Sunday, December 28, 2014


furtive, sly

I have a very vivid memory of being sneaky when I was very young, definitely pre-school age.  My dad was not flexible at all.  If he said something, he was not inclined to back down.  This particular night, he decided that I would not be allowed up from the table until I finished everything on my plate.  I was not in the mood for mashed potatoes that particular night, so I was stuck sitting there for a very long time.  So long that everyone finally left the room, which gave me the perfect opportunity to scrape them back into the serving dish and announce that I had finished.  

I can't believe that my mother did not figure that out.  Maybe she didn't think I should have to eat the potatoes either.

Easter morning with the family who apparently did not own a lawnmower.  We had a cool bird bath though.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014


If you are interested in joining the Young Living family and being a part of a group that is committed to educating and encouraging others on the use of essential oils, you can do so by clicking here and/or contacting me personally.

Our family of Young Life distributors has a private Facebook page with over 18,000 contributors.  It contains a search feature to help in finding the answers to any question one may have about an ailment or an oil.  While it is not meant to take the place of a medical professional, it is very helpful for those interested in taking a more proactive approach to health and well being.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through the tab above.  


post contains Amazon affiliate links
I may be new to essential oils, but I've been exploring and experimenting with healthier alternative treatments for common and not-so-common ailments for many years.  I am so excited to see that a lot more folks are coming around to the logic of this way of thinking. The state of healthcare in the United States is declining quickly, and the less people can be dependent upon the system and the drugs said system promotes, the better off they will be.  Yes, that is my very strong opinion.

I am not discounting modern medicine.  My husband just had a pacemaker inserted for goodness sakes.  I am saying that many, many illnesses can and should be treated in a more natural way.  

I am not an expert and probably never will be, but what I am is willing to try a natural remedy when possible.  So far I have been very pleased with my whole Young Living essential oil experience.  Even though I am not quite ready to write a testimony of a miracle cure to anything--mainly because I have not used them long enough or for anything major--I am ready to say that I am addicted to diffusing and certain scents and am on a mission to try them all!
I have always been a smell person.  I love candles and fabric softeners and perfume.  I now feel so much better knowing that my smell addiction is being fed by something that is also good for me and my health in general.  And I will go as far as to say that the oils I have applied and diffused over the holidays--along with the prayers of many--did, in fact, help keep the depression at bay.  I know they helped because I began to crave them before I plummeted.

I am not much of a resolution maker, but I do like to start each new year by taking some positive steps.  I usually commit to a more disciplined schedule, organize a bunch, plan a renovation project, and decide on something new to try or to learn.  Last year it was soap making.  I am pretty sure that this will be the year of essential oils.  Just the little I've learned so far is fascinating.

If you are considering exploring a healthier lifestyle and the use of essential oils, you may be interested in the list of products that I have personally purchased and used that complement my oil usage.

SKOY CLEANING CLOTHS ($7.19 for four)
I love, love, love these cleaning cloths.  The product info states that one cloth will take the place of 15 rolls of paper towels, but I think it may be more!   They are super absorbent and great to wipe down countertops.  Because they are 70% wood and 30% cotton, they are completely biodegradable; but that does not mean that they are not strong!  I know that because I recently turned the garbage disposal on with one in it.  There was not even a slice in the cloth when I pulled it out.  I've washed them many times and throw them in the dishwasher as well.  I read that you can sterilize them in the microwave, but I have not done that.

Pair these with a Thieves cleaning solution--which I plan on making as soon as my order comes in--and I know it will be a win-win!  I may even enjoy cleaning the kitchen! 

Friday, December 19, 2014


In October of 2011, my family, my daughter's family, and two other families decided to start a new tradition for fall break and camp at Beartree in southwest Virginia. We had camped a lot together--but this time would be a bit different.  Camping at Beartree is real camping with no hook-ups or cell phone service.  There are, however, bears and raccoons and other critters.  It is a beautiful state park--in the wilderness. 

The weather that weekend was perfect, and the fall foliage was at its peak.  Kids and adults settled in, playing games, building fires, riding bikes, and engaging with one another.  In other words, we got busy making the kind of memories that last a lifetime. Looking back, even three years later, I still consider that weekend to be one of the best of my life.

On Saturday, the majority of our group was shuttled to the top of the mountain to bike the Virginia Creeper Trail.  It was the first time for my youngest daughter and three of my grandchildren.  They loved the scenic, downhill ride through the state forest and back country so much that they returned the next day to do it again!  You might say that my family's love affair with the trail and the area started that weekend.  For me, it was to be the beginning of something much bigger than I could have imagined at the time.  A small seed had been planted that was destined to grow a journey.
my family, my daughter's family, and our friends
Just nine months later, my world would be shaken so violently that hope would have to be hunted down with an  intensity of new dimension for my very survival.  The sudden, accidental deaths of my eleven-year-old grandson, Nate, and his friend, Noah, on July 4, 2012, would cement the nagging need I had to discern the purpose of God for what remained of my life.  I could no longer live life hoping there was a purpose. 


creeper trail cabin

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

I have been buying for teenage girls for a while now, so I am pretty confident that these are some good choices.  Tessa, my current teenage daughter, agrees!

Solmate Socks ($20)
These are awesome!
So many fun mismatched color combinations!
I want some, too!

Tweezerman Mini Tweezers ($12)
These get the job done!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I wrote a post about my dear, faraway, Internet friend, Kolein, a long time ago--before the two of us had to face grief in ways we could never have seen coming or could have prepared for.  She and her family passed through my neck of the woods in 2011, and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to exchange real, honest-to-goodness hugs with her.

The Christmas after the accident that claimed the life of my precious grandson, Nate, and his friend, Noah, was hard.  Of course, it was.  Before I suffered such loss, I had no idea just how difficult going through the motions of daily life could be.  Even now, as I face the third Christmas, I still have to give myself pep talks to get me through many days.

Kolein probably did not realize then that when she agreed to join me in making a gingerbread house via Skype, she was, in a sense, giving me a huge pep talk.  Her willingness to give up her day to walk alongside me gave me permission to lay my grief aside for many hours and just create.  

My memory of that day is not filled with a lot of details.  I have no idea how much flour went into the recipe or how long I baked the walls.  I do, however, remember laughing like a fool as we both worked to get our creations to stand up.  I remember how good it felt to have a friend share my first gingerbread-house-making experience.


I am all about making memories, but I am not always big on keeping traditions.  I know that does not make much sense.  I have analyzed that a bit while writing my book; and one explanation I have come up with is that being creative, I am not opposed to changing things up a bit.

Last year an idea popped into my head that I think was genius--and will probably become a tradition.  I was helping a friend out by keeping three of her kids while she worked. Active, pre-teen boys tend to make me nervous, so I came up with what I thought was an entertaining, fool-proof plan to fill the day with things they and I would enjoy.  The hit by far was the photo scavenger hunt at the mall.