Health, Pain Control, and Essential Oils

This last year I ran into people using essential oils on several occasions, and it made me curious. When I had to spend a painful week in the hospital following a horse riding accident in June, I experienced what they can do for a person. One night at 4am I was in a significant amount of pain and the hospital had already given me all the meds they could. I could not have more for another 2 hours, which was very upsetting. I talked to the nurse, who returned quickly with a cotton ball in a dosage cup. What? She explained that there were essential oils on the cotton ball and I could try inhaling them. I did, and I was amazed. I don’t know if the oil smells helped my pain, but they certainly helped me cope, which was really saying something. The rest of the night I held that cup on my chest and was able to sleep.
In the morning I called my husband and sent him to the health food store to buy me some lavender, lemon, and sandlewood oils, which were what were in the cup. When I was finally sent home several days later, I made sure I had an essential-oil cotton ball in a cup with me all the time, especially at night. My husband faithfully prepared it and made sure I had it in my hand before I fell asleep. It made such a difference and kept me sane when the pain meds just weren’t enough.
At that time, I didn’t know about doTerra, but I do now. DoTerra oils are certified therapeutic grade, which means they are safe, safe, safe. They can safely be ingested as well as inhaled or applied directly to the skin. (Some oils do need to be treated with a bit more care, but most of the oils are safe for all uses.) I am sold on DoTerra as a company and a brand. I also want to share what I have learned with others.
Right now doTerra has a wonderful promotion going on, where, if you purchase 200PV (personal volume, which is a little less than price), you will receive a bottle of Frankincense for FREE! That is a $93 value for one of the most coveted and widely used essential oils available. You can easily fill out your shopping list with an oil for each of your friends and family and get a bottle of Frankincense for yourself. Or put an order together with a few friends and keep the Frankincense for yourself for organizing it all. What a treat!! Smaller orders are always accepted as well.
If you are interested in ordering, please check out my site at
If you have any questions or are looking for which oils would be good for starters, be sure to ask!
I wish you a healthy and blessed holiday season!


Summer harvest

I am sorry, but since I have not been able to do any sewing this summer since my accident, I have not been able to make anything new and exciting, sewing-wise. But, I have been healing, which also means my husband has been insistently asking that I make him some jelly. Then we had an early frost; yes, even Fairbanks, Alaska does not usually have a frost this early in August, so, after our wonderful warm summer allowed our tomato plants to produce tons of tomatoes, they ended up frosted while still green. So, what to do with several pounds of green tomatoes?

First, I made some chokecherry jelly from the chokecherries on the tree next to our house.


Then I was able to make 9 pints of green tomato mincemeat. That will sure make some yummy pies this fall. Finally, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with lots of fresh veggies. I included some chopped starting-to-ripen green tomatoes, which worked really well. Now there’s tomato sauce in the freezer as well. I still hope to make some relish, but we’ll have to see if I get around to that or not.

At least I am starting to contribute to the family again, even if sewing will have to wait a little bit longer.


Internet Safety: What you need to know before posting pictures

I have heard before about the geotagging on pictures, but just today I was reminded about how important it is. Chances are that if you are reading my blog, you also publish your own pictures online somewhere, if not in a blog, then perhaps Facebook, Instagram, or some other photo site. With my recent injury, I have had more time to read more blogs and involve myself more in the blogging community, making me think more and more about all the pictures we post, especially of our children.

I have trusted for years for helping me distinguish rumor from crisis, and today I was reminded, via, about how important it is for all of us to consider how our phones are set up before we take more pictures. I was glad that I had previously turned my geotagging photos off, but I am sure we don’t all know about this. Please take the time to read this Snopes article and watch the short news video attached to it. This is important.

The link is:

Hand Smocked Dress

My granddaughter finally grew into the dress I smocked for her when she was born, as I described in this post. I used a pre-pleated dress from Martha Pullen Company, which I hand-smocked and embellished the hem.

I think she really enhances the dress, but then again, I couldn’t be biased, could I?




Pain, Zentangle, Creativity, and Perfectionism

On Friday, June 21, just over a week ago now, I had a bad fall from my horse, breaking my collar bone, 3 ribs, and puncturing a lung. I am home from the hospital now, and I am getting better day – by – day. I am on good pain drugs, but, as those of you who suffer from chronic pain can attest, it often seems that the good drugs still aren’t strong enough or often enough.

This morning I was having a more painful time, about a 6 on the pain scale, and I was amazed and crestfallen when my husband told me I was 3 1/2 hours away from my next dose. Had I really just taken one so recently? Was he sure? How could that be?!

Before the accident I had explored the art of Zentangle just a bit. I had been intrigued by it for a long time, but only recently actually played around with it. If you are not acquainted with it, Google the term and you will find tons of information. The key is that it was designed as a meditative art form. I had used it already to help me take the edge off a migraine earlier, so this morning I thought of it again.

I asked my husband to help me set everything up at a desk and I started drawing. For those who want the short story – I do believe it helped me through a tough spot and I will use it again. For those who are willing to stay and listen a bit longer, it gave me some important insights into how we view time and productivity.

As I drew, I focused on the drawing, one stroke at a time, just as the process describes. As my attention was more on my drawing and less on my pain I was very grateful, yet I kept finding myself getting frustrated with my shaky lines and with sloppy coloring while trying to darken areas. I was struggling with the idea that if I was taking time to do something, I might as well do it well. I was dealing with perfectionism. How silly is that? It wasn’t like I would be off doing the dishes or vacuuming the carpet if I weren’t drawing. And I have not been able to visit my sewing room yet, so I wasn’t able to work on my projects awaiting me there either. All I needed to do was BE, and all I really wanted was to be BETTER. I wanted the pain to stop. So, if drawing helped the pain ease, wasn’t I doing exactly what I needed plus letting my husband get some much-needed sleep? I was not going to hang this drawing in an art gallery. I was to live in the moment, meditate, create, and let the creative process heal me for the moment. (As a born again Christian, I think all of that sounds strange, but that is another sad thought – and another blog entry for another time.) It was NOT the product that mattered this time, ONLY the process. I needed to let the process take over completely. I had to laugh at my silliness in this matter.

So, I have decided that I do need to keep myself working only on projects and drawings where the product does not matter when I am dealing with pain. No sense setting myself up for unnecessary frustration in that arena. Then, focus on the process. Since I can’t do much more right now, my choices are to spend my time in pain or to work to alleviate that pain. Pretty simple, really. Process is all that matters. Product perfection will be a part of my life again soon enough, I am sure.

As a final recommendation, I would not claim that Zentangle is an kind of cure of that it might even be helpful for high pain levels. The last thing I wanted to do when I was at an 8-9 of pain was draw! But for those times when the medium pain just isn’t going away for any other reason and you’re too frustrated to cope, Zentangle is one more thing to try, so you do not have to feel quite so helpless. Look it up. I wish you hope, peace, and freedom from pain.

The Baptism

Here is what all the hoopla was about. My granddaughter on her big day wearing the christening gown I made from her mother’s wedding gown.


Christening Gown Slip

Thanks to Carole whose comment on my christening gown post encouraged me to make a slip to go with the gown.  I made it from batiste, to keep it cooler and lighter under the heavy bridal satin skirt.  The gown is ivory, but I embroidered the slip with ivory thread on white batiste.

The designs surrounding the main monogram are from the large design on the gown’s skirt.

The swirls were from a design set, and all the lettering came from Monogram Wizard Plus and BES Lettering.

I was especially excited about the bottom edge, as I used my Precise Positioning feature for the first time and created a beautiful, continuous border.  This border embroidery comes from Kathy Harrison of  Custom Keepsakes.  Her embroideries are wonderful!

My one disappointment was in making the coverstitch pintucks.  When I opened the new pintucking foot I had bought (the dealer has gone out of business now), I found that one of the important pieces was missing.  I tried to fix it a different way, but the tucks did not form.  Oh, well.  Instead they are just a shadow embroidery embellishment, so not all is lost, even if they are not what I had originally hoped for.

(Apologies that the slip is not fully ironed in the photos.)

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