Inspiration and Just Because

I should be getting my dirty laundry downstairs to sort and start washing. I should be getting into the shower because we have a graduation party to attend today. I’m not doing any of those things so now I have to type fast because right now I need to write.

I’ve kind of pushed writing aside these past few months. Last year, I created an online account with 750 Words. It’s essentially a writer website that holds you accountable to write daily using the “Morning Pages” concept from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I participated for a year. For a few months though I began to realize that writing everyday sometimes felt like a chore. I get up at 0415 to get to my 0600-1530 shift at the hospital so I physically can’t get up any earlier than that. Morning pages out the window. In the evening I’m not always at my best to write something. I wasn’t feeling inspired anymore and I often didn’t have anything pressing to say. I used it as a journal basically. My blog posts because infrequent as well. In April I decided to drop it all together. My daughter’s track season was in full force and both kids had a lot going on. It was also in April that I decided to share my love of essential oils with others and educate them into a more a healthy life style. Thus, I took a Business Academy course with Young Living and am trying to build a business. I don’t want writing to feel like a chore to me. Ever. I want something to trigger my inspiration and then I’ll push everything aside when I have a burning urge to write, as I am doing today, right now.

Ironically this morning the inspiration returned, hence the quote I have posted. I woke up, checked my phone and there was a notification from WordPress that a person that I follow on WordPress mentioned me in his post. I read his post and the post that I’d written a year ago when I’d met him. Below is the link to his post.

https://brothersontheat.com/2018/06/09/day-93/

To summarize, June 8, 2017, my husband and I drove 70 miles from our home in a suburb outside of Baltimore to Pen-Mar County Park. Our mission for the day was to provide food, “trail magic” for Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers as they hiked through this park to get into Pennsylvania. We met some really nice hikers. We fed them, we talked to them, we wished them well and left the park smiling. I’m fascinated by the idea of thru hiking so trail magic was something we chose to do “just because”. Because I’m Italian and I like to feed people. One hiker invited me to follow her on Instagram which I did but as the summer ended I grew curious to know if the hikers we’d fed that day reached Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. I follow various Appalachian Trail pages on Facebook and was eventually fortunate to see that more than half the thru hikers we’d met and fed that day had completed their thru hikes. Coincidentally on an Appalachian Trail facebook page, I ran across one hiker’s blog on  WordPress . He’s writing now about his 2017 thru hike. Yesterday marked a year that my husband and I met that group of hikers. So this morning I discovered that he’d written about his hiking day on June 8, 2017 and referred to the blog post I’d written that day entitled, “Just Because”.

So my point of all of this is that inspiration comes from different places when we least expect it. That’s how I like to write. That’s how I always wrote papers during my academic career, when inspiration strikes me. I think about those hikers from time to time and wonder what their post trail life is like now. I didn’t forget about that day with the thru hikers but I hadn’t given much thought to the blog post I’d written to share. Reading the hiker’s post and then my own from a year ago made me realize that I still have things to write about. So, thank you Straps for that.

Now I really need to shower and get on over to this graduation party. More to come.

 

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March Books

Here I am on June 9, 2018 writing about the books I read in March. Hey, what can I say, life gets in the way sometimes. We get into a routine, something disrupts it, we fall off the wagon, we get back on and keep going. Thanks to my handy, dandy Goodreads app on my phone, I’m able to pull up precisely which books I read. For one of my followers who likes to remark about my strange ability to recall dates, yes, I have the dates.

Before I begin, I have to share something significant to March. March 1; the start of spring high school sports.  My daughter is now in the final days of her sophomore year of high school. In track she’s a sprinter and ran JV for a second year. March 28, 2018 was the first track meet of the season. I stood in the rain and watched her run her first 100M relay of the year. She came from behind and closed the gap for her team with so much finesse and grace and walked off the track having beat her time from last year, feeling on top of the world. My hands were wet and cold and I couldn’t get my phone’s camera activated in time but I don’t need a camera to remember that run. It was priceless and only the beginning of a season that she showed so much growth and potential as she prepares to run varsity next year.

Did I have my nook at the track meet? You bet your ass I did!

1. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. This book was written by the author who wrote Orphan Train. This book takes place in Coastal Maine. The main character Christina, who’s family was descendants of Nathanial Hawthorne,  is the subject of a painting. The painting speaks of the subject’s simple yet complicated life. This book was by no means as powerful as Orphan Train was.

2. The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips. This book made my heart ache for the main character. Violence and cruelty, these things really happen in families. They did then and they do now. Although there are many more rights now for abused children than there were in the 1950’s, society still turns the other cheek. Sometimes we just don’t know what goes on in people’s homes. It takes place in rural Georgia in the late 1950’s. Tangy, an African American teenager is torn between remaining loyal to her crazy mother or taking the opportunity to change her life. A heart wrenching read.

3. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. Switching gears a little here. The main character Helen, with no survival skills or wilderness knowledge,  has an opportunity to spend three weeks on a wilderness hike in Wyoming. Reading books like this is always an inspiration and I’m happy I read it.

4. The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve. This book is a historical fiction about the summer long drought fires that take place on the coast of Maine in 1947. The story focuses on the main character Grace’s struggle, with the fires. Struggles to keep her family safe and endure the drama and pain her husband causes her. It was a good read and I couldn’t put it down. Days later, this author passed away.

So that’s it for March. Stay tuned for April and May.

Essential Oils: The Facts Part 1

In my previous post, I talked about the beginning of my journey into Essential Oils and Young Living. In this post, I’m going to talk about their history, what they are and how to use them.

You don’t have to be an aromatherapist or health care provider to use Essential Oils, you just have to choose to use them. All you need is that one experience, a conversation, a blog post, the scent of oils on someone else, etc to plant a seed in your mind and  your curiosity will carry into the beginning of a wonderful journey. The more you use them, the more you’ll want to learn and share your love with others as I am doing here with you.

Believe it or not, essential oils have been around since biblical and ancient times. They were considered to be, “man’s first medicine” and were used to treat illness, and were used in religious and spiritual rituals. Essential Oils are mentioned in the Bible over 1000 times. Gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh were brought to baby Jesus by the Wise Men upon his birth. Jesus and Mary were anointed with Spikenard. The Egyptians used essential oils to make cosmetics, deodorants and embalming fluids. During World War I and II, essential oils were used for antiseptics and wound healing. After WWII, essential oils were rediscovered and each year their uses grow.

So what are essential oils? In a nutshell, they are the most powerful part of the plant and are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, fruit, rinds, resins, and herbs. To quote a fellow oiler, “They are the lifeblood of the plant”. They are not used to “cure” ailments but they are used to “support” various systems of the body including, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the endocrine system and the immune system. They are also useful in brain health, balancing hormones and maintaining a healthy weight. Wait, there’s more. This is actually one of my favorites about these oils. They provide spiritual and emotional support and aid in stress relief.

Essential Oils can be used three ways: Aromatically, topically and the Young Living Vitality line is ingestible. Tests have shown when inhaled, essential oils reach the heart, liver, and thyroid gland in three seconds. When applied topically, they reach the blood stream within twenty-six seconds. A normal healthy body expels the oils in three to six hours. Yes, Essential Oils are safe. When applying to the skin, some oils require a carrier oil such as Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, V-6 Enhanced Vegetable Oil or Jojoba Oil.

Are they safe? Yes. Always dilute an oil before applying it topically on a child and never put an oil near your eye.

Still curious? Keep reading. More posts will follow this one. If you want to know more right now, feel free to email me. jennycrn@comcast.net.