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My mother-in-law invited me to a “Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies” party where I was first introduced to Essential Oils. I went home with a few mason jars of yummy-smelling laundry detergents, bath salts, and a spray bottle of all-purpose cleanser.

It was fun and I was suprised that a cleanser made of water, vinegar, and lemon oil — a cleanser I could DRINK, for crying out loud! — was just as effective as the expensive store-bought chemical cleansers I had been using.

However… “Healthy” cleansers couldn’t get me past the steep capital investment it was going to require to start using essential oils regularly. I wasn’t “sold.”

After I gave birth to Cora, I was suffering from a pinched nerve in my lower back that had become debilitating hip pain, so much so I was forced to lie on the floor for her first birthday. Not even Vicadin could alleviate my suffering, and I had to drive 2.5 hours to San Diego the folliowing weekend. My mother-in-law let me borrow her bottle of DeepBlue, doTerra’s analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and I put a couple drops on my back and hip… And I WAS PAIN-FREE FOR THREE HOURS. The whole drive — didn’t feel a twinge.


Suddenly, essential oils were on my radar in a big way.

For my birthday, by MIL got me the Essential Oils Bible — “Modern Essentials” — and I literally read it cover to cover. As I explained to my own Mom, the advantage of Essential Oils really comes down to this…

1. Natural (vs. Artificial)

Most modern medicines are trying to imitate and amplify the effects we originally got from nature — e.g. aspirin came from willow bark, etc. Unfortunately, the reason modern medicines can’t kill viruses is that nothing we make matches the molecular structure of our cells. Because essential oils have tiny molecules and are lipid-based, they can permeate cell walls and do stuff that man-made drugs cannot.

Since we started using essential oils, my kids have not been sick once. As soon as they start developing sniffles, it’s OnGuard three times a day and we’re done with the bug before it starts!

2. Proactive (vs. Reactive)

Most prescription drugs are designed to fix symptoms, not address the cause. For example, you take Tylenol to dull the pain, not fix the headache. But these oils actually go in and do the hard work of healing your body on a cellular level.

When my husband gets hit with a headache, he puts PastTense on the back of his neck and it goes in, expanding blood vessels and decreases inflammation.

Really, as a mother, one of the worst feelings in the world is helplessness in the face of my child’s discomfort or illness. Now, instead of reaching for the phone to schedule an expensive doctor’s appointment next week, where we’ll be sitting for two hours among dozens of other sick kids, so that the doctor can prescribe a general antibiotic… I can go to Modern Essentials, look up what’s wrong, and address it immediately in a safe and effective manner.

3. Positive (vs. Negative) Side Effects

What happens when you overdose on prescription drugs? You die.

What happens when you overdose on essential oils? …oh wait, you don’t, because your body knows how to process them and let go of anything it’s not using.

When you use essential oils, not only are you getting the specific benefit that you’re looking for, but you’re also getting a host of other positive side effects.

For example, I use lavender oil on Cora every night before she goes to bed. I intend for the aroma to pacific her into a calm and soothing sleep. And it does. But I also discovered that lavender is an “analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepresent, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-infections, anti-inflammatory, animicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumor, cadiotonic, regenerative, and sedative” (M.E., p 64). So basically, while I like the way it smells, I’m also protecting my daughter on a cellular level from allergies, asthma, bruises, earaches, heart disease, flu, nervous tension, skin conditions, throat infections, and fevers.

…These oils become a way of life — a holistic, natural, and proactive approach to my family’s wellbeing.

I would love to help you discover the power of these oils for yourself, so I am currently offering to personally subsidize your starter kit of oils PLUS the amazing Modern Essentials guidebook.






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[Edited by me for the sake of drawing attention to the coolest parts]

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

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It occurs to me, on this cloudy June morning, that CSD and I have been blogging together for seven years.  Those seven years have seen us live together (for over four years), travel to Italy and England, begin careers, complete graduate school, get married, and write a lot.  Our blog writing has its ups and downs.  Sometimes we are funny, sometimes we are thoughtful, or both, or neither.

I love what East of Mina has been (and will be).  This said, I’m going to be taking a break from blogging at East of Mina for some (not yet determined amount of) time.  Although I love the writing I’ve done here, change can be good to keep my writing habits on their toes.  For the time being, I’ll be blogging at Poor Things.  You’re welcome to subscribe.  This is an experiment, that may or may not last.  We’ll see.


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Charles Alexander is something of a cult classic in particular architectural circles, but virtually unknown otherwise. An article featured on Arts & Letters Daily about two years ago praised him so profusely that I decided to give his five volume tome a skim once we lived near a library that had it. If you are ever inclined to try something similar, I’d suggest skimming the italicized portions of volume 1 and actually reading volume 3 (A Pattern Language). The others basically repeat what he’s said elsewhere in greater detail.

His thesis is that modern (1960) building practices using strict blueprints and prefabricated pieces has create structures and built environments that impede human flourishing. Through a number of examples/pilot projects, he argues that each building should be uniquely suited to its own site, and this can be done cheaper than current processes if we remove the division between architect and general contractor and involve the (future) inhabitants directly in the building process.

Specific recommendations range from impractical to insane, but his general theories about town layout (people tend to go shop in the direction of the town center, even if there is another, marginally closer option in the other direction), interactions between people and environment (water near a building makes it more popular, especially if the water is accessible, for example, in a fountain), and correlation between physical and psychological (natural light from two sides of a room make it feel bigger and more welcoming) are intriguing.


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For Wednesday

To ‘cure’ a dead octopus
You hold it by one leg and bang it against a rock.

–Kenneth Koch

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My primary confession is that my last substitute placement (a glorious 29 days in a fifth grade math classroom) left me with little time nor energy to record the daily wit and cynicism of my little charges.  My last post (‘Dear February’) could probably be replicated here, with only the details of our full schedule varied slightly.  Oh well.  Sometimes we are busy.

Posts I need to write: (1) The Epic Marathon in the Rain, (2) on Alasdair Gray’s essay “15 February 2003,” and (3) Why Fractions are Important.

I have every intention of “Confessions of a Student Teacher” (scheduled start date: Wednesday) receiving more blog-time.  But, we’ll see.


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My horoscope according to the Onion:

Pisces: The flaw in your plan was the part where your accomplice would start a fire, and in the confusion, you would sneak into the philosophy department and finish writing your dissertation.

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