  We have our place and that is, we are finding, different from the day-in and day-out management aspects.  We are having to learn how to run a business.  We love our little northwest juice bar, but as they say in the small business world, we need to be working ON our business, not IN it.

I feel we are about to crest the mountain top, but the trek to the top took kahunas…(in Hawaii) a wise man or shaman.
• informal an important person; the person in charge: one big kahuna runs the whole show.
• informal (in surfing) a very large wave.  Just in case you were wondering.  I was.  Oh wellI’m leaving it.

Nanny Jia

Note 2:  She Came— Zach’s Mary Poppins. Seemes God paved a golden path for her right to Staunton Hill.  Through a variety of encounters and name drops of this wonderful person, I felt prompted to go to Facebook and check her out.  I was shocked to see her face at my door…you see…

Jia held a face I’d seen in a dream a while back.  It was a real nighttime dream that seemed from God, but was not only improbable, but impossible at the time.  In this dream we as a family were interviewing for a nanny.  She walked through our front door dressed (yes as she did in reality) in a car coat tied in the middle, hair pulled over her shoulder and that face.  It was the same face I saw when I went to her Facebook page.  I nearly fell out of my clear acrylic chair.  God is NOT dead.

Now, oh the sweetness of the present…Monday through Friday we have consistency in our day.  Sigh…Zach has showers not given my myself, or Web.  On days we are not at NWRaw early we get to enjoy steaming mugs of coffee together in our pj’s.  All the while, Zach is having his meds drawn and given, food prepared, shower given, clothing washed, walks in the park and all manner of care given by a beautiful, lovely and kind young woman who loves Jesus with all of her heart.  I couldn’t have picked a better nanny.  I’m so glad I waited for God’s timing.  And I didn’t even have to interview another save Jia, whom I knew immediately upon seeing her, was the one for us.  The great thing is…she knew too.  This is excellent for Zach and for us.  We hold gratefulness in our hearts.

So…slow down, enjoy every aspect of your life because the journey is part of the dream, even in the tough stuff, even when the path seems longer, the air murky and dark and you feel like quitting, there is One who sees and who is creating, re-creating if necessary to bring about really good stuff for you.  I can honestly say after this difficult season of caring for Zach, 20-years with little help and of birthing a new business.  *tongue hanging out!  Sticking to the side of the One Who Creates will pull us through.  Hang on.  We walk through life, one foot in front of the other, hope in our guts and maybe a little organic latte (made with freshly squeezed nut milk) in our bellies.
*Coming to NWRaw in two weeks!