I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


On Monday, March 28th, my children and I were in a terrible car accident. While returning home from posting a notice at the vet's about our missing cat, we were rear-ended while stopped to turn into our road. This car pushed us into oncoming traffic, and we were hit again by a man traveling the other way. It was horrible, surreal, shocking, and a thousand other things. Although there are a few little things I remember, my entire focus was on my children. I recall saying, "We're ok, we're ok, we're ok" over and over again. Hoping, praying, that it was true. Both children cried right away (the pediatrician later asked this.) They didn't scream, as I recall. But cried, yes. Not me. I was in Mama-mode the entire time. Make the children ok as soon as possible. So I talked at them and went right to them. I don't remember at all if I put the car in gear, or turned it off.... I must have at least put it in park. My only recollection is that the air bag deployed, and that it seemed smaller than I thought it would be. I don't remember if it hit me. I don't remember if I hit anything. My glasses flew off my face. I got out of the car and opened the rear driver's side door to get the children out of the car. I held my son and put my arm around my daughter, and walked us across the street to the grass. I thought I was heading toward our road, but I was heading toward the opposite road. During the accident, my car had been turned completely around, so we ended up facing the opposite direction. Without glasses and being so stunned, it took me several minutes to realize this. I remember realizing the corner didn't look like our street, and trying to find the street sign. My son stopped crying shortly after getting out of the car. My daughter continued to cry for several minutes. Strangers came up to offer their help. I particularly remember two people, who stayed near us for the duration. A tall, thin man, who offered his car, his coat, his scarf, and a blanket that belongs to his infant child. We took all but the car, my daughter being uncomfortable with that idea. A woman, older than me, with light colored hair. I actually told this woman my name, and she mine, but the information is gone. Several other people offered us the warmth of their car. Only my daughter was wearing her coat.  Eventually, after a police officer offered his car, my son asked to sit in it. My daughter stood outside the door for a few minutes, then indicated that she'd like to get in, too. I tried to light-heartedly show the kids the emergency vehicles as they arrived, and the inside of the police car. My son noticed my driver's license and car documents in a clip on the inside of the police car and said, "Is that your picture on the roof?" Surreal. Two neighbors showed their faces and offered their help. The police officer offered to get things from the car, and the only thing I could think to request was my glasses. (Cell phone? Coats? Didn't even cross my rattled mind) Before getting into the police car, I asked the tall man if I could use his cell phone, and I called my husband and asked him to come get the kids. My daughter was getting upset by the sight of the car. A first responder did his best to check us for physical complaints. I turned down a hospital visit. I thought getting home was best for the children. Hubby arrived, and shortly thereafter we were given a print-out of the information of all of the driver's, and were ok to go home.

My car saved our lives. And kept us from serious injury. My daughter had a small scratch on her cheek. My son had a mark on his neck where his seat belt did its job. I developed a bruise on my left knee.

But we didn't walk away unscarred. I physically quaked for about three days. I am still reliving the accident at least once a day, typically at night as I try to rest. My daughter is having dreams about the accident. She had one this morning. My son keeps asking about the car. And as time goes on, I process. As the total shock starts to wear off, my feelings start to come through. How utterly lucky we were to come away physically unscathed. Several people commented about this fact. Including the police officer on the scene. Which car were you in? THAT one? That's a good car!! Then the total unrailing of our lives. Initally, my husband having to leave work suddenly to come help us. Saying goodbye to my car as the remains were hauled onto a flatbed truck and taken away. Comforting my traumatized children and reassuring them that right now it was ok for Papa to drive on the grass in order to keep out of the way of the cars that had to be rerouted around the scene. Telling the police officer that there was nothing in the car he could get for me, because my mind was a total blank. Home. Headache. Fear. Exhaustion. I don't know what we did for the remainder of the day. I really don't know. We all fell into bed exhausted.

Phone calls. My version of the accident to my insurance company, and to the one of the man who hit us from the front. Four days later, a letter from the insurance company of the woman who hit us. I had to call them. A woman, telling me that there was a limit on what they would pay! But a strong suggestion to replace the car seats, and charge the insurance company. Excellent. The front-hitter's company sent letter, too. They want a form filled out, and a drawing done. They also took a recorded statement over the phone. Hope you're ok, sorry that happened, we'll take care of things, etc. But please rate us a 10 in the survey. (Holy...)

At the suggestion of several friends (over Facebook, where is everyone?) I took the kids and myself to our doctors and had us checked out. As I knew, we were all physically fine, but now there is a record that we followed through with this.

I badly needed someone to talk things through with during the first couple of days. But that wasn't do-able because I was using borrowed time from hubby as it was to get the kids and me checked out, to be one the phone for long periods, to get us from here to there. So I talked to him, one night, in tears. But because of that 10 minutes of being able to shake at him and express my upset, I was able to sleep. I am feeling better every day. On top of the stress, the second night, my son was up at 3:30 a.m. He didn't express upset, but was wide awake, for the duration of the morning. So I was exhausted upon exhausted upon tired upon shaken etc and so forth. And then, during that same night, the cat, who had been gone for 7 days, appeared at the back door. Causing me to break out in tears, not knowing what emotion to allow to surface first. And then hearing my daughter say, the next day, that the accident was the cat's fault, because we were coming home from the vet when it happened.

But it's Saturday, and I'm feeling a lot closer to normal now.

So today's job is to help my daughter process all of this. To help her to understand why she is dreaming about the accident. To understand that it's ok to feel nervous about it all, even though the fault was not ours. How I shook while getting in the car for two days. For a couple of days, when we'd get into hubby's car, she would ask me not to "break Papa's car" and I would remind her that we did nothing wrong. And she would say, "I forgot." Yesterday, she asked me if I was awake enough to take her to school. I don't take offense. I understand.

Originally, I set out to write about the stages of trauma, which I looked up this morning in order to better help my daughter, primarily, but all of us, to get through all of this. And I ended up moving myself along the stages. Hm. It all makes me feel so tired.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil For Cold/Chest Congestion

I have a cold that has been going on for more than a week. It went through all the basic phases, and I was well on the way to recovery when some stressful events prevented the good rest and sleep required to nip the sucker in the bud. So it's lingering. And it's in my chest. I figured that in order to give my body the extra boost it needs to get on top of this thing, I'd look into essential oils for chest congestion. As I have read before for colds, I found that eucalyptus is recommended for chest congestion. I read that HERE.
I bought some recently, to use with the kids when they get sick. As suggested, I put 3 drops of eucalyptus globulus essential oil in a bowl, and poured some boiling water over it. I breathed in the steam for about two minutes (five minutes was recommended, but I have a 3-year-old) I am waiting to see how effective this is. I will do this again tonight, and will diffuse some in our bedroom before we go to sleep. It is supposed to loosen things up, but also help zap the bug that's causing it to begin with. I'll come back with my results.

Ok, it has been maybe 45 minutes, and my cough is much reduced. I can feel the eucalyptus in my chest. I have since looked up several more articles on chest congestion, and the majority of those recommended eucalyptus oil, among others. Peppermint e.o. is also frequently suggested. I have learned that the idea of steam inhalation with eucalyptus is that the steam helps to open the chest allowing the e.o.s to get in there and kill the virus/bacteria. So at this point I can say that the treatment is giving me some relief. Time will tell if it will actually help to end this cold/bug.

My sinuses started to bother me about 3.5 hours after my first eucalyptus treatment, so I just did another one. I felt pretty good for that amount of time, though. Not without a cough at all, but a less persistent and productive one. The trial continues...