About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera

Coconut Oil

I've been using coconut oil regularly for about a year now and am still impressed by its versatility.


Coconut oil is great for hair, though I'm not great at being consistent with getting that "just right" amount without having to wash it out. I primarily use vinegar, water, and baking soda to clean my hair, but when I use coconut oil I generally have to also use a shampoo to remove the coconut oil afterwards so instead I occasionally just rub a tiny bit in my hands and run it over the top of my hair and through the ends.


Coconut oil feels so good on skin. When I first started using it, I overdid the amount and thought coconut oil was greasy because of it. Eventually I learned that it doesn't take much coconut oil and it doesn't take much time for skin to drink in all that goodness. Who knew that such a tiny amount could go so far! If you're interested in reading more about the relationship between coconut oil and free radicals, triglycerides, liver spots, etc., there's some good reading at  http://www.coconut-connections.com/skin_care.htm.

The Inside Scoop

I'm not an expert on nutritional science but there's all sorts of information online that explains the health benefits of ingesting coconut oil.  I've been taking a spoonful of it in its uncooked form as part of my daily routine, though it's great for cooking as well.

Aloe Vera

I remember when folks were buying aloe vera plants back in the 1970s so they could slice off a bit of a leaf to soothe burns.

Recently I've been learning that the clear gel inside the leaves are also beneficial when taken internally. After a bit more reading, I decided there seem to be numerous benefits and no harm in using it in small amounts. It's simple enough to do. Slice off part of one of the leaves (I think I read somewhere that it's best to use the more mature leaves that show a bit of a curve at the top so that's what I use), and gently slice open the leaf. The gel in the middle of the leaf is what you'll be gently scraping out. The aloin sap between the gel and the leaf is quite bitter. I usually eat about a teaspoon of the gel, though I've read online that some folks take it in much higher quantities. Once I've extracted and eaten the gel, I use the inside of the leaf to smear the sap on my skin.

I was surprised to discover how challenging it was to find an aloe vera plant to buy, but I've read that it's fairly easy to start up new plants once you have one. That will be one of this winter's activities.


Sunday, October 20, 2013


When I opened my eyes this morning, I became aware of seeing the moon shining brightly in the dark sky outside my window. The clarity drew me in like a moth and I felt deeply moved to be experiencing such a meaningful moment.

I feel privileged to live in a place where I'm able to connect with nature when my eyes first open in the morning. Pelicans, geese, seagulls, and the vastness of the sky and clouds have all been part of my morning viewings/focus. The tree branches within an arm's length of my window have provided much visual pleasure through the seasons as they interact with light and wind, and the variety of birds and songs have been heartwarming.

I'm thankful for today's wind. The wind chimes outside have been quiet lately and I've been missing their soul-feeding sounds. I'll plan to go down to the lake later today to see the wind on the water and to feel the wind while walking along. My mom used to tell me that when I was a baby, I'd giggle when the wind would blow in my face. I'm not fond of winter wind that dips into the minus 20s, but there's just something about wind otherwise that feels good somewhere deep in my soul.

We've had an extended autumn this year, for which I'm truly grateful. And today is another colourful, alive, autumn day.