Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

We are spending the day with some friends that have a girl Lexi's age and a boy Jordan's age. I'm making rolls, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole.  We might head over to spend time with old friends this evening and eat more pie (like I need more dessert).

Hope this day is full of amazing memory making moments and love for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!   

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Better as an Old Friend

I have lived in this town several times in my life.  The first time my family moved here, I was only 16.  I had a whole year of high school here and made quite a few friends that I am still close to.  At least a handful of friends fit into this category. I love them dearly along with their spouses, kids and parents.  We go through phases where we see each other quite often and talk on the phone.  Then we'll go through phases where we don't communicate very much for a few weeks or months.  I have already put in the time and effort with my old friends so we can pick up right where we left off.  It is comfortable and we know each other's history.  I love sharing life with them.  I love knowing where they came from and seeing the progress and how well they handle the trials in life.  When we talk, they know that I am not that strange or only what I am right now.  They can see phases in life or why I am the way I am.

I also have other friends that I made during that time period that I am not really close with (mostly old church friends), but that I am thrilled to run into around town.  It is fun to catch up and even share an occasional activity.  Both types of these long term friends hold a special place in my heart and I feel like I am good at being their friend.  

On the other hand, we've lived here (this time) for the past 3 1/2 years and I've made quite a few new friends.  I think they are wonderful and I like them a lot, but I just don't feel like I am able to be a good friend to them.  At first, I wondered if it is because I feel so deeply for my old friends that it is strange to like the new ones.  It actually took a while for me to realize that some of the new people I spend time with are actually "friends." Now that I see that, I understand that relationships just take work.  

Sadly, I am stretched too thin as it is. In order to develop a friendship, it takes time and effort. The new friends want to talk more and hang out several times a week. I feel like I am being a little rude because I am just too busy.  Whenever we talk on a deeper level, it turns into a whole long conversation explaining the back story.  I don't mind sharing or listening, but it really isn't as easy as it is with my old friends.  Many of them are fairly new to this area and they are wanting to find people to do things with.  That is also difficult for me because I don't have money for extra things like going to lunch.  I also work full time and many of them are stay-at-home moms.  

I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life.  I just hope that I am not failing them or making them feel like I don't care.    

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Alex Boye - Shake It Off

Taylor Swift's song - Shake It Off is really catchy, but I like this version much better.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Lexi and Jordan dressed up last weekend for a Trunk-or-Treat party.  This year, our theme is circus.  She is a 3-Ring Master and he is a Strong Man/Lion Tamer.  I had planned to be a Fortune Teller, but this has been a hectic month.  Plus, after sewing Lexi's skirt at the beginning of the month, I realized I was done with sewing for a while.  My plan was to make a black peasant top to match her skirt, but life marches on too quickly.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Separate Oil Blog

For the past 2 months, I have been thinking about creating a separate blog for essential oils.  There are a lot of reasons I have been wanting to do that.  I guess mostly because even though this is a public blog, perhaps I would feel a bit overwhelmed by higher traffic volume (from twitter and pinterest links).  That kind of attention, would definitely not make me feel like sharing as many personal things.  I also don't want this blog to be mostly about oils.  That is a topic that comes to mind a lot, so I would probably end up posting too much on just that.

On the other hand, the idea of a whole separate blog sounds like one more thing to deal with in life.  I'm not sure how well I can handle what is on my plate already.  This has all been on my mind lately.  Friday, a friend, who has also become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, expressed a desire for us to invest a little more into the whole oil thing.  There are quite a few of us in this boat, so I told them that we should share a blog.  They were quite interested. I am the only one that has been a blogger, so I set it up.  Here is the link:

I added quite a few oil posts that were from this blog to get it populated.  I also emailed them all invitations to be contributors.  Hopefully, it is completely up and running soon.  I know many of them will have much more interesting things to share than I do.

By the way, I am also signing us up to have a booth at a few of the little craft fairs around town.  The first one will be on Oct 18th at St Peters.  If you're local, please visit us!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oil Pulling

The same friend that introduced me to doTERRA essential oils, is a huge fan of oil pulling.  She is actually planning to teach a demonstration on Monday and asked me to make a hand-out for her.  I made the graphic above.

You might have heard about oil pulling before.  It seems to be popping up everywhere, like here:

There are plenty of more places like blogs, fashion magazines, and holistic websites, but I thought I'd link some of the more mainstream websites.  I have read quite a few articles about it.  The most positive sites claim that oil pulling can rebuild cavities or completely improve your overall health.  The PubMed site refers to a study saying that oil pulling reduces Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities and is linked to heart disease.  

I am pretty sure my friend does it almost every day and she feels it is worth it.  My mom has a friend who lives near me that swears by it too.  Over a year ago, she was visiting her daughter overseas when she suddenly experienced a horrible toothache.  Not wanting to find a dentist, she googled holistic remedies.  Oil pulling came up and she gave it a try.  Her toothache stopped being painful and she has been hooked ever since.

Even though I've heard about their positive experiences, I have managed to do only it about 10 times over the last 5 months or so.  One week in May, I actually did it 3 times.  Oddly, I had several random people that week tell me that my teeth are very white.  How often to people notice things like that?  Apparently, more when you are oil pulling.  Now that it is on my mind again, I think I'll make it more of a priority.

Trying oil pulling is rather simple, you don't need anything special just one of these oils:

sesame oil
coconut oil

I happen to prefer coconut oil even though in the cooler months it has to melt in your mouth before you can swish.  I also like to add a drop of essential oils mostly for taste enhancement, but they have therapeutic benefits as well.  I like peppermint and On Guard. After swishing for 15 to 20 minutes, I spit it into a paper cup and throw it away.  Next, I brush my teeth and that's it.  My friend often does her oil pulling in the shower to knock it out while she is busy doing something else.  20 minutes of oil pulling does seem long if you aren't distracted.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Being a Single Mom

People often say to me, "it must be so difficult being a single mom" or something close to that.  I usually say that it is a lot easier than being married was.  Of course, I feel like my divorce was about kicking the frat boy out of the house.  To be fair, he did contribute financially and helped around the house.  He was great at organizing and cleaning the garage.  In fact, he has done it a hand-full of times in the last few years.  He just loves doing it and he doesn't have a garage of his own.

Like most women, I did most of the housework, child care, shopping, and errands.  None of that changed because of the divorce, which by the way was 5 years ago (can you believe it?).  There has been a few downsides though, including:

1. I guess the biggest impact has been financial.  I'm not getting a lot of child support. I chose to have the amount lowered because I knew he would struggle.  He tends to go through at least a couple of weeks of unemployment every year, so I don't always get it either.  At least, he has good intentions.  

2.The second biggest impact has been house repair things.  He is a fairly handy person and he knew a lot of people who can do some of the things he couldn't.  I never had to worry about those issues.  My house is only 8 years old, but little things tend to need repairs like the faucet on my kitchen sink or cheap light fixtures that had to be replaced.  My ex still helps me with some things, but sometimes I have to wait months until he gets around to it.  I have a home warranty so appliances and my a/c are covered.  My step-father and mom come for a month in the winter so they help with a few things.  When my brother visited, he also did quite a bit.  

3. The third thing I have noticed is the problems that come up that are a bit overwhelming.  It would be nice to share the impact with someone else.  Like last December, the transmission on my car was breaking down.  I had just paid off the car and was excited to keep it another 5 years.  Sadly, I didn't have $5k to fix it.  Those kinds of problems remind me that I am all alone in this, which isn't fun.

It isn't all bad though.  The last few weeks, I have heard quite a few comments that has me thinking that there are a lot of controlling spouses out there.  One friend said, "My husband would never let me buy that."  It was only a $30 item and they are not struggling at all.  A friend of a friend said, "My husband keeps the thermostat in our house at 78 degrees so I am used to being hot."  Both times I managed to politely smile while biting my tongue.  Another friend told me about her sister-in-law that seems like a nightmare of a wife.  Marriage is tough. 

Fortunately, I am an extremely independent person.  I think that makes being a single mom much easier.  I like making all the decisions on my own.  I can compromise, but isn't it nice when you don't have to? All the money, even though there isn't much, can be spent on things that I think are important.  Activities and vacations are all decided by me.  I don't have to watch a movie, tv show, sporting event, or even do something that doesn't seem worth it to me.  Most of what I do revolves around the kids, but that is what I choose.  I have realized that this is the perfect time to appreciate my independence.  So what if I haven't been on a date in years?  I can't afford a babysitter anyway.  ☺

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Healthy Toothpaste

Now that I've come to trust and LOVE doTERRA, I am trying other products they make.  Several months ago, I bought OnGuard toothpaste for my son.  Besides being healthier, I liked that it has a big cap that is stuck to the tube.  That means it will not disappear or fall down the drain and clog up the sink, which he has managed to do before.  A few days ago, a report came out about regular toothpastes that has convinced me that Lexi and I need to be using OnGuard toothpaste too.  I've tried his and it tastes great.

Check this out:
Polyethylene in Crest

If you want to order it, go to:

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Natural Remedies

When I was 9 or 10, my mom went to school to become a message therapist.  That happens to be a gateway to alternative health solutions.  We were eating seaweed, miso soup, soy, kelp, tiger turd (breath mints), and many other things before most of the population even knew that was a possibility.  I remember in the mid 90s when my mom decided to stop eating processed food.  Explaining her diet to others was difficult because nobody knew what that meant.  With this background, I think it is easy for me to accept alternative solutions.  I haven't posted about it for a while, but the more I try essential oils, the more I LOVE THEM.  Their effectiveness continually surprises me.

This summer, when I was in El Paso, my friend's daughter had a MRSA boil.  I didn't know what it was, but she did because her daughter had one a few weeks before that the pediatrician had to lance and fight using antibiotics. It was a Saturday night, so I offered to let her try the oils.  I looked up the recommendations that the Modern Essential Book listed.  It had OnGuard and melaleuca (aka tea tree oil).  We layered them on every few hours for the rest of the weekend.  By Monday morning, the boil had almost disappeared completely.  I had no idea it would work that quickly or effectively.  She decided to skip the doctor.  We kept it up for the next few days to make sure it was completely gone.  My friend was so impressed that she decided to sign up as a consultant.  After that, she bought lemongrass and oregano to use on her husband's foot fungus that has been going on for decades without much success from regular medicine.  It did wonders for him too.  Just like that, she was hooked.  I am just thrilled that this is one more family who isn't rushing to antibiotics.  I'm not saying that they should be avoided at all cost, but it is good not to use them when you don't have to.      

It is worth check out:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Loved this Summer

This summer was one of the best ones I've had in decades. Fortunately, my workload was small enough that I wasn't at all stressed about deadlines or juggling everything.  We took a month long road trip all the way from Texas to Montana.  I tried to keep most of the driving on weekends and keep my day schedule flexible so that work would come first when needed.  We started with a stop in El Paso.  I got to spend time with a friend that I made while living in Qatar.  I haven't seen her since 1997.  If it wasn't for Facebook, I'm sure we would have lost touch forever.  Instead, our kids became friends.  They really hit it off quickly just like we did years ago.  Here is a picture below.  Don't let the sizes fool you.  My kids are tall and her's are short.  The one on the left is only a little less than a year younger than Jordan.  

Next, we headed to southern Utah for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family in Zion National Park.  Zion is an amazing place to hike and see nature.  We also got to see siblings, cousins, second cousins, and the kids even had third cousins there.  We've been having these reunions every two years and they are always a joy.  Here is a picture of my mom's grand-kids with all of the 6 year olds on the front row and 8 year olds in the back.

Next, we headed to central Utah.  I have a good friend, Annette, there.  I've known her since 7th grade.  I just love her.  We stayed with her & her family.  We got to enjoy hiking in the area and celebrate the 24th of July.  The 24th is a state holiday in Utah.  It is also called Pioneer Day to celebrate when the pioneers came into Salt Lake.  The state celebrates much like the 4th of July with fireworks, parades, and bbqs.  Here is a picture of Annette and me at the Spanish Fork Parade:

Our next stop was Butte, Montana.  My mom and step-father live there.  My brother, his wife, and 5 kids live in the next little town.  I have another brother that lives about 4 hours away also in Montana.  We got to spend time with all of them.  To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Montana.  I think it is a beautiful place to be in the summer.  I also find it sad how hard the economy has fallen since the mines shut down in the 1980s.  I have never been in a place that has such amazing architecture and infrastructure from 100 years ago contrasted by extremely poor and fairly backwards current residents.  It was quite depressing.  I always felt overdressed, especially in Butte.  I think the people of Walmart originated there, except maybe not as yucky/sexy/trashy more like constant sweat pants wearers.  At least, they are all friendly.  One of the things we loved was touring ghost towns.  It is amazing that people would build up a beautiful town with town halls and then pack up and leave overnight.  

kids with their cousins in a ghost town
with more cousins  

When we were done in Montana, we made our way back to Texas with a few stops in Utah.  We spent a few more nights with Annette before taking off.  We also stopped at Arches National Park one day to hike for an hour.

We only stayed in a hotel one night on the way back.  It was a lot of driving, but I realized that I was tired of being in the car and living out of a suitcase.  Sadly, once we entered Texas we were only a little more than half way home.  This is one HUGE state.  

It wasn't a perfect trip, but it was certainly great.