My Favorite Book

Favorite Book

I’ve never been the type of reader who is done with a book as soon as it’s finished.  I devour a book, and then if it proves to be a friend, it will be read again and again over several years.  The first dozen times, I will notice things that I hadn’t noticed in previous readings.  Eventually, it will become so familiar that the comfort becomes finding the same things right where they are supposed to be (Which to be truthful, is the only thing in my life like that, so I can’t overemphasize the actual amount of comfort that can bring.  At least in the midst of chaos, I can escape into an orderly world for a little while).

Sometimes good books come back off the shelf because I am subconsciously trying to process something — Anna Karenina was read and re-read as I was getting used to being a wife and again when I was becoming a mother — not so much the parts about Anna and Vronsky, but the relationship of Levin and Kitty draws me.  Since I’ve been in Papua New Guinea, I find that I am once again attracted to Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa and Beryl Markham’s West with The Night..  Africa and Papua new Guinea are plenty different, but there are similarities, too.  We are at the same altitude and nearly the same latitude as Blixen’s Ngong Hills, we just get a lot more rain in Enga.  The way she describes the air and the atmosphere is achingly familiar.   At times when people are telling me of their leg aches or I am trying to comprehend situations that don’t quite click, I almost feel like I am channeling Karen.  “Come to my house, I have medicine.” I have said.  After feeling this a few times, I pulled Out of Africa off the shelf and began reading.  The expectation of a new life, processing a fairly similar culture — the first time we heard about the PNG concept of compensation as a form of justice, I already knew it – Karen had told me about it.  Karen Blixen even describes the sensation happening to her that I am describing — that Africa has a way of making you feel like you are living something out of a book you have been reading.

The Harry Potter series is also a soothing friend.  In the brain fog of Winter in the Midwest, my mind cannot grasp new ideas, and it seems our entire family entrenches themselves in our worn set of seven — different volumes spread out all over the house, each of us picking up whichever is nearest and leaving it behind for everyone else as we sleepwalk about the house and wait for sunshine and warmth.  The Horatio Hornblower series serves the same role, as does Narnia.  Just as Spring is about to burst through, the males in the family shake the cobwebs from their brains by immersing themselves in Lord of the Rings and discussions start to take on a more animated turn just before the daffodils break through.

But my dear, true friend is the true friend of most women, for some reason — Pride and Prejudice.  When I was in my teens, it hadn’t occurred to me that her books were Jane Austen’s way of communicating her very solid ideas on how to pick a good husband or wife. I simply enjoyed the story over and over while soaking all of that in, too.  It is also a book about basics — basic good people — good-natured, clever, virtuous; and basic bad people — self-centered and vain, self-centered and un-self-aware, self-centered and grating, and self-centered and downright evil.  But the basic component to the bad was self-centered.  The good people could be self-centered, too, but something brought them to repent of it.  Jane Bennett was all-goodness because even at the start, she was not self-centered.   Elizabeth is more what most of us hope we are — she doesn’t particularly excel at anything but people just like her company because she’s clever and funny.  She’s only mildly flawed — she wants to believe the best of the people she likes, and the worst of the people she doesn’t.  Her hardships are mostly not her own doing, but a few of them are (like believing the best of the people she likes, and the worst of the people she doesn’t).  But she figures it all out in the end and things turn out okay.  As involved as the plot is, Pride and Prejudice pretty much mirrors life, shows us our own flaws, but there’s a happy ever after.  I don’t need to be enamored of Mr. Darcy — he’s a little too much work for me, but I can be happy for Elizabeth and I always close the book feeling content but not ecstatic – but it made me think and I came away a little better for it.  Exactly how I like to feel when hanging out with a friend.

Helping Children in Church

(In an effort to save some of the works that I’ve done that I really like, I’m reposting.  This was originally posted in 2010 at my old blog: The Rebellious Pastor’s Wife)

How children should behave in church (or whether they should be there) can be quite a contentious issue. I would rather hear children in church than not have them be there.  As a pastor’s wife and a La Leche League Leader, I’ve heard so many stories about mothers getting the evil eye when they walked into the sanctuary with a babe in arms or a toddler. Obviously, if your child is proving to be a distraction or too loud for others to hear, it is a matter of consideration to take them out and deal with it. What that means is defined by your family perspective and the age and temperament of your child.

I am a firm believer in “faith comes by hearing,” and children belong in the presence of their Savior. They need to be a part of the body of all believers from the instant they are baptized. I am always scared that nurseries, children’s church, and Sunday Schools during church give one of two (or both) messages to children

1. That they don’t belong in the presence of God,

2. That they should be involved in activities that are more fun than church.

Either message can be incredibly damaging to their faith.

That being said, having children in church can be a challenge. I ought to know. As a pastor’s wife, I am a single parent every Sunday. With so many men who are not involved in church anymore, and so many babies not born into nuclear, married families—many women are put in the position that if they want to go to church, they have to take care of their kids alone, and so many put off the challenge of having children in church until they are older, because they will be easier to handle.

The truth is, there is not an age that is “easier to handle.”  Children behave best in church who are used to being there.  Babies and toddlers are a challenge, but so are 6 year olds who don’t know what they should do, and definitely so are middle school aged children.  There is no magic age where you can say “It’s time to go to church now,” and they will be excited, if it isn’t a regular part of their lives.

I know this isn’t easy. There were many days I stayed home from church because I wasn’t up to the fight of keeping Maggie in the pew that day or dealing with Chris’s moods (he definitely was NOT a morning person). There were days when I wonder why I was there because I didn’t hear a word of the sermon, wasn’t able to go to communion, etc. and I was exhausted or in tears the rest of the day.  But my kids got older, and they are a joy to worship with.  In fact, they often go to church without me, of their own free will.

So here are some things that did make it easier for me:

1. Sit in front. Most parents have a tendency to sit in the back because they don’t feel like the whole church sees when their children act up and they can make an easy exit. But slump down in the pew to your child’s level or eyesight. They can’t see anything besides the back of people’s heads. They don’t see why they are there. They often behave a lot better when they can see what is going on.

In our church, there are side aisles, so while I sat up front, I didn’t necessarily sit front and center, so I could still make an easy exit. There even was a door off to the side to a hallway. But even if you don’t have that, it is less distracting to everyone than you think if you need to walk down the aisle (side) or the nave.

2. Bring quiet toys, non-messy snacks, and a drink in a bottle or sippy cup (or discreetly nurse). Young children don’t have the attention span to deal with nothing but church for the whole service, and having something quiet to do helps, and if nothing else, it helps you. Chris used to love to stack hymnals, and when he got done, he would put them in a new stack. Plastic animals, stuffed animals, Hot Wheels (if your kid is not the kind that goes Vrroomm) or coloring books can be a help. Kids also behave better when their blood sugar is even. Something like Cheerios is generally fine. And, having a drink right there means there is one less reason to take them out.  This means you get to hear more.

3. Pay attention to what is developmentally appropriate. For instance, a baby or toddler will have difficulty sitting still. He is not being rebellious or difficult, his mind is just hard-wired for movement at that age. Also, take into account temperament. My son Chris could sit still and become absorbed in books at an early age. At the same age, Maggie needed to move.

I would take my kids out if they couldn’t sit still, but somewhere around late two or early three, there were times when I could tell that this was less true.  That my child COULD keep from being active, he just didn’t want to. This was then more of an issue of limits rather than ability. When this became the case, leaving the sanctuary meant that we went and sat perfectly still in a chair for 5 minutes out in the parish hall. They then learned that since snacks, coloring books, etc. were still in the church, they could actually do more in church than they could if we left.

Children are hard-wired to challenge limits, some kids more than others. My rule was they could play quietly in the pew, but couldn’t leave the pew. Maggie would go to the edge of the pew, get “that look” in her eye and then bolt. We’d do the chair in the parish hall thing and then I’d ask, “are you ready to go sit in the pew now?” Often, especially at first, we’d be right back in the parish hall in five minutes. After a while, it became a non-issue. As frustrating as this is, it is quite normal, and it is part of their learning to think for themselves. Your job is to set good limits and make them stick!

A discussion on my homeschool board had where some parents with each five minutes their child was good they’d give them a pile of tokens and then take one away for each infraction during church. With my kids, just leaning over and whispering to them, “you are being SO good” was enough. If I were doing tokens, I’d be inclined to give them one every five minutes that they were good instead of the method of taking one away every time they misbehaved. Some kids will do anything to keep from losing one.  Maggie probably would’ve screamed bloody murder, and Chris would’ve tried to engage me in a logical debate.

3. Try 1-2-3 Magic. This is a book or video you can generally get in the library or at Barnes and Noble/Borders. When I was working as a social worker, this was one of the programs we taught to parents who were in the DCS system. The method takes the emotion out of it, which is nice, and sets clear warnings. I was going out of my mind with my daughter who bounces off the walls, and when I started using it, it helped SO much. It worked well in the home, but it worked MARVELOUSLY in church. Maggie was three, and very active. She’d forget to whisper if she had to tell me something, I could just hold up one finger. Three minutes later, she might start trying to walk out of the pew. I’d gently grab her wrist (my reflexes were getting pretty good by this point) and bring her back and hold up two fingers. If something else happened that was not right, within that ten minute time period, she got a time out. At first, I went out with her, but eventually, I could just have her stand in the hallway, in plain sight (remember, I mentioned we had an open door right next to my pew).  When time was up, I could just wave her back into the pew. I wasn’t missing church anymore because of her!!

After a couple of months, I never got to three anymore.  She had it down.

So, what worked or works for you? I’d be eager to hear, and I’m sure it would help other parents as well.

Who Am I?

Who Am I? by Deitrich Bonhoeffer
Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a Squire from his country house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As thought it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectations of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

What Might be Eating Me

When we were asked to come to Papua New Guinea, one of my first concerns was “what is the diet?”  I have celiac disease, and I didn’t want to come into the country and have to refuse everything my hosts presented in good hospitality.  I already dealt with that often enough in the U.S.  To not be able to eat the food offered, feels separating, not joining – which is what feasting together is supposed to be.

I was very relieved to find out that the traditional feast was pork and sweet potatoes (kau kau), and daily food was often vegetables and kumu (greens).   That would be easy.

It wasn’t exactly as easy as I thought.  Junk food has infiltrated.  People here like scones (really, rolls), and often cook their vegetables in Maggi cubes (a boullion mix that has dairy, as well as a ton of preservatives).  They will put ramen noodles in with the kumu, too.

Still, it hasn’t been terrible.  I’ve been able to avoid many of these things without a problem.  However, after a couple of months here, my legs started to itch.  They had bumps which looked somewhat like flea bites.  I figured that’s what they were.  But they seemed to appear overnight, and Jeff didn’t have any bites. This went on week after week and got worse.  My rosacea got worse as well.

After we went to Lae last December, we were sidelined at the New Tribes mission at Lapilo for a couple of weeks.  I started showing symptoms of a urinary tract infection.  As quickly as those go up to my kidneys, I made sure to get into the clinic.  The doctor looked at my butterfly rash on my face, asked me some more questions and then asked if I’d ever been tested for lupus.  The test had to go to Australia, and he figured that I might find a place closer to have the blood taken.  He did do a SED rate, which showed that I had a high rate of inflammation going on.  He put me on Cipro for the symptoms but the itching got worse, so I went back to Keflex (which isn’t the best choice, but Cipro is super-strong and can mess up a lot of other things besides bacteria).

We ended up going back to Lapilo for the test.  They were the only one who could send the blood samples to Australia.  The doctor put me on 50 mg. of Prednisone for a week, to arrest the symptoms, but when I tried to go down, according to his instructions, my symptoms got worse, and my joints ached terribly.  It would have to be slower.  The tests came back negative, but the doctor wasn’t convinced.  The samples could not be kept refrigerated all the way to Australia, so he was worried it was a false negative and sent me home.

On the plane, the itching stopped.  The fatigue and the joint pain took a while.  And they returned every time I went down a few milligrams on the Prednisone.  The tests were negative again.  My Functional Medicine rheumatologist also put me on a regimen to treat for leaky gut, tested for wheat cross-reactivity, and kept an eye on me.  I was staying with my inlaws, which was great. It was peaceful, but it was difficult to cook in another person’s kitchen day in and day out.  So Maggie and I started eating out a lot.  We lived at In-n-Out (lettuce wraps) and Chipotle.  And I started feeling A LOT better.  I really didn’t attribute it to the diet, because when I did cook, the food was incredibly healthy – grass fed and pastured meat, organic fruits and vegetables.

My SED rates dropped down when I stayed at Concordia Irvine for a month, leaving us to think that it was probably simply being exposed to wheat.  I felt good.  Really good.  And there had to have been some gut healing, because the one time I got glutened, I didn’t even react.

A week back in PNG, and I was itching again.  My joints ached.  I wasn’t having the tea that we thought had wheat glue in the tea bags.  No idea what could be causing it.  It was after I had bacon, so I had bacon again…nothing.  It was after I had eggs, so we tried eggs again, nothing.  But the next time, yeah.  But the time after that, nope.  It was like that with everything.  Mostly, we were eating stews – lamb meat, onions, garlic, carrots, sweet potato, potato, and squash.  Nothing really allergenic in any of those things, and again, it didn’t seem to happen every time.

We went to Australia, where again, we were eating out, or cooking smaller amounts of food at a time.  All the symptoms disappeared.  Except – when I cut up a squash, my hands burned.  The squash.  I checked out squash allergy, and while it is rare, the symptoms were pretty right on.   For the rest of the time in Brisbane, I felt pretty good, except the time I had risotto with eggplant.    But even when I got glutened, I felt pretty good.

Now we are back in PNG, and while things are a lot better, the bumps, itching, joint pain, are back.  I was reading about FODMAPS (a type of food sensitivity that includes a lot of foods, including gluten), and the article mentioned “low histamine tolerance.”  I clicked on the link.

Histamine is contained in many foods – especially tropical fruits (!), berries (!), tomatoes (!), and while meats do not have them when they are killed, they start building immediately, even in the refrigerator or when canned.  Bone broth is high in histamines (!)  Tomatoes (!), anything fermented like soy sauce (!), wine/beer(!), vinegar, sauerkraut (!), kombucha (!) and tea (!!!) sauces such as tomato based sauces and curries(!), pork – including bacon (!), egg whites (!), teas (!), and sodas (!).  Most vegetables don’t have histamine, but spinach, eggplant (!), and pumpkin/winter squash(!) do.

Just having one thing with histamine in them may not cause a problem, but several things together might, depending on the tolerance level.  Histamine levels might already be high during seasonal allergies, and so a reaction might be easier when that is already going on.

The symptoms are itchy skin and rashes, hives, diarrhea/cramping, headaches, joint pain, rosacea-flushing- acne, anxiety/panic, and foggy thinking.  Unlike allergies, they don’t necessarily start up immediately after exposure, but the histamines build up in your system, and a reaction might happen hours later.  This is a decent summary of everything I’ve read, with a link to an even better one:  “Headaches, Hives, and Heartburn:  Could Histamine be the Cause?”  

When I was in the U.S. and eating out all the time, I was having none of these things, except tea.  When I was in Australia, I was having very little of these things, except tea.  But in Papua New Guinea, we had a lot of tropical fruits, and because of our power situation, we would make big pots of stew that would stay out on the stove (why put it in the fridge when the fridge didn’t have enough power to cool it down?).  We would reheat it thoroughly, but it would be building up histamines all the same, probably a LOT of histamines.

It does seem to be the case. I’ve now made myself react a couple of times.  And two day old stew does make me react much more strongly than the first night.

It’s another one of those syndromes that many doctors don’t have enough proof that it exists, though documentation is building, especially under the term Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

This makes it difficult.  I don’t even know HOW to start eating differently here.  All of those exclamation points are foods that we eat.  There really is very little that we don’t.  Not sure what to do.

A Day Like Any Other Day

The rain is falling for the third or fourth time today.  Some days, I can’t keep track.  The dog is hiding under the house and the cats are cuddled up on the porch.  It’s a night like any other here in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.

We don’t know how many we’ll have left.

I lead devotions on Tuesday night, because it is the night for our regional conference call.  Tonight we prayed the Litany —

“To rule and govern Your holy Christian Church; to preserve all pastors and ministers of Your Church in the true knowledge and understanding of Your wholesome Word and to sustain them in holy living;

To put an end to all schisms and causes of offense; to bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived;

To beat down Satan under our feet, to send faithful laborers into Your harvest, and to accompany Your Word with Your grace and Spirit. —

We implore you to hear us, Good Lord.”                                           (Lutheran Service Book, p. 288)

And we sang “The Church’s One Foundation” –

The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, Her Lord;
She is His new creation, by water and The Word.
From heav’n He came and sought her, to be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.   (Lutheran Service Book, p. 644)

That got me to thinking about Donna.  Donna is an incredibly special woman who has been a missionary for several years.  She retired from being a teacher and then went and served in Guinea.  After her term in Guinea, she signed up again and went to Indonesia.  At the school in Indonesia, someone accused them of evangelizing, and they were deported, and then she was sent to New Guinea, where I met her.  She hugged me with great energy the first time we met.  Donna equals warmth and comfort.

Our first weeks, we were neighbors with Donna.  She would sit on the porch swing every morning, singing hymns.  Often, Jeff and I were still lying in bed, trying to process this amazing place before we were inundated with it again.  Donna told us that before she was deported from Indonesia, she sat and sang hymns while she waited alone to find out what was going to happen to her.

I’ve been singing a lot more hymns lately — either out loud or in my head.

This morning, Anton sent me a picture of the latest article in the paper, accusing us of not even being missionaries and being criminals (who, us?  really???) and I’ve been thinking that it might be time to start getting a suitcase ready.  We have not been served any papers, and if we get deported, I am not sure that the laws will be followed – they certainly haven’t been thus far.

Tonight, the thought popped into my head:  “If I were to need to put my whole life into a suitcase, what would I pick?”  Thus far, I have my favorite mauve vest.  I don’t wear it here.  It’s usually too warm or too cold.  I’m not sure it even fits anymore. Without hesitation, I grabbed our Advent wreath, then our wedding picture and the kids’ baptismal portraits. I probably will try to cram in our Christmas ornaments — all of them were picked each year and commemorate something that happened in the year.  I will miss my Mexican blankets.  I haven’t used them here, but I’ve had them since before I was married, and they are still warm and soft.  I will also miss the spice houses my mother bought me as a wedding present.  Maybe if there is room somewhere.  It seems like a weird list of things.

The Christmas things have a particular value.  Our stuff hadn’t arrived yet last Christmas.  We had been traveling in early December and very eager to get home to Timothy so that we could be at church again.  Culture shock slammed into us as we sat in church on that 3rd Sunday of Advent, and they sang the exact same songs they’d sung since we arrived, and the exact same songs they’ve sung ever since.  The bush is the same, the weather is the same, the roads are the same.  Nothing was different.  I don’t want to feel that way again at Christmas.

There is a pervading sense of calm.  The newspapers may attack or defend, but here,  the rain falls, the cats cry on the porch as if I hadn’t just given them a pile of bacon rinds ten minutes ago, and the day just kind of meanders to night, like every other day.

Whatever happens, God is good.

A Bathtub? Inconceivable!

I had a bathtub in Enga…at my foot was the washcloth and bubbles….

While we were in Australia, Harry installed a bathtub in our bathroom.  Our shower needed replaced, so we decided this was a good time to go for a bathtub.  They were for sale in Mt. Hagen.

I view my house in a different light now.  It’s amazing.

I am not a shower person.  I will endure them, but they are a sensory assault.  The water is generally the wrong temperature, at least at first.  Part of my body is cold even if I find a satisfying temperature overall.  Depending on the shower, the spray can be a dribble or a full, pelting assault.  I don’t feel like certain parts of me get truly clean or rinsed.  And besides that, it is almost impossible to read in the shower.  A shower is a terrible way to greet the morning (which I don’t greet enthusiastically anyway) and a totally unrelaxing way to finish a day.

I’m sure many of you don’t agree with me.  But that’s okay.  You’re just wrong.

A bathtub on the other hand, awaits with its clear pool of warmth.  It soothes the skin and envelopes the body.  It invites one to recline.  It allows for contemplation and processing.  As a mom, there have been some times in my life where a bath has been the ONLY place I could think, or read.

Those of you who truly know me know what a big deal this is.  For me, it is the difference between a hostel and a home.  I may stay somewhere many years, but without a bathtub, there is no way it qualifies as home.  It’s simply a place to sleep, a stopping point on the way to a destination…that has a bathtub.

It very possibly is the only bathtub in the whole province.  A year ago, I’d feel very self-conscious about that, but now I know it probably is one of the key things that keeps me happy and helps me do my job (okay, I don’t know what that is, but it helps me do it).   I’m all for things that keep me from going finish or going crazy.  Okay, so some people are happy with a chocolate bar – I am a bit high maintenance.


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I’m not a farmer, I’m a city girl, so it is an interesting experience to me to eat something that I just saw walking around.

On Saturday, the women of our Bible Study brought us food.  They brought things from their gardens – potatoes, kau kau (sweet potato), pumpkin, onion, and cabbage.  Nancy also mentioned, when she told me this would be happening, that they would bring a chicken.  When someone comes back from the hospital, especially after they have surgery, it is traditional to kill a pig, to help the person get their blood back.  They didn’t have a pig, so she said they were bringing chicken.  She said it would happen in the afternoon.

Five o’clock passed, so I had the feeling that they were cooking whatever they were bringing.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The ladies came at 6:15 or so – just after the six o’clock screechy bugs sang, with a bag of vegetables – and a chicken.  A very active chicken.  She was quite handsome, and as the ladies sat down around our porch, the chicken moseyed around.

I offered everyone coffee, and they nodded.  But Jeff mentioned that we had Pepsi – and they all exclaimed “Yes, Pepsi!”

There is a story behind that:

When I was away in The States, Jeff continued to host Bible Study, and he would make coffee.  Jeff has no clue how to make coffee.  Nancy told him later that it was bad, but nothing goes to waste here.  One of the meris whispered to another meri “If you drink my coffee, I will give you buai.”  The other meri agreed.  But as soon as she finished “That was terrible.  I am going to need that buai.”

We all sat around a bit, chatting a little, but Papua New Guinea is not a huge culture for small talk, and it is not one of my gifts either.  After a bit, Nancy said “Lora, we will go home now,” and with that, I thanked them again and thanked them for coming to my home, and they smiled, nodded, and most of them were gone.

Before she left, Nancy coerced the chicken into a vegetable sack and then hung it on my pantry door.  “It will be all right there until tomorrow.”  I was shocked.  Really, it wouldn’t try to get out at all?  So I mentioned that we could put it in the shed.  We went into the shed and Nancy put the chicken into the wheel barrow.  “It will stay in there.”

You don’t want to feed a chicken before you kill it, if you can avoid it.  According to Nancy, per our last chicken gift, it makes it a cleaner job.   Nancy was going to come back the next day, but family in Irelya was sick, so chicken got a reprieve until Monday.  I was working, and didn’t know she had even gone out and killed it, but then she was sitting on my kitchen floor, picking the final feathers off.  The chicken now looked how chickens look when get them from the freezer section at Krogers.

It is different eating something that had been alive that day.  It isn’t “this chicken tastes good,” but the brain goes right to “she tastes good.”  It isn’t some meat in a package, but a real, actual animal, an animal that pooped on my porch and for a short time, her well-being had been my responsibility.

This isn’t anything that would turn me into a vegetarian, but it definitely makes me more determined to get as much out of her as I can.  Generally, I am good at that when it comes to chickens.  She made a good meal.  She will also make good sandwiches for my kids.  And she will also make a very good bone broth that will help us continue to be healthy.  That’s why they gave her to us in the first place.