How Elderberry Fights Colds and Flu Virus

October 9, 2020

When it comes to fighting a cold or flu virus, word has it, Elderberry is one of your best allies.

The extract, taken from wild grown Elder Flowers (Sambucus nigra), is known to help the body resist infection.

“Elderberries contain Sambucus nigra agglutinins (SNAs), which helps prevent some types of flu from infecting healthy cells.” 

Now that’s interesting information worth knowing.

One winter a member of our family got sick with bronchitis and was unable to shake it. My research seemed to point to the Elderberry so we gave Sambu® Elderberry Concentrate a try.

Elderberry, you say?©

My local health advisor told me, “Elderberry is one of the most effective herbs for preventing and treating upper respiratory infections.”

Within the week the bronchitis was almost gone.

The berries have been found to 
“interrupt the ability of some viruses to replicate” 

AND…”The berries and flowers of elderberry are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress and help protect the heart….”


I add one tsp. of elderberry concentrate into my morning smoothie during the fall and winter months.

Elderberry/zinc lozenges are a delcious alternative, one you can take with you on the go.

CAUTION ****** Do NOT use FRESH Elderberry! –All parts of the plant in the fresh state may cause poisoning. So if you’ve got an Elderberry bush in your back yard, you best leave the berries for the birds.

Having said that, properly prepared, the Elderberry juice and consentrate carries significant healing power and is a berry worth using. It is also quite delicious. This is one medicine pretty much anyone can swallow. You can find Elderberry juice and concentrate at your local health store and possibly full-service grocery store.

Don’t forget, to add a Merry Heart to the mix. “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Proverbs 7:22

Between Elderberry and a merry heart, it won’t take long before you can fling that kleenex box…to wherever it is you would like to fling it.


disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.

Journal Entry 2 – Finding PEACE During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020

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Journal Entry 2 – April 20th, 2020 6th week of social distancing & self-isolating

Philippians 4:6-8
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


How can I possibly have PEACE with everything that’s going on in the world right now??

Just “let go and let God,” as the saying goes… but, how do I do that?

I’ve discovered it’s a choice – one that I have to make over and over again. I’ve meditated over Philippians 4: 6-8 for quite some time now. Years infact. Whenever my heart gets anxious, this is the verse that comes to mind.

As I conciously bring my anxious thoughts into the light, I find they start to lose their power. The battle, I find, is truely in my mind.

Taking thoughts captive and redirecting them, or reframing them in a way that creates a healthy thought, takes concious effort. I have to choose to do this over and over again. Yes, even today.

I’ve planted the seed, now comes the watering and nurturing. The fruit of PEACE is worth the fight.

As I bring my troubling concerns to God, we have a conversation.

  • I intentionally pass all my cares on to Him.
  • I make a point of choosing to trust Him to take care of my every need.
  • I hear His voice in the Words of the scriptures.

I remind myself to be patient – to not waver in my resolve to believe that God’s Word will do what He says it will do – that I will see the fruits of my intentionally choosing to walk in God’s PEACE.

Being at PEACE does not mean I do not care, am compacent, or am off in loo loo land hiding my head in the sand. NO… Just the opposite. Peace brings clarity, is energizing, and heals divisions.

As the verse in Phillipians instructs, I take the time to be thankful. What can I be thankful for right now? I find it’s not hard to find a whole list of things to be thankful for, yes, even during this pandemic. Again, thankfulness from the heart brings PEACE to my soul. Sharing with others what I am thankful for helps solidify my resolve to stay in PEACE.

(You can see “My thankful list for today” at the end of this post.)

I find comfort in the promise that God’s PEACE guards my heart and my mind – through Christ Jesus. It is a well-known fact that anxiety contributes to heart health and mental issues. PEACE is my antidote – my prescription – How practical is that?

In peace will I lie down and sleep…

The Scriptures are filled with verses that address both anxiety and peace. God wants to free us from our fears. He wants to see us experience PEACE in the midst of our circumstances.

1. Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2. Psalm 94:19
When anxiety was great within me,
 your consolation brought me joy.    

3. 2 Timothy 1:7
God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind.

4. Proverbs 12:25
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”  (A good reason why we need each other.)

5. Psalm 4:8
In PEACE I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (A great verse to meditate on while lying awake at night.)

Psalm 119:165
Those who love the Word have great PEACE, and nothing offends them.

Isaiah 26:3
Thou will keep him in perfect PEACE whose mind is stayed on thee.

Numbers 6:24
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord smile on you
Shine his light upon you
May the Lord lift you
Turn His face towards you
Give you His PEACE

Today I resolve to keep watch for any anxious thoughts that might wanter across my mind, to address them quickly, and to choose to trust God to turn those thoughts into thoughts that produce peace. Today I choose PEACE.


  • I am thankful I live in Canada in beautiful British Columbia.
  • I am thankful for being able to connect and talk with family and friends.
  • for my family and friends.
  • For the opportunity to ZOOM with a small group of women; Bible study hosted by Rushia Klassen, women’s pastor at Central Heights church – a great experience creating new brain cells.
  • for the opportunity to reach out to others – neighbors helping neighbors.
  • for the opportunity to spend more time talking to God.
  • For our silly bunny, Cocoa, who helps us keep a perspective on things.
  • for more time to reflect.
  • for more time to tend to my garden and to enjoy every flower and herb.
  • for more time to learn new things.
  • for more time to paint and create.
  • for more time to blog and work on filling in the chapters of those novels I’ve got in the works.
  • for a warm home, food on the table, fresh water. Things never to be taken for granted.
  • for all God’s promises.
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Journal Entry 2 – Finding PEACE During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020

Journal Entry 1- Finding HOPE During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020

April 7th, 2020 4th week of social distancing & self-isolating

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. “

“HOPE” can be identified by it’s own chemical response in the body! When you feel hopeful, the body releases this chemical, rushing it through your veins, bringing life, healing and energy.

HOPE is very powerful and without it we cannot survive. (Dr. Caroline Leaf – Who Switched off my Brain?”)

Today everybody in the world is trying to process this new life we are forced to live. People are trying to stay calm, trying to make sense of it all, while using as little toilet paper as possible. I’ve caught myself counting the squares. Don’t tell me you haven’t done the same.

Having said that, I’ve been “privy” to using Sears or Eaton’s catalog pages in an outhouse – I most certainly am not too concerned about a little lack of TP.

pencil sketch – Carrie Wachsmann ©
Outhouse Memories


Hope spreads as readily as any virus. If bad can spread, so can good.

Let’s get those HOPE chemicals flowing today by thinking the right thoughts; thoughts that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report … thoughts that encourage.

So…how does this painting relate to HOPE?

Oil on Canvas –  Carrie Wachsmann © 2020

I started working on this oil-painting in February. Initially I painted simply for the satisfaction of it all; painting with friends at the Abbotsford STREAMS Ministry led by Mike and AnnaMarie Bakker, and enjoying the therapeutic side-affects of creativity. (Note to all you Streamer artists: I miss our Monday paint-day – simply can’t wait till we can get back at it.)

At the time I started this piece, I had in mind a title that reflected
light in the darkness.

Little did I know, that in a few weeks our world would literally come to a standstill.

Now, several weeks later, having come to grips with the fact that we are all fighting a dark, evil enemy, and we might be doing this social distancing and self-isolating for some time, I settled into finishing the painting with purpose.

Title: Bringing Light to the Darkness
Inspired by: Deuteronomy 33:26   

Deuteronomy 33:26
26 â€œThere is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
    who rides across the heavens to help you
    and on the clouds in his majesty.”

This Bible verse, Deuteronomy 33:26 was the inspiration behind the novel, The RYDER – a fantasy adventure. Here is a quote from The RYDER that brings this message of HOPE to David and Jessica; brother and sister who have been transported into another world, the world of Antoch, where they too come face to face with a dark and evil enemy.

“When lost in the mysterious forest
Through enemy land he rides
Call for Him and He will be
The Light where darkness hides”

I place my HOPE in Jesus
He is our Light in the darkness
Our salvation. Our healer and protector

“He rides across the heavens to help you!”   

A Christmas Story-‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

by Dr. Carrie Wachsmann

(inspired by a true event) Originally posted December, 2015. Some stories are simply worth repeating.

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.” 

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee-house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone.

The young man © 

He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

The old man © 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©] 

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

The mysterious old man leads the way © 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely, empty  streets and a fast disappearing single set of footprints that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

footprints in the snow

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2015 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life-changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

You can find me on Facebook here:  – Carrie Wachsmann – Storyteller 

& here: Roadblocks to Hell – book

Fireside Reads for Book Lovers

When it comes to Christmas, books and gift-giving go together like a cozy fire and a cup of hot chocolate.

Being a book lover/storyteller/writer, I’ve got a few fireside book suggestions.

Like me, you probably have a bookworm or two in your life. You can’t go wrong with the gift of a good book.

Beware… you are about to enter the world of mystery, adventure and fantasy. You’ll find books for the young and books for the not-so-young; mostly books for the young at heart.

Good Read suggestion #1 – Finding Christmas – A Mouse in Search of Christmas

Finding Christmas - A Mouse in Search of Christmas
Casey, a brave and handsome country mouse embarks
on a wild, winter adventure to find Christmas.
You are bound to be captivated by this charming little warrior mouse

and his best friend Bella.
Available on Amazon – in Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #2 – Newfies to the Rescue

Newfies to the Rescue is filled with intriguing stories of the Newfoundland dog –
both tales of yesteryear and tales of today.
Did you know the course of world history may have been changed had it not been for the lifesaving instinct of the Newfie?
You’ll find many extraordinary events recorded in history involving the Newfoundland dog in this little book.
Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #3 – The RYDER – A Fantasy adventure for the young at heart

What does one teacher have to say about The RYDER?
“My class read The RYDER and no one wanted the adventure to end.
It’s a captivating novel with a fast-paced plot and dramatic action which teaches life-changing lessons that only he (The Ryder)
can teach to the story’s three-dimensional characters.”
April P.
Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #4 – Treasure Trap – a sequel to The RYDER

What started out as a sunny afternoon horseback ride for Jessica and David
turned into the search for a young boy they spot in the distance,
beckoning them to follow him.
As they attempt to keep up with him, they end up in an ice-cold, winter field

thousands of miles and a hundred twenty years from Grandpa’s farm.

This time-traveling adventure takes Jessica and David to the village of Skrytyy, where wicked, foreign-language speaking strangers have cast a spell over an entire valley; all for the love of a hidden and priceless treasure.

Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #5 – Roadblocks to Hell

Fiction based on a true story.
How Walther Colt survives the cruel, callous and cold-blooded convicts of a Federal Pen,
with the help of an unlikely ally.

A must-read redemptive, true crime story.
Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #6 – KickStart to a Healthier You

Kickstart to a Healthier You – Body, Soul, and Spirit
erhaps you’ve already been working at improving your health,

or perhaps this is your first real introduction to a healthier way of life.
Either way, this book will help you gain valuable knowledge and practical advice.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is well worth the effort, so why not start today.

Easy healthy recipes included.
Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

Good Read Suggestion #7 – Chuzzle’s Incredible Journey

Chuzzle, a young, adventurous porcupine, with many endearing qualities,
embarks on a dangerous journey to find his dear friend Whuzzle.
He must travel past the Little Stream, through the Deep Forest,

beyond the Blue Pond, and up the giant Big Hill.
He will encounter many kinds of dangers along the way.
Chuzzle invites you to join him on his incredible journey as he bravely leaves the safety of his home and enters the mysterious unknown.

Available on Amazon – Kindle or Paperback
Or contact the publisher – 1.866.533.4896
or purchase on

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

The Hayloft

Feature image (2015): Grandpa’s barn doorway which leads to the stairs and the hayloft. Cats and kittens are welcome on the farm. They even have their own ladder and window entry for their safety and convenience.

Are you a fellow boomer who remembers the thrill of playing in the hayloft; climbing up the stacks of bales, jumping off and flying through the air, landing in a pile of prickly hay?

In 1984, a lovely “spinster,” who was my favorite Sunday School teacher and who often shared her treasure of books from her personal library with me, organized and put together a book called Horndean Heritage. I was asked to submit a special memory that reflected our little country pumpkin town.

I chose to write about grandpa’s hayloft…

The Hayloft

“Little Carrie struggled with the heavy barn door, leaning against it, and then pushing with her whole body. Slowly the massive piece of hardwood creaked open, groaning and complaining as if it did not want to be wakened so early in the morning. Carrie wrinkled her freckled nose in distaste as a strong whiff of warm, pungent barn air hit her full in the face. She stepped inside and scampered up the worn, creaky stairs to the hayloft. Ahh! The sweet fragrance of fresh hay greeted her as she reached the top stair.

A beam of bright sunlight streaked across the center of the otherwise dusky room, revealing particles of dust floating lazily. Bales stacked up to sixteen feet high lined the sides of the hayloft, and in the center of the room was a large pile of yellow hay. Carefully, Carrie clambered to the top of a stack of bales and looked down. Even though she had done this many times before, she still hesitated just a little, and her heart still fluttered just a little faster than usual.

Memory of Grandpa’s Hay loft©

Then she jumped. Her body flew downward gracefully. Her stomach took off on a flight of its own, like a bird swooping through the sky. She sucked in a mouthful of air and held it there. Then she hit the yielding prickly mountain of hay and sank deeply into it. Carrie lay there for just a moment, looking high above her at the vast ceiling with its great curved beams.

A few seconds of leisure and the itch became unbearable. Carrie scrambled out of the hay and began picking the straw off her body. It always seemed to find its way under her shirt and behind her trousers, in her hair and even in her socks. She brushed the last straws from her hair and stuck one in her mouth, thinking how much it tasted like the chamomile tea her mother often gave her before bedtime.

Carrie turned towards the open loft door when suddenly she tripped over a very irate brown and white speckled laying hen. She squawked and screeched and flapped her wings wildly, as she scurried away in fear, or perhaps exasperation and anger at all the commotion. Carrie was rather frightened herself and let out a surprised yell as she stumbled to the floor.

Then she saw the eggs. Carefully she slipped one into each pocket of her trousers, thinking how pleased Grandma would be when she gave them to her. Carrie looked out the loft door and waved to her grandfather who was feeding the pigs. He waved back and smiled, telling her not to come to close to the edge and to be careful.

Hayloft door where Carrie would sit and hang her feet off the edge ©

Here was the place Carrie liked best when she wanted to be alone. She would sit and dangle her feet off the edge and watch the world from a different perspective. She bent down to do just that when…crunch!

Yuk!… she had forgotten about the eggs!”

Published in Horndean Heritage, 1984 – Carrie Wachsmann

Storyteller’s Toolbox Creative Writing Course

Keeping the Art of Storytelling Alive


you would like to learn how to tell a good story…


you have stories you would like to pass on to your children or grandchildren…


you would like to publish your stories…


you are ready to enjoy the energizing and healing components of storytelling…

This course is for YOU…

Most people have stories to tell
Everyone loves to hear a good story

Where & When?

Dates: April 2 – June 4, 2019 (10 weeks)
Time: Tuesdays 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 2631 Cyril Street, Abbotsford, BC
Instructor: Dr. Carrie Wachsmann

Contact information:


In this course you will:
• Learn good storytelling techniques
• Learn the basics of good writing
• Learn how to write a captivating story
• Learn about book publishing
• Learn about social media

Why is Storytelling so important?
• Good storytelling is a great way to leave a legacy
• Good storytelling is energizing & healing for the soul
• You get to share your stories with your children or grandchildren who can pass them on
• Stories are one way to pass on the nuggets of gold you’ve gleaned along life’s journey

How Much does it cost?

Cost : $250 special price – regular price $350

Note: Fragrance-free – for the health & comfort of people with sensitivities

Outhouses I Have Known

It may not have WiFi, but it gets the job done

Outhouses are interesting. Mostly, they are interesting because they bring back memories.

The most interesting of memories would be the ones connected to 30 degrees below weather, dead of winter, 8:30 PM…and it’s not only “cold outside” it’s dark outside.

My siblings and I pack on our warm parkas, wool mittens and wool lined high-top boots. Our little legs make their way down the snow-packed narrow path to… you guessed it… the outhouse, our bedtime ritual.

Not something I particularly looked forward to.

I am certain you can imagine what the worst part of that memory would be! 

A typical pit latrine outhouse, popular in Southern Manitoba in by gone days ©

Another interesting outhouse memory is connected to Halloween. Halloween in the country had its own terror. The naughty boys of the town would rampage the neighboring homes and tip over all their outhouses. All except for ours. My Dad was very proud of his outhouse construction – the one outhouse in the village left standing after the day was done. One year, an unlucky outhouse owner discovered his privy on the roof of the local auto mechanic’s shop!

In the country, outhouses remained the toilet of the house, long after city folks hooked up to the modern indoor flush toilet system.

In fact, today I can go to a friend’s farm right here in Abbotsford, and if I have the hankering, I can use one of her outhouses – she has not one, but two – two of the prettiest outhouses I’ve known.

Outhouse #1 – The Little Red outhouse – charming ©
Outhouse #2 – pink and lime – cozy! Even a window to enjoy the scenery.

One, brightly painted red, the other, dusty rose. I step inside the red one and notice the decor. A lace curtain covers a small window. The seat – varnished hardwood. Framed pictures of roosters and such, grace the walls. And there’s plenty of soft toilet paper rolls. 

I step back outside where I find a container of water, a basin, soap and a towel. How convenient is that?

These two outhouses have been the source of healing from those past chilling memories of years gone by.


Silverton, BC, and here we find a rugged, well-used and worn out outhouse; one which has seen some interesting times I’m sure. The door is broken and some of the weathered gray boards are missing… I suppose in a pinch, it could still do the job.

Outhouses had more than one purpose. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows someone who, hoping to avoid a chore or two, disappeared into the simple structure to read a few pages of a mystery novel. 

pencil sketch

Enough of that… “I have to go see a man about a dog,” as my uncle would say when he had the urge to visit the outhouse.  Carrie Wachsmann ©

Set the Scene and You Set the Mood

Why is the setting in your story important?


Your characters need a time and place in which to move. The setting answers the “when” and the “where” of your story, giving it a frame of reference. This adds authenticity and credibility to your storytelling.

When you “set the scene,” you “set the mood,” the atmosphere.


Spooky scene Creative Commons


Creepy and spooky

is quite different from

sunny with ocean salt-air and sandy beaches.

A setting in the country

offers vastly different opportunities and possibilities

then one in the city.


 Since October is Halloween month, let’s work on a spooky kind of setting.


Creepy crow – Creative Commons


“Fatigued and fighting fear, I followed the mostly hidden pathway through the misty forest glades. Perhaps it would take me back to the familiar.

I have no idea how long I had been struggling to find my way. In the early hours of the morning, I came upon a quaint and rather strange little cottage. Relief and then apprehension washed over me. How odd. Something one might find in a Grimm’s fairy tale, I mused. It had a spooky charm about it. The faded wood and moss-filled roof gave it plenty of character, and it was surprisingly well-kept.

The warm, flickering candlelight cast an eerie glow through several stained glass windows. I stopped for a moment, transfixed by their ethereal beauty.

My skin began to tingle. The cottage was inviting in many ways, but my instincts warned me to enter with caution. - /fantasy-girl-house-land-wallpaper/

I really have no choice, I reasoned. The glow from a hanging lantern guided me to the entrance. I’m lost and cold. I’m hungry, I’m tired, not to mention, scared. At that point, I realized I was more scared of being lost than of what I might encounter behind the creepy door.” 

Carrie Wachsmann ©

Book Illustrations from Children’s Book on Asthma

Dr. Donna Matlach’s children’s book titled, Phoebe the Pug Asks, “Is My Asthma Changing” is soon to be published.


I had a lot of fun creating some 20+ illustrations for Dr. Matlach’s first educational book.


Because Donna has severe asthma, she knows first-hand the challenges and barriers that people with asthma face. She hopes this book encourages a meaningful conversation between children, parents, patients, and providers.

Here are some of my illustrations.

I sketched first, scanned my sketches and colored and created on Photoshop Elements. 





Sofia, the husky in proof #10, 2nd row, middle  – the stages of drawing

Carrie Wachsmann ©

Other samples of work in process…































© Carrie Wachsmann

An “In Light of Eternity” Story

His name was John


We first met one afternoon when my husband and I stopped to shop for fresh vegetables at our local Fruiticana. He was slouched on the sidewalk, wearing a dark hoodie covering most of his eyes, a small bag beside him and his back to the wall. He waved as we entered the parking lot; I waved back, noting his tattered clothing and dirty hand.


As we left the parking lot, my husband felt compelled to stop. I was glad when he pulled out his wallet and called the man over. A single front tooth stood out as the man, who identified himself as John, smiled a big, broad smile. He thanked us for our “kindness” and then told us that Jesus was the reason he was here today and if it weren’t for Jesus, he would still be trapped by his addiction to alcohol. He added, “It’s been years since I’ve been free.”


That was the beginning of a rather unusual and rewarding relationship.


After that day, each time we visited Fruiticana, and John was sitting in his usual spot, my husband or I would stop to chat and leave him with a little something we prayed would make his life just a little easier.


On one occasion, I noticed a neighboring shop clerk stop to chat with John as she took her “coffee/smoke” break. On another occasion, I noted a bread truck driver hand John a soft loaf of freshly baked bread. He also took the time for a short chat. It appeared to me John had found community. In some small way, I determined I would be part of John’s unusual but caring community.


Once, in conversation with John, we talked about that no matter what happens, one day we will see each other in heaven. This journey on earth is for a time, but our forever lives are still to come.


2017 was one of the coldest and longest winters Abbotsford had experienced in many years. The weeks came and went, and I didn’t see John. I wondered, “Was he warm? Was he safe? Was he well? Was he still with us? Until one day while driving down Gladwin Road, I saw him walking down the street. Yes, John was still with us, and he seemed to be doing ok.


Finally, spring arrived. It was a wet and chilly April day, and this time Superstore was our grocery shopping destination. My heart did a little skip when I spotted John, sitting on a cement block in the underground parking lot, away from the bone-chilling, freezing rain.


I walked over to him, and he greeted me with his usual bright and cheerful, toothless smile. I shared some of what I had with him, and this time John shared back. He handed me a bunch of organic bananas. He asked if I would like to have them. He said he had too many bananas right now and they would just go bad. “Everybody gives me bananas,” he said.


I hesitated, but only for a moment. With a broad smile of my own, I took his bananas and thanked him. I told him I needed bananas and that he had just made my day. After all, I was part of his community, and that’s what you do in community. You share. I felt deeply honored to be officially accepted into John’s little community.


That was the last time I saw John.


Today, June 7, we stopped at Fruiticana to replenish our fruits and vegetables. When I saw the neighboring shop clerk taking her smoke break, sitting near where John usually sat, but this time alone, I walked over to her and asked her, “Have you seen John lately?”


“No,” she replied, “he passed away not long ago.”


I have to say my moment of sadness was but a moment, for you see, John is in heaven and most surely having the time of his forever life.



Heroic Newfoundland Dog on the Titanic

Image –

(If you enjoy dog stories, you might enjoy my book – Newfies to the Rescue  on Amazon.)


The great Titanic’s demise -  April 14, 1912

Did you know the captain of the Titanic, William McMaster Murdoch, had his Newfoundland dog, Rigel, on board the Titanic?

Did you know Rigel was responsible for rescuing the passengers on Lifeboat #4?

If you appreciate and love the Newfoundland dog as I do, you will know they are bred for water rescue (among other things – draft purposes, acting as nannies, search and rescue, etc.).

Because of their water rescue instincts, “Few ships in the 18th and 19th century set sail without a Newf on board. Their reputation for heroic water rescues was unparalleled.”

Since the Titanic was “unsinkable” and since Captain Murdoch was intent on reaching their destination (New York) in record time, Rigel along with 12 other dogs, was housed in the lower level in the Titanic’s fashionable, safe and comfortable kennel.

In the dark of night on April 14,  surrounded by a thick fog, the crew did not see the enormous iceberg until it was too late. The iceberg tore into the side of the ship, and the Titanic did the unthinkable… it began to sink.




The captain did not have time to release his beloved companion from the kennel. While trying to lower a lifeboat, a large wave washed Captain Murdoch overboard, and he disappeared forever.

A brave unknown passenger took the time to release the dogs from their cages. The smaller dogs that found their masters who were able to board lifeboats were saved. The others did not survive. Except for Rigel.

Newfoundland dogs are well equipped to survive harsh conditions and icy ocean. Their feet are webbed, their tails are strong and thick and act as a rudder.  Their double, water-resistant coat helps them swim and like the polar bear, keeps them from freezing.

Record has it, Rigel swam around looking for his master. Eventually, he swam alongside Lifeboat #4.

More than 2 hours after the Titanic slipped to the bottom of the ocean, the passenger ship, Carpathia, came to the rescue the survivors. Lifeboat #4 had drifted some distance from the other lifeboats. The fog was still low and the passengers too weak to call out for help. After sweeping the area with search lights and finding no more survivors, the Carpathia began to leave the area. The little Lifeboat #4 was directly in their path.

If it had not been for Rigel barking to announce their presence, Lifeboat #4 and all its passengers would have been crushed by the Carpathia. When the captain of the Carpathia heard barking, he ordered the ship to stop. Rigel swam in front of the lifeboat announcing their presence until a crew member spotted the lifeboat and rescued the passengers.

The following day, the New York Herald told the heartwarming story of Rigel’s heroic rescue. Rigel found a home with one of the crewmen and lived out his days in well-deserving comfort and peace.

After my grandfather died, I found this book – Das Ende Der “Titanic” among his possessions that were designated for the thrift store.


I leafed through its fragile pages and discovered notes and markings throughout. Someone said, “Your grandpa was always fascinated by the Titanic.”

Since no one else found the book valuable, I claimed it for my own.

The book is a German translation of an English book written in 1912 by William H. Lee.

Sketches have English notations.

There were many other heroes on board the Titanic that day… but that’s a story for another time.


One woman, whose name my grandfather noted in the book, was one of those heroes.

In the meantime…

I took a few photos from grandpa’s, Das Ende Der “Titanic,” to share with you.

Most of my grandfather’s notes were written in German.






Today, this book along with a few other treasured items that belonged to my grandparents, lies safe underneath the glass of my coffee table in our living room.


Are Dragons Real?


Why are we so fascinated by these mythological, fire-breathing, mysterious, treasure-hording, cunning, terrifying, monster creatures?

I think I just answered that question.

But could dragons be real?

Did you know the Bible has a lot to say about dragons?   

Isaiah 27: 1 (NASB) says:

In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
With His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea..”

Job 41 describes this dragon “creature” as: 

  • having tough skin
  • being very strong
  • having scales
  • having eyes that glow
  • flames coming from his mouth
  • smoke coming from his nose
  • having no fear
  • having a long neck 

Now… if that doesn’t sound like a dragon

There’s more:

The Book of Revelation has some very descriptive words about an enormous  red dragon –  referred to as Satan or the devil.

Revelation 12:3-17 New International Version (NIV)

“3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth…

7Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

And, Revelations 13:3 says this about the dragon.

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name…

An interesting article on website has some thought-provoking comments about Isaiah 34:13 (KJV)  reference to dragon.

“13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”

– ” … we can guess that dragons were extremely territorial and wild creatures, being that God placed them as curses to keep people away. This does not equate them to being evil, though. By that logic, one would need to conclude the other creatures above are also evil—such as the hyena, lion, ostrich, moko, jackal, night-raven, arrow-snake, and falcon. Admittedly, if Lilith is speaking of a demon, then that is bad, but the contextual words seem to indicate a demon is not being spoken of. Dragons are being grouped with common and rare animals of various species, and that would make the dragon yet another real animal and no more, though pretty high on the rarity scale.”

Regardless,  whether  dragons be real or not, they make for a

great storytelling adventure.

C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawntreader, Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and so on and so on.


What do you think so far? Are dragons merely imagery, mythical creatures, or could they be real?

This unidentified ‘sea-monster’ was found washed ashore on a New Zealand beach.

“… one of a series of photographs taken by YouTube user Elizabeth Anne on the Pukehina beach off the coast of New Zealand.”

Read more:

This carcass of some sort of sea creature was found washed up on a remote Russian beach.


“THE remains of a giant sea creature with a bird-like “beak” and fur on its tail have been washed up on a remote Russian beach.”

“One said: “It looks like some mutant sea monster with a beak.”

Have you ever seen a dragon? For real, or in your dreams?

If you’ve never seen a dragon, does that mean they don’t exist?

Where do you go when waiting in line?

In my other world – storytelling

Some time ago, I was waiting in line at the TD bank, deep in thought, when the person behind me kindly let me know teller #3 was trying to get my attention.

I  jolted back into reality,  then smiled and offhandedly said, “Thank you… I was in my other world!

The person gave me a look I could only interpret as envy as she responded with the utmost sincerity, “I wish I had an ‘other world.'”

I hesitated, then chuckled. Her response was priceless, making me actually think about what I had just said.

Now, this was before everybody began losing themselves in their iPhone or Android, which by the way is nothing like the “other world” I am talking about.  In my opinion, cell phones and anxiety are synonymous and an addiction I’m not willing partake of. I’m not giving up “my other world” for that.

Just ask my husband… I’m so not attached to my cell phone, I’ve resorted to posting a sign on my front door to remind me to take it with me when leaving the house. I know. Shocking!


As I walked over to the counter,  I realized just how true my offhanded comment was. I call it “another world.” Some call it daydreaming, something I’ve always been very good at. My teachers said so.  It’s the place where I go, think up stories, develop plans, talk to God or just simply listen.

John Tess, Intelligence for Life (free internet radio) says the average person will spend about 10 years waiting in line.

Put it that way…

Where do you go when you’re waiting in line?

A Cup of Tea While We Discuss Your Antagonist?


Come, sit by the fire and I’ll pour you a special cup of tea - Midnight Fog it’s called.


  1.  Steep a bag of Red Rooibos tea in  1/2 cup of boiling water.
  2. Whip 1/2 cup of chocolate milk (or substitute like chocolate almond milk) in blender
  3. Pour into a sauce pan and heat.
  4. Wisk to create frothy foam.
  5. Add the heated chocolate milk to tea.
  6. Garnish with pumpkin spice and raw honey.


HALLOWEEN lends itself naturally to villains expressing themselves in clever and creative attire.  If it’s not the headless horseman or the age-old Frankenstein, it’s Darth Vader or Zombies hulking the dark streets in our neighborhoods.

This brings us to my favorite topic – storytelling – and in this case, talking about the very important, three-dimensional character, the antagonist.

Webster’s dictionary defines antagonist as… “one that contends with or opposes another – the adversary or opponent.”

What would storytelling look like without a well-developed, strong,  fierce and compelling antagonist who’s as well thought-out and multi-dimensional as the hero (or protagonist)?

You wouldn’t have much of a story now would you?

The hero depends on the antagonist to challenge him, force him to overcome… to change… to win.


The antagonist can be:

  • a main character
  • one’s dark side vs one’s “good” side (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
  • things like the  weather (a hurricane, volcano, 40 below freezing temperatures)  which the protagonist must overcome or avoid


Most times we think of the antagonist as the villain. Is that always the case?

Could the hero be the villain and the antagonist his/her adversary? Something to think about.

Well, the tea-pot is empty. Time to spice up my antagonist villain in my latest book – Treasure Trap – coming soon. Watch for it.

Antagonist Mrs. Polzin in Treasure Trap - Carrie ©
The mean Mrs. Polzin in Treasure Trap – Carrie ©

The mean Mrs. Polzin in Treasure Trap – Carrie ©

Carrie – Storyteller