Monthly Archives: May 2017


And, I have been thinking that when we get to Denver, I will do a SIMPLE, QUICK, EASY gratitude/prayer thing in the mornings where the kids and I light a candle FOR A SPECIFIC PERSON THAT DAY. And, we WRITE on a scrap of paper and put it near the candle, why we appreciate that person and any prayer request we have for them. It may take the formality and religiosity out of the thing and make it concrete. I think it will help my kids PRACTICE THINKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

Read on… This is a great post!

What I think about visionary journaling

I sit down to write for a prescribed journaling exercise. It asks me about the things I’ve done to support other people in life, and then what would it look like to do the same kinds of things for myself.

I have thoughts.

I have low serotonin.

I get about so far as to lean my face into my palms and listen to the sounds in the quiet room–some bird chirping far away through glass; the water filter chugging away and squeaking in the basement. I decide: If I can’t even decide to give myself a nap right now, do I really need a bucket list dream plan to figure out if I should go back to college??

OK, the answers could be dialed down a notch, like, say, for me. I mean, the journal exercise seems to be written in a very-self friendly way, and I could make up all my own answers. Very subjective. But, I can’t even write answer no. 2, even while it may be helpful for me to take stock and become aware of what my relationship with myself is really like. But, the point is… PLAN to do some things for myself?? vs. just go do something for myself?

Taking a nap is very personal; is so not glamorous or inspiring to anyone else; won’t put a dent in my to do list; a nap won’t walk the dog, put away groceries, or provide food for anyone.

It’s only for me. But, I don’t need a worksheet introspective spiritual journey journaling exercise to figure out: ain’t nothing going to happen, even if I write it down, if I cannot go take a nap. This person who wrote that worksheet might not be the guru for me, at this time. I just need the guru that pops up 4 times a day and says, "Umm, Rachel, don’t eat that chocolate right now. Rachel, go take a nap right now. Rachel, don’t check your email right now. Rachel, load the dishwasher and shut down the house now and go to sleep yourself." Essentially that would be like a PDA (personal digital assistant) reminding me, only better–it would NOT be a PDA. Instead, it would be a holographic mother image 3 times as large as a human and would hover around watching me until I did the things. Kind of, essentially, like a deity of old, watching my every move to see if I do a good job going through life. The very nitty gritty life. And, treating myself kindly.

Musing on kitchen tidying

This concept of containers IN the cupboards was learned by me in the past 7 years when I moved into smaller kitchen (twice). (Now also moving again.. oh, what will I learn next?!) It started with exposed storage shelves rather than traditional cupboards. So, I had to make it look pretty and organized for all to see. I have only 2 utensil drawers– 2 whole drawers– in my kitchen so I learned to keep only the tools I really do use often in the main area. I can’t vouch so much for the "packed away in storage" spaces or weird location of things like a box of crap in the basement. But, in the kitchen working area, it’s a spiritual practice to keep it tidy.

In my exposed pantry I use large clear cookie jars where food rotates in and out of all the time. A jar is not "THE cookie jar"–it’s just a jar that gets something put into it after it’s empty. Could be something else like oatmeal, tortilla chips, dog food, etc. Whatever at the time is needed. The baking stuff is together in a basket so that baking time I just pull out one or two baskets which contain hand electric mixer, baking soda, whisk, measuring cups, chocolate chips, whatever.

The kids have their own basket for all the lunch box stuff like containers, snacks–all in that same bin.

I’m also going to try to re-create a SHALLOW cupboard in my next home. It’s where I put my plethora of supplements and medicines. Cupboard is only deep enough for one large supplement bottle. So, it’s the same concept as a MAGAZINE RACK–some libraries are now using this idea because they know it works in stores–go wide, not deep, and spread out the merchandise so you can see it easily. We thought of this idea for my Grandma–use an IKEA picture rail for her supplements! We can do this on the inside of cupboard doors with a rack that takes up the space in the front and then the stuff on the shelf can’t be deep either. Let there be no dark corners with things lurking!

More cleaning tips

Everyone who I know, who has used them, really likes the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Getting our house ready to sell, these have come in very handy!

A few weeks ago, Erik installed subway tile as the backsplash in our kitchen. He used a flat razor blade scraper to take off some of the left over grout or tile adhesive (whatever it was that left a residue on the tiles). A rag did not clean it up and I thought it was scratches on the tile. But, today I tried a Magic Eraser and it worked! After using it, you must also wipe the residue with a damp rag. Magic Erasers work by breaking down until there is none of it left. It’s actually like a super fine sand paper.

By the way, those flat razor scrapers are a tool I keep around when doing housework. They are great for removing tape, residues on the stove, wax on the bathtub (from candles), and so on–on any flat surface.

Mood Repair update

I am changing my 5-htp routine to see how it goes. I spread out the 5htp. 3 times per day at 50 mg. I’m doing this because:

I know that I need more 5 htp on the days when estrogen takes sharp decline (when estrogen goes low, serotonin goes low too! This is why serotonin deficiencies are more prominent in women, although men can certainly have serotonin deficiencies.). Due to fluctuations in my hormone cycle, I cannot accurately predict when that will be. I’ve taken 100 mg on those days and still get mood swings. I can’t say for sure, but it seems like if I take the bigger dose, I get happy but then serotonin drops off later in the day. The sense of this happening told me that maybe I need to aim for keeping serotonin steady, foundationally. (Also, it makes sense to me to dose to the need and do not want to take more than is necessary.)

Secondly, I notice that on those days when I need the additional serotonin help, I need it revved up before I get out of bed. I can wake up depressed, when I was fine the day before. So, I hope taking a dose before bed will help preserve some serotonin for wake-up time.

Also, I was doing the Adrenal tea throughout the winter, and my M.D. said Ashwagandha is safe to take every day (she likes herbs). So, I decided for summer time and now that I’ve been too busy for tea, I am taking Ashwagandha tincture.

  • So, I take 5htp and Ashw* tincture upon waking, with Theanine capsule (and my Vitex tincture for female hormones).
  • I take 5 htp at 2 pm.
  • I take 5htp, Ashw* before bed with Magtein.

Other components of my Mood Repair are in my supplement routine post. I am happy to tell you more if you want to email me.