Sweetness and sickness.

Yesterday I was sick. While I felt pretty miserable, there is a gift that comes with being sick.  It comes in letting housework go, in letting everything go, and simply being present.  Being sick always makes me extra grateful for how good I normally feel and for what a gift it is to have good health.

While spending much of the day on the couch and/or bed, I was deliciously present and connected to my sweet 4-year-old Anna. I watched, admired, and chatted with my little munchkin.  I even took some pictures.

This is what we did:

she watched 4 (yes, that’s FOUR) movies while I laid on the couch

played with PlayDoh and chatted with me while I laid on the couch

she “read” me lots of books while I laid on the couch

she took a bath while I sat on the toilet (lid closed)

my sister, Annette (aka Auntie Daja) came for a visit to give Anna her birthday present (cute overalls and a skirt, which Anna promptly changed into, then out of, multiple times)

After Mia came home, they both eagerly got me things I needed and were so happy to take care of me, and so did their daddy.

I am not quite sure what Anna ate, but I guess I fed her here and there.  And I watched her.  I soaked her in.

Here are some pictures I took of our special day:














Today I am on the road to recovery.  Fever and body aches are gone, though a very sore throat and painful ears and no appetite remain.  Today I get the day to myself, to rest, sleep, and get well.

Alan took Anna to work with him and will bring her to his parents’ house over lunch.  I have amazing people in my life.

I am grateful.


watching the clouds roll by

I am on my second day of bed rest.  I sprained my ankle after taking a fall the other day, also spilling a fresh pan of rhubarb crisp and breaking Alisha’s nice ceramic pan all over her driveway.  Learning that my ankle was not broken was one of the happier moments of my life; I am grateful that it will be able to heal on its own and doesn’t require surgery or a cast.  I was also happy that I had fast and courteous service at Brookdale Urgent Care.  Isn’t it great when things go smoothly, even when they are unplanned?

Nontheless, I need rest and a little TLC.  I have been taking Arnica, proteolytic enzymes, epsom salt baths, and a little ibuprofen here and there.  My foot has been elevated and iced most of the time, except for when I hop around on one leg or on crutches.  The swelling and bruising is already improved and I am hopeful I will be able to walk in a few more days and start my rehab exercises.

This is the second time in six years that I have sprained this ankle.  The first time was far less severe and I was able to walk right away, though not without pain.  After learning about the laws of attraction and reading Louise Hay to my heart’s content, I believe my repeated sprains are telling me something, whether I want to hear about it or not. I created the pattern that invited this accident into my life, and I now release the pattern.

I will post my sprained ankle affirmations in my bathroom and practice them every day, and be willing and open to change.  In the meantime, I will give myself lots of TLC and enjoy some much-needed downtime.  Maybe I will watch a movie or read something for pleasure.  Lord knows I don’t take enough time for that in my regular life.

things I love today

Ten things I love today:

10. Shopping at the Wedge without the children and browsing the Health and Beauty aisles so long that I think dust began to gather on my groceries,

9. my cupboard of homeopathic remedies and essential oils and other little tricks that I have learned to use over the years,

8. Biotics Intenzyme Forte–18 pills per day for clear skin, my magic bullet for conquering my once-stubborn acne,

7. that I am finally learning to stop taking things personally and start laughing about them,

6. The Nourished Kitchen monthly meal plan subscription,

5. my plan to make a double batch of winter stew to eat all weekend so I can relax instead of cook,

4. my plan to make fresh vegetable juice in the morning to make up for my lack of vegetables this week,

3. my children, who are wearing semi-matching superhero outfits today, consisting of underwear, ballerina slippers, belts, and a leotard,

2. my husband, who is my rock,

1. and lastly, the hot epsom salt bath with essential oils, candles lit, and Enya that is waiting for me.  Yes, I am that cheesy.


Today I saw a quote.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

I saw this quote on the wall at the office of our cranial-sacral therapist, Angel.  I think I will post it on my own wall so I can read it every day.

That I saw this quote at Angel’s office is rather fitting; she is one of the people I am grateful for every day.  I met her three years ago, weeks away from giving birth to Anna.  She helped me with pelvic pain, getting Anna into proper position for the birth, and helped me connect with my baby.  She helped me build my confidence and believed along with me that I would have an easy and uncomplicated birth. She told me before Anna was born that Anna was detail-oriented and cooperative.  Those words stayed with me; I wanted to see if they would hold true.  They have.

Anna has seen Angel every few months since she was 3 days old.  Angel can connect with her in a way nobody else can.  She knows if her ear canals are inflammed and can help heal them; she has helped with latching problems and with teething.  She helped Anna get her coordination back after she had an semi-serious accident; she tells me of natural treatments to use when we are sick.  She fully supports and embraces the way we parent and raise our children, right down to the unschooling, and she is an incredible source of information on these topics.  Angel can read Anna’s emotional and physical states and can help her resolve any tension or conflict, and give me advice on how I can help her at home.  Anna trusts Angel with her whole heart–a trust that was built before they even met.  After a treatment with Angel, Anna is calm and content.

Mia sees Angel regularly, too, and I see her from time to time. We love her as much as Anna does.

She is a gift in our lives and I am grateful.

a lovely gift idea for the holidays

For the third time I had the honor of photographing a few of Erin’s beautiful soaps. They smell almost good enough to eat.

Here are photos from previous years, and more here–although I am not sure whether these products are still available.

These will be for sale in her Etsy shop this year, along with many more lovely handmade items.

Erin was my midwife’s apprentice for Anna’s birth.  She is also a doula, an herbalist, and creator of natural, handmade bath and beauty products.  She is an amazing person–an independent and creative spirit.

Please visit Erin’s website here.

a bad day.

After this post, my goal is to get to sleep and put this day behind me.

I made the decision to try Invisalign to correct my bite, which my dentists have been pushing me to do for quite some time.  My teeth are shifting as I age, and the way they are shifting is causing stress to my jaw.  So because I wanted to do the right thing and be responsible for my health, I went for it.  Even though it cost an arm and a leg and I had to find a way to get that arm and leg to pay for it because I didn’t have any.

So I got more hours at work and I worked extra jobs all summer to make the down payment of roughly $1500.  Then for the last two months I have put most of my earnings from my regular part-time job of taking care of my sweet old lady (I love her and the job) toward making the monthly payments for my Invisalign, $378 to be exact.

I love the way my smile has already changed and how quickly my teeth are moving.

But now I have to quit.

Because I had a reaction to the plastic, and the reaction got progressively worse.  I was feeling poisoned, aching all over, painful joints, fatigue, blisters in my mouth. I didn’t realize the Invisalign was making me feel this way until I saw my doctor a few days ago.  (He is not a “real” doctor, of course, but better than a “real” doctor because he can find the root of my problems.)

Two hours after removing the Invisaligns, my symptoms were nearly gone.  Until that moment, I hadn’t fully realized the effect they were having on my body.

A little internet research revealed that reactions like mine are more common than Invisalign chooses to report, and that the FDA has issued a warning to Invisalign for improperly reporting adverse reactions.  Although rare, adverse reactions DO HAPPEN.

My orthodontist thinks I had the flu and wants me to wear them another two weeks to see if I get sick again.  I have never heard of a flu that lasts 6 weeks, has no fever or respiratory symptoms and is gone as soon as the Invisaligns are out of my mouth.  I think she thinks I am crazy. I think she thinks it’s impossible for me to have an adverse reaction to these plastic things that are in my mouth 24 hours a day, constantly leaching pthalates into my bloodstream.  I think she has no concept of health and how all systems in the body are connected.  And that makes me feel uncomfortable and trapped and totally out of my comfort zone–because that is not how I roll.

So I will put my health first.  And I will lose out on the money I sank into these poisonous retainers.  The orthodontist won’t put the money toward regular braces even if I want them, which I don’t.  She will take my money and run.  I want to run, too–away from that office never to return.

I am sad.  I feel like a fool.

But every once in a while everyone gets a kick in the pants.  I know something good will come of this; if nothing else, it will leave me more the wiser.

Sometimes you have to try and fail.