Planty Family

Planty Family

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Why I Choose Not to Swear (or at least TRY not to)

This requires some backstory.

Almost 10 years ago, I was in labor with my first child. I'd already been in the hospital overnight and had been given Pitocin first thing in the morning to help kick start my labor. My contractions were powerful (that's kind of the point of Pitocin) and I was exhausted. They offered me some intravenous painkiller to help with the pain. I accepted because labor. The drug DID dull the pain somewhat, but it also dulled my brain. I discovered that I had actually been controlling the pain fairly well with some helpful visualizations and breathing. When my brain was dulled by the painkillers, I was not able to focus on my visualizations which actually made the experience worse. Ever since, I have thought a lot about the dangers of dulling ourselves in the hope of escaping pain.

Fast forward a few years to a Mythbusters episode. It was about the ability of swearing to help people increase their pain threshold. According to the Discovery Channel website "Pained participants' time trials showed that spewing expletives indeed increases suffering stamina by an average of 30 percent." Sounds positive, right? Swear and reduce your pain. But because of my previous experience, what I thought was, "Swear and dull your pain." 

So, what are some other things sometimes associated with dulling pain? Alcohol, drugs, food (guilty), TV, social media/electronic devices, porn/sex--all things that become addictions when used too often and for the purpose of dulling us to the world and our lives. 

My genetic legacy is that of addiction. There are elements of it in both my maternal and paternal bloodlines. I have to be careful to stay away from things that dull my pain or discomfort because those are the things that have the power to become addictions. I try my hardest not to swear because I don't want to be dulled. I want to live my life fully aware, awake, and alive and fight the inborn tendency to forego that in favor of avoiding pain. I want to feel things and I believe that swearing blunts my ability to do so. 

I don't think you're a bad person if you swear, but you'll understand if I choose to keep it G-rated. :) 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lilies of the Field

I believe in God. I believe He created this earth specifically for us. So, let me tell you about the western prairie fringed orchid.

This flower is completely dependent on only two species of moths for its perpetuation. The reason is that these two types of moths (Eumorpha achemon and Sphinx drupiferarum) are among the only moths that have a proboscis long enough to reach the nectar that lies at the bottom of a long tubal structure. They are also among the only moths that have the correct distance between their eyes to actually pick up the pollen from where it is located within the flower. Basically, these moths are perfectly formed to pollinate the western prairie fringed orchid. That's one part of the equation.

Now let's talk about the orchid itself. The flowers of this plant are a creamy white - easier to see at night. When are moths active again? *nudge, nudge* The fragrance of the flowers becomes several times more concentrated at NIGHT. <--- again with the nighttime AND--here's the kicker--the scent of the flower matches that of the sexual pheromones of these particular species of moths!!!

God provided so exactly for the survival of these flowers. If He provided so exactly for a humble, unknown little flower, why would He create an earth devoid of help and healing for us, His purpose in creating this earth? To me, essential oils aren't just some hippie dippie, new age hype. They are a testament of God's love of, and provision for, His children. 

It's not just confined to essential oils, either. There are myriad minerals, plants, and substances on this earth that are beneficial to our health. I would invite you to research the many amazing things that have been provided for us by a loving God. There are studies out there done by reputable scientists and labs. 

Finally, I am in no way disparaging modern medicine. I would have died during the birth of my first child if it hadn't been for proper care by competent and caring medical professions. I am just saying there is so much MORE out there! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Adventures in Homeschooling

We just started homeschooling a month and a half ago. It has been incredibly challenging. I feel like every week we start from scratch looking for the best method of homeschooling for us. In our brief six weeks, I've contemplated sending my kids back to public school about 600 times. I worry that I'm ruining them, that they might fall behind, that any meltdowns or character flaws are because we are homeschooling, etc., etc., etc.

Today, I absolutely knew that homeschooling is the best choice for us. Someone from our local homeschooling Facebook group arranged a visit to the Denver Aquarium. The girls got to attend a class. Our instructor, Heather, was great and we learned some amazing things about sharks. Then we got to make our own way through the many exhibits at the aquarium--for as long as we wanted. We spent five hours going through the exhibits several times. The girls were completely rapt EVERY time we went through.

My oldest loves animals and has read many nonfiction books about all kinds of creatures. I was able to witness all of those facts she had read about come alive before her eyes. It was breathtaking. I got to see learning for the JOY of it. It was beautiful. My second loved the urchins and the jellyfish. She especially loved getting to touch the stingrays. It was so much fun to watch.

I am writing this post so I remember why I am doing this the next (hundred) times I doubt that we can make homeschooling work. It also brings to light something I value in our homeschooling: hands-on learning. It may seem small, but it gives me some much-needed direction.

So, take heart, fellow homeschooling mamas! I promise, there are wonderful days tucked in there somewhere among the doubtful, discouraging, frustrating days.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sisters' Weekend and Body Powder Recipe

A few weekends ago, we had our annual "sisters' weekend." I have 6 sisters and every year we rotate who hosts a fabulous weekend of fun, food, local sightseeing, shopping (so much shopping), and laughter. Sadly, one of my sisters wasn't able to come this year. It was in Colorado. We drove to Manitou Springs to spend a day taking in the scenic atmosphere of this cute little tourist town nestled right up to the mountains. I had the Classic Gyro at Baba's Burgers. Do yourself a favor and get one if you're ever in this neck of the woods. Amazing. I may or may not have saved a tiny bite that I just couldn't finish in my purse because I could not bear to throw it away.

There were a lot of other fun things to see and do. We sampled the water out of the various spring water fountains around town, We went into some neat shops. I bought some beautiful succulents from a side room in a quirky little dress shop. We were exhausted and ready to head home by late afternoon. As we were walking to the car, I spied a shop called Anna's Apothecary down a side street. You know this crunchy mama could not resist. It was a lovely shop with a plethora of fun herbs, clays, teas, and tinctures. I left with a pound of silky kaolin clay. And I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

I've been wanting to make my own body powder forever. I have a c-section scar that gets irritated in hot weather and body powder does wonders for it. But, although I'm a fan of what body powders do for my scar, I'm not a fan of the ingredients. Possible carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, irritants, mysterious "fragrance." Pass. So, I whipped up my own natural body powder using this kaolin clay.


Arrowroot powder
Kaolin clay
essential oils of choice (I used lavender and tea tree)


Take a jar, any jar. Seriously. I used a 15 oz. empty sauce jar. Fill it halfway with arrowroot powder. Pour kaolin clay in the remaining half. Then put in 15 drops of lavender and 5 drops of tea tree. Of course, you could use more or less depending on preference and size of jar. Screw on lid. Shake it well. Boom - done. Easy peasy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


There are a lot of changes on the horizon for our little family. My work, our decision to homeschool, new responsibilities at church for both my husband and I. Things are moving. Growth is coming.

Lately, a particular memory keeps surfacing. Shortly after I graduated high school, late on warm, spring nights, I would drive my car out to the orange groves. With some angsty alternative rock song blasting, I would roll down the windows and take in the sweet, heady scent of orange blossoms and feel the cool, fresh air. The world seemed stretched out in infinity before me as I drove those dark, remote roads. I felt all the endless possibilities welling up and expanding within me as that perfumed wind whipped around me. I was on the precipice of something enormous. The grand adventure of actually living was about to begin.

I think there's a reason I keep thinking about that time. Great things are coming. Once again, possibilities seem limitless and inviting. A new chapter in our lives is about to begin. And I am even more excited now than I was then.

That, or I've been diffusing orange essential oil too much lately.

Is there a time you remember feeling full of anticipation for great changes that were coming? Remembering those times can help rekindle our desire to take risks and change for the better.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


For years my cousin and sister asked me when I was going to start blogging. I guess today is that day. I look forward to sharing our family's adventures and mishaps. Welcome to Planty Mama!