Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Imagining My Mom as a Child: Remember When

It is hard to imagine our parents, who we only knew as adults, and possibly now as aged men and women as children. I just can't picture my mother running around playing tag or hide-and-seek. 

It is a little easier to imagine her playing house because she loved keeping up her home and caring for my sister and I, and later the grandchildren.  

Mom was the oldest of six; three boys and three girls. I'm sure a lot fell to her shoulders as she got older. 

Here she is at a family gathering. That is her on the left sitting on her father's hip. He was always a stern man and seeing him holding my mom is kind of funny for some reason. The woman to the right is Grandma Jennie holding Aunt Marie. I have to wonder what had Marie's attention, or was she just squirming and ready to go play? 
To the right is Nellie Keith Martin, Jennie's mother. She raised Jennie by herself in southwestern Kansas. Another thing that is hard to imagine. 

The two ladies are grandad's sisters and the men are their husbands. I don't know who the children are. This was taken at one of the sister's homes a few counties to the east of where my grandparents lived. 

Another bit of imagining: What brought the families together? What did they have for dinner? My guess would be fried chicken with lots of mashed potatoes and fresh tomatoes from the garden. 

Here's my mother a little older. I'm terrible at ages and there aren't any dates but my guess would be third grade.

My mother has been gone for almost 27 years. That doesn't even seem possible. I asked a lot of questions growing up, especially after I started doing genealogy in 1976, but there was never enough time and too many questions. I didn't always write them down. 

Mom didn't talk a lot about her childhood. She grew up to be a strong woman who raised two of us on her own. 

Have you thought about your own parents as children? 
Have you asked the questions? 
Have you written the answers down? 

Hmmm. Maybe they had a pot roast for dinner. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Essential Oils: There's Always More To Learn

I remember first discovering essential oils about twenty years ago. My niece and I bought the little bottles that just smelled good. We dropped the oil on clay diffusers and thought we were doing good. Now I know most of those types of oils are mostly alcohol and have very little actual oil in them.

About fifteen years ago I was introduced to Young Living at the yoga studio. One of the members was a doctor who swore by the use of these therapeutic grade oils. What a difference. Try these and you'll never go back. 

This is my box of oils. I use them for pain, relaxation, cleaning, and so much more. 
I thought all these years I was using them correctly. I applied them topically, ingested some (like peppermint), and smelled them. 

Then I found the Alchemist's Guild and have learned there isn't much that YL oils can't do. I've learned to make skin cleansers and creams, blends for better pain control, cleaning products, and even cooking ideas.

Now the Guild has a book that I wish I'd had twenty years ago. Or even five years ago. This book is geared to the oils that come in the beginner's kit. It has a bit of history on each oil or blend and the uses for each. The oils in this kit include Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Copaiba, Frankincense, and blends; Purification, Di-gize, RC, PanAway, StressAway, and Thieves.

There is a section in making blends using carrier oils to dilute and stretch the use of the oil. The different types of diffusers are covered and how to best use them. The best part and where I hadn't used the oils to their fullest potential is recipes to make things like an anti-bacterial type foaming hand cleaner, mouthwash, moisturizers, and lip balm.

I've made wool dryer balls and gotten rid of those dryer sheets. Glass cleaner, floor cleaner, and air fresheners. In other words detoxing my home.

On the side of there's always more to learn there are spaces for writing in your own recipes and ideas. There is also an accompanying journal to keep more information.

I have read the entire book and am now going back and studying more things, besides using it for reference. I'm finding it invaluable.

If you haven't discovered top quality essential oils ask around. You probably have friends who have. There are numerous books and web sites on using oils. "Basic Alchemy with Essential Oils" is a great place to start.

You can find it here:

Or if you are in Phoenix it is available at Dog-Eared Pages Used Books near 40th Street and Bell Road. http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/