Bill & Tedd’s Excellent Adventure: A story about turtles & growth

Bill & Tedd

Bill & Tedd are two red-eared slider turtles housed at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, the Laguna Hills campus.  Today they turned 5 years old! 

The growth of Bill & Tedd is directly tied to my growth into the Director of Laguna Hills.  Here is our story:

My name is Harmony Curtiss, I am the daughter the founding owners of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, Paula and Neha Curtiss.  In some ways I have  worked for Healing Hands as long as I can remember – digging through boxes of registrations, carrying books, ect.  It was a running joke in our family that we couldn’t possibly drive into town without stopping by the school.

In 2012 I moved to Orange County to establish a full-time office presence to support our students.  I had to be self-motivated in order to fill the time with projects that would enable the school to grow.  And I am happy to say that not only did I accept the job, but I accepted the challenge that it came with.  I overcame so many struggles that first year: communication, massage clinic growth, ect.  But the hardest thing, was being alone 40 hours a week.

About 7 months into working all alone, I was out on the town with some friends in LA, when Jilly Bee, a leader in the Flow Arts Community, bought a pair of turtles as a surprise gift for a friend.  At the time I knew my roommate had a small fish tank he didn’t need – and I figured – ‘Hey, these guys could fit in my office! Without taking up to much space!’ And so I bought a pair of turtles for myself to keep me company.  They were about the size of a half dollar when I bought them.

At first the turtles names were Lomi Lomi and Mertle the Turtle.  Lomi was the bigger, lazier one that would punk on Mertle.  Lomi loved to bask on the rocks while Mertle loved to swim.  Constantly. But my parents insisted they be named Bill & Tedd.  Over the years, after much laughter from prospective students and current students alike – I embraced the names Bills & Tedd.  And as they have grown – so have I.

They started in a small 5 gallon tank.  And I hired my first part-time employee – Andrea Pinsonneault.  Andrea helped teach me

Bill & Tedd’s 50 Gallon Tank

 professionalism.  From dress, to marketing, and sales.  But eventually the turtles outgrew the 5 gallon tank and we upgraded to a 50 gallon tank.  About this time, Andrea moved on to be our Marketing Coordinator and I hired Haley Simon as a full-time employee and co-worker.  I moved the turtles into their new home, and proudly showed them off to visitors.  

From that moment on, I too had a partner in the office.  Hayley and I struggled to bring Healing Hands into the digital world.  Getting student files to be digital, digitizing handouts so they could be emailed, creating systems to track all these files and forms.  And as we grew into a powerful team, we outgrew our office.  In 2014 we moved into the Suite the Laguna Hills office is in today, and of course the turtles came with us.

Bill and Tedd had always been the center of the office, people sit by them, feed them, play with them through the glass.  And Bill & Tedd respond.  Don’t believe me? Just go give them a look in the tank, they will jump off and splash around – hoping you’ll feed them some shrimp. 

Bill & Tedd’s 150 gallon home

In 2015 I acquired a 150 gallon tank for Bill and Tedd.  With the help of about 20 friends, we got the 150 gallon tank up the stairs and into the small room in the back where I could refurbish the tank.  I repainted and re-glazed it so it could be professional enough for an office.  By the time I had the tank installed, Hayley was moving on to go to Acupuncture school, and I hired 2 people to replace her. 

These two people, Jennifer Acuna and Adam Bovenkamp, dealt with one of the hardest years I have had at Healing Hands School.  The laws and regulations surrounding a massage school became tighter on a national, state, and local level. 

During the height of our stress, Bill became sick!  Bill was swimming lopsided, not quite able to swim right.  So off to the vet we went!

After having to give poor Bill anti-biotic shots for pneumonia every day for 2 weeks, I got him back swimming and gave the tank a new make-over.  Increasing the plants and items in the tank, giving them both their own platforms and lights to bask on.  My turtles had become teenagers, and they needed separate areas. 

At the beginning of 2016 there was roughly 300 massage school approved by the California Massage Therapy Council.  By the beginning of 2017 there was 100.  Bill got better, and the paperwork surrounding the school stabilized.  Jenn moved on to pursue a career in counseling, and Adam moved into a partnership with a clothing company, so I hired 2 new people. 

Loving those hide-away places!

One year later my newest employees, Vanessa Leal and Trey Powell, have become Healing Hands School advocates of their

own.  Feeding the turtles every morning, turning on their lights, and turning them off every night.  They enjoy taking care of Bill and Tedd, our 2 mascots, on a daily basis.  And as my daily work load has changed to working on the future of Healing Hands – I still clean the tank.  In the end, I am still responsible for the well-being and health of Bill & Tedd just as I am responsible for the well-being and health of the Laguna Hills Campus.   And I hope we are able to grow together for many more years.

So, without further ado – HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL & TEDD!!!!!! You are some of the luckiest turtles in the world, just like the students who find Healing Hands School, may your Adventures Be Excellent!

 

 

Spicy Marinara Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta

Spicy Marinara Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta
Print Recipe
Spicy Marinara Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Recipe Notes

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp oil
  2. Blend in 1 cup chopped onion and green pepper and saute (stirring often until soft).
  3. Add garlic and stir 1-2 min until fragrant.
  4. Stir in 2 cans of Tomato Puree, Paste and Chicken Boullion
  5. Add in the Bay leaves, spices, and sugar and mix thoroughly
  6. Bring to a light boil, then partially cover, reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 min

 

Angel Hair:

  • 1 lb Angel Hair Pasta, cooked ‘aldente’ according to package instructions

 

Serving

  1. Drain pasta and place in a large platter or Pasta Bowl
  2. Pour Sauce over Angel Hair and mix to coat Pasta wiith Sauce
  3. Garnish Pasta with Parmesan and Romano cheeses
  4. Top with fresh Basil leaves
  5. Serve hot and Enjoy!
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Holistic Massage School – Visual Impairment

Harmony Curtiss has helped hundreds of people become a Massage Therapist, or Holistic Health Practitioners.  One of her proudest achievements, has been to help those with visual impairment or who are blind.  “A visually impaired student, or blind student faces innumerable challenges. 

WHarmony Curtisse do our best to support those students achieve their dreams.  We can also help visually impaired students find Federal and State funding so that they may go to school without the worry of tuition. If you know someone, or you are someone who is visually impaired, contact the school today!” 

Below are some questions a visually impaired student may be asked in order to meet that students specific needs.

                How much sight do you have?

While this question may seem a bit invasive, it is important to establish what visuals will work, and what won’t at the beginning so we can be prepared with the appropriate materials.

                So, you can see a little, do you use a program like Zoom-text on your computer at home?

Zoom-text is a program that is made for visually impaired people.  It can blow up text to be really big, or change colors to be easier to see.  In some cases we can get a publisher to give us a pdf file of a book so that the student can blow up the text and see it at home.

Are there specific colors you can see more easily than others?  Are there any colors you can’t see?         

Some visually impaired people have a hard time seeing black on white.  If we find out that a student sees better with a different color of paper we will make sure to have some in stock just for them. 

                How comfortable are you using a recording device?

Because it can be harder for a visually impaired student to take notes, we highly recommend they record the lectures so they can listen to them on repeat.

                So, you have zero sight.  Have you ever had sight?

People who have a memory of sight have different needs then people with no memory of sight. 

                How recently did you lose your sight? How old were you?

We are trying to establish if the student is still learning how to live with losing sight.  For some people, if they are still learning how to simply get around, then we may ask them to take a few courses at the Braille Institute before they enroll.

You have never had sight, do you read Braille?  How comfortable are you with Braille?  Do you have a device that translates into Braille?

Establishing whether or not a person reads Braille can be imperative.  If someone reads Braille then we can make sure to transfer Word documents into their Braille reader so they can read the material that way.  We can also test using the students Braille device.  However we do need to format our materials so it’s helpful to know the best way a blind student can read is.

While these questions are to the point, really this is a discussion between the student and the administrator.  Establishing a students’ need so that our school can meet those and excel.  As always, our goal is to provide hands-on, experiential learning for our students.  What better place for a blind student, then a massage school that cares about how they learn?  Cares about knowing where each muscle is, where it attaches, identifying it, and then smoothing it out. 

The staff at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health goes above and beyond to support students.  If you have a visual impairment, or know someone who does, contact us today!  We are happy to help you get the funding you need to achieve a dream of becoming a Massage Therapist or a Holistic Health Practitioner.

Spicy Marinara Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta

 

 

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1 medium sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium green pepper (chopped)
  • 4 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans tomato puree
  • 1 – small can tomato paste
  • 1 – medium (12 oz) can of chicken bouillion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp each: Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Basil, Sage and Oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar (to cut acidity)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Basil, finely minced
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated romano cheese

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp oil
  2. Blend in 1 cup chopped onion and green pepper and saute (stirring often until soft).
  3. Add garlic and stir 1-2 min until fragrant.
  4. Stir in 2 cans of Tomato Puree, Paste and Chicken Boullion
  5. Add in the Bay leaves, spices, and sugar and mix thoroughly
  6. Bring to a light boil, then partially cover, reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 min

 

Angel Hair:

  • 1 lb Angel Hair Pasta, cooked ‘aldente’ according to package instructions

 

Serving

  1. Drain pasta and place in a large platter or Pasta Bowl
  2. Pour Sauce over Angel Hair and mix to coat Pasta wiith Sauce
  3. Garnish Pasta with Parmesan and Romano cheeses
  4. Top with fresh Basil leaves
  5. Serve hot and Enjoy!

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Spicy Italian Meat-balls

Spicy Italian Meat-balls
Print Recipe
Servings
22-23 Meatballs
Servings
22-23 Meatballs
Spicy Italian Meat-balls
Print Recipe
Servings
22-23 Meatballs
Servings
22-23 Meatballs
Ingredients
Servings: Meatballs
Recipe Notes

Instructions:

  1. Combine bread pieces with ⅔ cup milk and set aside 5 min then mash with a fork.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add: 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb sausage, ¼ cup Parmesan and Romano cheeses, 4 minced garlic cloves, ½ tsp salt and pepper, 1 egg, and milk-soaked bread bits.
  3. Mix all ingredietnts until well combined.
  4. Form into 1½" balls then, then roll in dry Italian-style bread crumbs to lilghtly coat.
  5. Heat a deep, large, heavy skillet oven over medium heat with about 3 Tbsp oil.
  6. Add meatballs in small groups to allow easy turning so you can saute until cooked through and all sides are browned (about 10 minutes).
  7. Transfer meatballs from the skillet onto a platter to serve as a side-dish….OR.
  8. Serve along-side Angel-hair Pasta topped with a fresh Marinara sauce, and Enjoy!
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San Diego Classroom Offering Massage and Holistic Classes

Our new San Diego classroom is in full swing! This month we are starting Circulatory Massage, Thai Massage and Anatomy for Bodyworkers courses. You can review the course schedule for San Diego using our online database.

Sign up today by calling (760) 746-9364

Our new classroom is centrally located between the 163 and I-15 on Balboa Ave. That makes for easy access from just about anywhere in San Diego and the surrounding area.

Palette Pleasing Pumpkin-Pie Bread

Palette Pleasing Pumpkin-Pie Bread
Print Recipe
Servings
12 Slices ( 1 Loaf)
Servings
12 Slices ( 1 Loaf)
Palette Pleasing Pumpkin-Pie Bread
Print Recipe
Servings
12 Slices ( 1 Loaf)
Servings
12 Slices ( 1 Loaf)
Ingredients
Servings: Slices ( 1 Loaf)
Recipe Notes

Directions:

 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Pour flour, Sucanat, Baking Soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine
  • Pour lightly whisked eggs and egg white into another mixing bowl
  • Add Pumpkin, Milk, and oil to the egg mixture and whisk until thoroughly blended
  • Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir gently until blended
  • Coat a non-stick bread pan with Pam
  • Transfer mixture into pan and bake in the center of the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the top and edges are browned
  • Transfer bread pan from oven to a wire rack and let cool completely
  • Slice the bread loaf into 12 slices and keep at room temperature in an airtight container

 

Nutritional Facts:

Calories per slice - 169

Total Fat (g) – 6

Carbs – 25

Fiber – 2.5

Sugar – 13

Protein – 4

Sodium – 213

Cholesterol (mg) - 17

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