Book Review: The Florence Prescription

The Florence Prescription[Excerpt] “The hour was half past midnight. The Lady with the Lamp made her way slowly through the corridors filled with wounded, sick and dying soldiers, clear-headed and broken-hearted. The men were jammed together along the floors like too many plants packed into a row of beans, their only mattress the fetid and bloodied straw that was spread across the floors. The lucky ones had a blanket to themselves. “We can do better than this,” Florence Nightingale whispered into the foul air of the old Turkish army barracks building that had, almost as an afterthought, been converted into a hospital for British casualties of the war against Russia in the far-off Crimean Peninsula. “We must do better than this.”

The Florence Prescription is a timely fictional story about a modern hospital CEO who hires a consultant who, with the help of Florence Nightingale, creates a roadmap that any health care organization can follow to create a more positive and productive workplace and to build a sustainable source of competitive advantage.

Why Florence Nightingale? “It is doubtful that any healthcare leader ever faced a crisis more serious than the disaster zone that was the Scutari Barrack Hospital when Florence Nightingale arrived in 1854 to care for British casualties of the Crimean War. Yet over the next two years she transformed the entire operation, creating what was in effect a blueprint for the hospital as we know it today. In the following years, Nightingale and her intrepid band of healthcare pioneers brought about sweeping changes in hospital design, nursing education, and public health.”
The story describes the “invisible architecture” of core values, corporate culture, and emotional climate and why they are even more important than bricks and mortar for creating patient and employee loyalty. But it offers even more concrete methods of improvement by outlining and describing eight essential characteristics of a culture of ownership. Dozens of practical strategies for fostering a more positive and productive organization are also woven into the story.
Once in awhile you meet someone who goes the extra mile and surprises you in some way. It’s those unexpected situations that make up the stories of your life, if you stop to think about it. The nurse who takes 10 precious extra minutes with a patient who desperately needs a word of encouragement as much as he needs his pain care meds, a doctor who remembers why he got into the profession and treats his next patient with an extra dose of care and compassion, extending a positive note of hope to that patient who might have been at the point of giving up. Or, in my case, the author who went the extra mile when he heard I was planning to share my book with my sister, an RN, and sent me not only an extra autographed copy for her, but an extra one for me to share AND a copy of one of his other books “The Healing Tree” which is next on my reading list.
It made me determine that I want to do business like that, too.
While one may read The Florence Prescription and think, “our company ought to do that!”, it’s encouraging to think that change might just start with just one employee who takes the message of their company mission statement to heart. This book will inspire you to find out what your company mission statement is (if there is one) and actually think about what it would mean if put into practice.
[Excerpt] “Anytime someone says, ‘not my job,’ walks by a patient room where the call light is on, or does not stoop down to pick up a piece of paper on the floor, that person is renting a space on the organization chart, not taking ownership for the work itself.”
The Florence Prescription is one of those books that could change your life if you only had time to read them. So if you read only one book this year, read this one. Chances are, you or someone you love will end up in a hospital at some point in time, and you’ll wish the employees there had read the book!
I believe it’s the TED Talks whose byline is “Ideas Worth Spreading”. I would have to say that byline is deserved by Joe Tye’s and Dick Schwab’s book, too.
Thank you, gentlemen, for this thought-provoking book.
Order your copy here:
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Boost your brain with double doodles and other super simple techniques

What if I told you that you can boost your mood, improve concentration, reduce stress, improve hand-eye coordination, and even boost your immune system simply by drawing lazy eights in the air?

Well, you can according to many experts who teach this and similar methods of promoting right-left brain communication through the corpus callosum (the wide, flat bundle of neural fibers in the brain that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres. It is the largest white matter structure in the brain, consisting of 200–250 million contralateral axonalprojections [wikipedia]).

Not only are the exercises beneficial in general for all of us, they are helpful for children who are learning to write or who have learning disabilities, and they are also proving beneficial for stroke victims. Studies are even being done to see if they can be useful for helping Alzheimer’s patients. Note: In the case of a stroke victim who may not be able to use his/her arms, they can benefit by following with the eyes, someone else “drawing” the figures eights in the air.

Lazy Eights

For the Lazy Eights exercise (sideways figure eight, also called the Infinity sign), you can draw lazy eights with pencil and paper, or draw them in the air for approximately 2 minutes. When drawing them in the air, make very large, exaggerated movements and follow them with your eyes. Repeat daily.

Double Doodles

This exercise involves coloring or “doodling” with a piece of chalk, marker in each hand at the same time. This forces you to coordinate using both hands together and to pay attention to the direction of their movements. Or play pat-a-cake with your child! Those cross lateral movements are beneficial. And it turns out the Itsy Bitsy Spider song with those related hand movements also requires both sides of the brain to work together. So by teaching a child these songs and movements, you’ll not only be helping him/her, you’ll be doing yourself a favor!

Cross Crawls

Cross-crawling, another amazing technique for helping to realign and strengthen neural circuits, is done naturally by babies as they learn to crawl, i.e., moving the left arm and the right leg, then the right arm and the left leg, you get the idea. For adults, you can do the cross-crawl exercise seated or standing if you’d rather not get down on the floor and race your toddler: Touch the right hand or right elbow to the left knee. Then repeat the action with the left hand or left elbow. The exercise should be done for about 2 minutes, or about 25 times each side.

What a super simple way to boost your brain!



How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Vibrant, Productive Children

What do you think of when you picture a family of ten children? Chaos, noise, whining, shouting? How about peacefulness, laughter and joy?

I had the pleasure of attending her book signing party yesterday and marveling at her beautiful family.

Kim Plath, mother of these amazing children, has written and published her first book, “Intuitive Motherhood: Trusting Your Body’s Wisdom for Birth and Beyond”. She shares from her own experience how she and her husband, Barry, have raised happy, healthy, vibrant and productive children.

And I do mean productive. Each of their children is talented in his/her unique way. Ethan (age 15), for example, is a woodworker, is building three cars (even the gears!) AND he plays the cello and piano expertly. He’s also the one to call if there is anything needing repair. Another of her children is an expert gardener, another built his own airplane, all are homeschooled and taught music by their mother.

You might think that this master organizer, this talented teacher, this busy mother would look frazzled and harried. Instead, she is calm, relaxed, and available to her family. When she speaks, her children listen. If it’s time to wash the dishes, she mentions it and two or three of the children rise and go wash them… happily!

I mentioned the air of peacefulness in the home, and Kim said, “Many people equate love with total freedom for the child, but that leads to chaos. And heavy-handed discipline can lead to a dull, boring home. But boundaries and structure for a child result in happiness for the children.”

In her new book, Kim also shares freely her techniques for keeping her family healthy. You might think that with a family this large, they would spend an enormous amount of time in the doctor’s office, but the opposite is true. The family’s sickness history (2008-2013) is listed on page 68. And it doesn’t even fill the whole page. It’s more like a paragraph! Her advice on staying healthy alone is worth ten times the price of her book.

Her tips on pregnancy and childbirth are priceless and well beyond the usual information shared in many typical pregnancy books. This would make a great “go to” book for any new wife or mother.

But don’t take my word for it. Order a copy today just in time for Christmas giving. Her book just became available on Amazon and is already available in a bookstore in Montana and a gift shop in Cairo, Georgia, and she’s just getting started!

Kim is also a public speaker and is available to speak to your group, large or small. Contact her at 1-800-920-3044 or e-mail her at


Frankincense and Myrrh for Christmas

If you’re looking for that perfect gift for someone, consider the gift that was deemed fit for the Christ Child… frankincense and myrrh.

These two oils have been valued for thousands of years because of their many medicinal benefits. Historically, they were associated with divine healing powers and considered to be more precious than gold.

The herbs are best known through the story of the Three Wise Men (Magi) delivering gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby Jesus; myrrh was also used to anoint Jesus’ body after the crucifixion. These herbs were mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament, in instructions to Moses about making incense and anointing oil, and also in the Song of Solomon.

So exactly how can we use these oils today?


Digestive Support

When chewed, tree resins stimulate the flow of bile and saliva, leading to improved digestion. Practitioners of aromatherapy may recommend frankincense and myrrh as a treatment for stomach aches, indigestion, flatulence, constipation or nausea. Frankincense and myrrh can by mixed with spices like cinnamon and ginger to enhance their digestive-supporting effects.

Dental Health

Frankincense and myrrh benefit people with oral health problems like abscesses, toothaches, gingivitis and bad breath. Some people chew a combination of frankincense and myrrh to freshen breath and fight cavity-causing bacteria. Essential oils from frankincense and myrrh can be blended with water to produce a pleasant, effective mouthwash.

Skin Health

The benefits of frankincense and myrrh are important to people with skin disease and external wounds. A paste made from frankincense, myrrh and aloe vera can treat conditions like psoriasis and eczema. These fragrant tree resins– and their essential oils– can be used in skin-soothing bath salts. All tree resins are potently antibacterial and anti-inflammatory; pastes made from frankincense and myrrh can speed wound healing and prevent bacterial infections.

Respiratory Health

Traditionally, healers burned frankincense and myrrh to treat respiratory infections and promote the expulsion of phlegm. Add essential oils of frankincense and myrrh to a humidifier or hot bath; the steam can soothe your irritated mucus membranes. A tea made with frankincense or myrrh may help to ease sinus infections and sore throat.

Mental Health

Aromatherapy practitioners use a combination of frankincense and myrrh to ease emotional tension, depression, anxiety and panic. Traditionally, practitioners believed in the medicinal benefits of frankincense and myrrh for mental clarity; it was said that the tree resins could open the mind and promote memory.


Resins of frankincense and myrrh are used extensively in Indian traditional medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. These tree resins contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that ease inflammation throughout the body. Both resins can be used either internally or externally to treat arthritis and related conditions.

When Buying Quality Essential Oils

It’s important to know that all essential oils are not the same. Even if the bottle says “organic”, it might not be therapeutic grade oil. I’ve found a company that produces ONLY therapeutic grade essential oils.

Young Living Essential Oils has grown to become the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, Young Living has offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan and Singapore, as well as farms around the world.

Essence of the Season contains myrrh, frankincense, and Christmas Spirit™ essential oils plus frankincense and myrrh resins. All bottles are 5 ml size. $94 for the entire set (a bargain when you consider you won’t have to travel by camel the original “frankincense route” traced back to the Arabian Peninsula!).

Contact me if interested in ordering. Hurry so you can have it by Christmas!




As always, talk to your health care provider about any alternative medicine techniques that you use.

How these men avoided the plague… and how knowing this can benefit YOU

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1348–50. Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe published in 2010 and 2011 indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing several forms of plague. (Wikipedia)

Interestingly enough, there were certain thieves who robbed the dead without becoming infected. Finally, four thieves were captured in Marseilles, France, and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims of the plague.

At the trial, the magistrate offered them leniency if they would reveal how they managed to avoid contracting the dreaded infection, in spite of their close contact with infected corpses. It was disclosed that these thieves were perfumers and spice traders who had rubbed themselves with a concoction of aromatic herbs (cinnamon, clove, and oregano).

I recently discovered a company that makes some of the highest quality essential oils in the world. Their “Thieves” Oil Blend was tested at Weber State University (Utah) and found to have a 99.96 percent kill rate against airborne bacteria. It was found to be highly anti-infectious and supportive of the immune system. The formula for the Young Living Essential Oil blend, Thieves, is derived from the aromatic herbs used by the thieves of 15th century France.

And the good thing is you can get it today! Every home should have a bottle of this amazing oil. It can be used as a flu/cold/infection preventative and can also be used in a solution to clean your house! It even kills black mold.

As with any essential oil, you must be sure you buy therapeutic grade. Even if the oil says “organic” on the label, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s therapeutic grade, so be very careful. You can’t go wrong if you choose Young Living Essential Oils.

I’ve been testing many of the essential oils recently and I love them. (Contact me if you’re interested in purchasing some essential oils)

For Topical Application and Massage:

1 drop of thieves oil to 4 drops carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil works well).

Massage on the soles of the feet, lower back, neck and behind the ears.

*Note: This thieves oil recipe is excellent for daily use on the feet, especially during the cold and flu season.

Here is a basic Thieves Oil Recipe for Diffusing

Diffuse 15-20 drops of Thieves Oil for 15 minutes three or four time a day in an essential oil diffuser. This can help defend against infectious germs. This is valuable during cold and flu season or during infectious outbreaks.

Essential Oil Home Diffuser

Thieves Oil Recipes for Household Use
Stuffed Animals- To disinfect and clean, place toy inside pillowcase and tie shut. Fill washer with detergent, use fabric softener if desired. Add 5-10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil, (for small load) to washing machine. Wash on gentle cycle.

Hair spray buildup, gum, gummy adhesive- Dilute 8 drops in 4 ounces of water, spray, let set for a few minutes before wiping.

Dishwasher- Add 4-5 drops thieves oil to thoroughly clean dishes, eliminate bacteria and odors.

Laundry- Add 5-6 drops per load to freshen and disinfect.

Pet Bedding- Spray down cat boxes, dog houses, and pet cages to clean and disinfect.

Pet Dishes- Add 1-2 drops to soapy water and wash dishes. Rinse well.

Floors- Add 10-15 drops to ½ bucket of cleaning water.

Surface Disinfectant- To clean and sanitize surfaces-add 8-10 drops to 8 oz. of water in spray bottle.

Fragrance- Add a few drops to potpourri or cinnamon sticks to fragrance your home.

Purify the air- Add several drops of oil onto a cotton ball and place in home, office, car, or hotel air vents to eliminate odor..

Freshen laundry- Drop 4–5 drops onto a cloth and place in clothes dryer.

Bed Bugs- Spray mattresses to help dispel bed bugs.

Children’s Toys- Add 4-5 drops to sink water and wash children’s toys to clean and disinfect.

Got Thieves?


The peanut butter and ruler test for Alzheimers

There are something interesting medical discoveries coming from the State of Florida. A UF graduate student has developed a simple test using a tablespoon of peanut butter and a ruler to potentially be used to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimers in its early stages.

Apparently, the ability to smell is one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline. Peanut butter is a pure odorant that is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access. Read more here.

And Dr. Mary Newport who treated her husband’s Alzheimer’s successfully years ago and wrote the book “Alzheimers: What If There Was A Cure?” is back in the news. She has launched a new study at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute involving 65 patients to further substantiate her theory.

Alzheimer’s Clock Drawing Test here.

Coconut oil is an ideal brain food and it’s SO easy to incorporate this remarkable oil into your diet! Just add a teaspoon or so to your oatmeal and stir, or even add a teaspoon to your hot cup of coffee or tea like I do. I have a jar in my kitchen pantry and a jar in my bathroom, as coconut oil makes the perfect after shower application.

Why wouldn’t you give this a try? At best, you’ll ward off the dreaded disease of Alzheimer’s. At worst, you’ll have the smoothest skin around.

Use organic coconut oil! It’s well worth the extra it costs. Consider it medicine!


Gluten free, low carb, no dough Pizza!

Gluten Free, Low Carb
For when you absolutely want pizza but not all the carbs

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese (not low fat), room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
your choice of toppings – mushrooms, peppers, onions, anything you like
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spray a pizza pan or 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. With a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese until combined. Spread into baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread pizza sauce on crust. Top with cheese and toppings. Sprinkle pizza with garlic powder. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.


Make your own mineral makeup foundation

Looking for just the right shade of mineral makeup? Looking to save money, too?

Try this completely natural, no artificial ingredients, inexpensive recipe for making your own mineral makeup that is actually good for your skin! And YOU control the color!


natural pure cocoa powder (has antioxidants!)
*can also use cinnamon


Buy the best ingredients you can afford. Yes, organic costs a bit more but it’s worth it. Remember that what goes ON your skin goes into your bloodstream. And the ingredients go a long, long way!


Mix cornstarch with cocoa powder, usually a 2:1 ratio (example: 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder). Experiment with exact shade by adding more or less of either ingredient. Mix well to get all the lumps out. Be sure the container you’re storing your mineral makeup in is clean. It’s best to sterilize your container before adding ingredients.

Apply with wide cosmetics brush or cotton ball.

Have fun!

Make your own flu shot

I stumbled across this cool idea.

For anyone who wants to purposefully build up their immune system so as to better ward off the flu and other nasties this winter, try these cool, easy-to-make flu shots:

  • Apple Cider Slammer
  • Green Machine
  • Cod Liver Kiss
  • Blueberry Blast (my personal favorite)
  • Carrot Kicker
  • Lemon and Ginger Drop

The first bar to actually offer these concoctions instead of the usual fare will be heroes in my book. Just sayin. In the meantime, go to for the recipes!

And if that doesn’t excite you, maybe this will. Also at, Kristen is giving away an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator ($400 value). Thanks to my good friend, Edress Smith, I know what a value that is! Not only that, I’ve tasted the goodies Edress prepares in her own Excalibur dehydrator and hope to have a similar machine one day! (Check out Edress’ website and some of her recipes at this link)

So go to and check out the flu shot recipes and enter the contest to win the $400 value Excalibur dehydrator. You have nothing to lose, and you just might become healthier to boot. Sounds like a plan to me.

“I don’t want to wait for the contest! How can I get my own Excalibur Dehydrator?”

Here’s THE LINK to one on

You’re welcome.