I missed writing.  In August I had my left knee replaced.  It all went exceedingly well and still is.  My plan was to use my recuperation time to write and keep this blog current. However, it took me weeks to come out of the fog of anesthesia and the heavy duty schedule of physical therapy but at last, I’m here.

While I was otherwise occupied my book was published and put on the market.

My thanks go out to all the people who participated in the book and to all who gave me their support for the year+ that it was in the making. I could never have done it without every one of you.

For anyone interested in reading the book, you can order by going to “” and putting in the name of the book and my name. (the spirit of healing / linda hartford).  It’s available in soft cover and e-book. You can also go to “” and get the same options.

If you have already read the book please go to “” and/or “” and write a review.  First of all, I’m dying to know what you think of it and secondly, it can make a big difference in sales especially for a new author.

And thank you all again.



This is the art my granddaughter, Erica, did for the cover.   They say it will be 5-6 weeks til it is on the market.  You will be the first to know, I promise.

So what’s next is that I am focusing on a new book on Pro-Life issues.  I would so love to have you check out the posts and give me our opinion on anything I listed or something entirely new.  To comment on a particular post, click on the name of the post so I know what you are referring to.

If you have a story to tell about how any of this affected you or how you made a difference with someone, I want to hear it.

Pro-Life is a subject that is distressing to so many.  My purpose here is to reduce the stress so we can all work together for the betterment of all babies, born and unborn. Please join me.


 An Early History of Nursing

When I was a teenager I just loved needlecrafts of all kinds. Once I attended a class on “Embroidery in the Middle Ages”. Our instructor was very interesting, a little magical and a little other-worldly, like  Professor Trelawney of Harry Potter fame. She taught about the great tapestries.

“Did you know that the reason women and men wore wigs was because of nits? They couldn’t get rid of them so they shaved their heads and used wigs to hide their baldness. Do you recall the beautiful women in the tapestries who stand coyly holding an orange in their hands? That was because there was no sanitation. No one washed their clothes or their bodies, so to hide the stink they held their clove studded oranges under your nose while you talked.”

She went on, “In those days all the tailors were men and suits were very expensive. So, men began to wear lace around their necks and their cuffs because they were so much cheaper to replace as women were allowed to make lace.” It is a mostly lost art called tatting.”

Then she got a little off track, I thought, speaking of the peasants “They had no money and sewed only the clothes on their backs. Those women worked all day. They had to take care of home and hearth and each other. They were the mid-wives, and the herbalists. The men did the building and the hunting. They did the surgeries as they learned cutting, cauterizing and sewing during the wars. When they were done, the women were allowed care for the wounded.”

“But”, she said, “the men were suspicious of the women healers at the same time. The women were always very popular with the peasants who couldn’t afford a rich man’s medical care. They tried to get rid of the nurses before they cut into the men’s profits. They called them witches and had all kinds of horrible ways to kill them. Where did you think the stories of witches came from? Of course, they had to wear black robes with hoods (that probably had points) so they could meet in the woods to share their cures. All those stories about witches in those days were all made up to get rid of the woman herbalists and healers.”

The Middle Ages are very disturbing regarding the Church and the persecution of “witches” in Europe. The 17th  and 18th  centuries have lots of stories of the Salem “Witch” hunts. Then all nursing history seems to start with Florence Nightingale in Europe and shortly after her we have Clara Barton here in America. From there it goes on to show how every little advancement in our profession was “given” to us. But there is little history before those two women and what is available, is hard to find.

There is a pamphlet called “Witches, Midwives and Nurses”, a history of women healers, by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English. It’s short and to the point. I highly recommend that every nurse and in fact everyone read it. I got the 2nd edition on my Kindle through Amazon and they have a printed edition. I am not getting paid for this so just read it.

One thing I’m sure of is that women are still being treated unfairly in America by the Medical System and by our lawmakers especially local governments, Congress and the Supreme Court. Perhaps this is the time to change that.



I’m sorry to say the spirit of congress just went over a cliff.

As nurses and the AMA, the countries largest association of doctors, and most human beings have known for a long time that this will mean the deaths of thousands of people.  The fight for Medicare for all is already being waged.  This may well be the turning point.  California’s State Congress has already taken steps to pass legislation at the urging of The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United.of which I am proud to be a member.

It’s appalling that these men and women who cry and pray over the Rights of LGBT Marriage and Abortion Rights are the same men who just sold pregnant women and rape victims down the river, as well as all those with pre-existing conditions.  There is a total absence of compassion and they think they love God.  What are Evangelist Christians thinking now?  Will they will be able to ignore the many people, including children, born and unborn who will suffer and die in the next few years?

And the only reason for all this is to save money!  That’s right, health care does cost a lot of money. That’s the bottom line. No kidding.  It does.  It costs a lot. Especially here in America.  A lot of money.  Yes, A lot.

So, for all this money the American people have to make sacrifices.  Congress has just decided who they will throw under the bus to save all this money.  Yep.  A lot of money.

They saved it for what they consider so important that they need it for:

  • Bombs, we need more bombs to kill more people
  • Tax cuts for POTUS and his billionaire buddies
  • Big cuts for Big Business for whatever
  • POTUS has to play golf every weekend
  • His wife has to live in NYC and that costs a lot of money.

But that’s reasonable, right? People die so they can play and they think it’s perfectly OK.

Ladies, and all you men who support us, it is time to stand up for all you believe in, love, caring, healthcare, clean water, education and housing for all.   All we have to give up is fear.

We need to put on our pussy hats and go to work.

Light Connects Us All


It is no wonder to me that Florence Nightingale’s lamp is the symbol for nursing.  In my mind, Light is the symbol for all healing.

We also get to choose whether to be a person of darkness or one of light.  Healers have chosen Light.

Florence Nightingale’s lamp was no accident. When she walked into a room of wounded and dying soldiers she carried her lamp so she could see them.  But they also could see her.  Even if they were on the other side of the room the light would be visible and reassuring.   Each man could see that someone was there to help because she cared.

She was the beacon in the little children’s song that tells us,

“You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine”

One the most collectible items in America is replicas of lighthouses.   Paintings, antiques, statues, jewelry, pictures and a host of other things, I would guess.   The lighthouse was well beloved light for sailors.  It was a vision of home and family and love.  A symbol that says, “We’ve arrived, we’re safe.


Light is the sun that wakes us in the morning, grows our food and makes the flowers bloom.  The sun is what enables us to see so we can walk, work and play safely.  Of course, man has also made light so we can do all those things indoors 24/7 and at night outside too.   It is so necessary in hospitals and other work environments that ancillary and emergency generators are installed.

Spot lights in the theater are there to high light the performer and lead the audience’s eyes to the most important things going on.

Light also creates heat, whether by campfire or light bulb.  Heat is used to heal with warm water soaks and heat lamps and medications that get warm when applied to the skin.  We need heat to live.  98.6 degrees of it is considered about right for body heat.  We use heat to cook and to make things.  Picture a campfire or your Mom in the kitchen.

In every person, there is a light.  Some lights are bright, others dim.

Healers’ lights are very bright as they walk into the darkness brining light and healing into sickrooms, operating rooms, hallways and laboratories.  Where ever we go, other lights shine brighter.  Even death cannot stop it.  We stay with the dying until they leave us and go on to a brighter light.

Some people may try to beat us down, overwork us, complain about us, push us into overload.  Sometimes, when we are very tired the light may flicker but another healer will come by and blow on the coals ‘til they burst into light again. That’s what healers do.

We are one.

A Peek at the Book

As many of  you know, I was active in nursing for 53 years. There were 3 years in training, 15 years in medical and surgical units, 5 years in psychiatric, all in New York City and 30 years in home health in Fort Laud, Florida.

When I retired in 2010, I was very happy. I laid around 2 years reading every book I hadn’t had time to read in the last half century. When I developed a first-degree bedsore, it became obvious I needed to get active again. But doing what? I moved to North Carolina with my two dogs and set up house in the country. It was lovely and peaceful. About that time my sister-in-law in Hawaii became very ill and I spent the next 2 years visiting them, helping my brother and her aide in her care.

I came home in October 2015 and in November Miss Colorado ran in the Miss America Beauty Pageant. Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson RN, by name came out to do her 5 minutes of talent dressed in blue scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck and talked about caring for her patients. The next day the “talented” women on “The View” ridiculed her with such brilliant statements as, “Who does she think she is wearing a stethoscope, a doctor?” and “What talent does she need to be nurse anyway?” So many nurses were infuriated and wrote to the show to complain that it hit the news. They invited her on the show but still those “talented” women didn’t get it. That’s when I heard about it. I checked it out on YouTube and knew instantly what I was going to do about it. I started writing, “The Spirit of Healing.” This is part of the first chapter.


It seems that some people think that the Medical or Healing Arts are not art at all and therefore no talent is needed to perform them. Perhaps the misconception is because what we do, as healers, is not seen as entertaining.

This may be because in Greek Mythology, there are 3 Muses that most of us know. They are Art, Music and Drama. However, in Greek Mythology there are 9 Muses, Goddesses, embodying and inspiring all kinds of talents including Music, Dance, Science, Medicine, Geography, Globe and Compass, Mathematics, Drama, Art, Literature, Comedy, Tragedy, Poetry, Sacred Poetry, and Astronomy. The Muses have encouraged creativity, enhanced imagination and inspired all of us in the arts, if you believe in Muses, that is. But whether you believe in them personally or not they are part of our cultural history, especially in the world of entertainment.

Have you ever listened to two mathematicians discuss things with numbers dancing in their heads and spilling out of their mouths? That takes talent.

Astronomy is another art. If you ask a star gazer what he sees out there, and you really listen, he will bring tears to your eyes.

Globe and compass is an interesting one. Think of all the talent it took to sail across the ocean in a little wooden boat with a sail or two. Not to mention the talent needed to maneuver modern day ocean liners.

So, when I speak of spirit, I am not speaking about religion. I am speaking about our souls and our hearts. I am speaking of some talent that we all are born with and which some of us learn to use very well.

My contention about The Healing Arts is that they are not only Art, but that they are supported, by all 9 Muses, by the angels, by God and our very souls.
I also contend that the most talented healers of all, work on a spiritual level unrecognized by most of us mere mortals. For instance, Dr. Jonas Salk. Now there was a great humanitarian. He not only created the Polio Vaccine that saved millions of lives, but he refused to sell the patent to any drug company so it could be manufactured as cheaply as possible and be distributed world-wide as soon as possible. Me thinks he was one of God’s angels.

This gives all medical workers a lot to do. Most of us will never be famous but we will make a difference. Like talented and creative people in other fields, we also have to practice. Unlike those in other fields, we always have to practice while dealing with life and death issues.