After my right Right Elbow replacement, I didn’t paint for for nearly two years! Partly because I pursued my other interests and partly due to injuries — which I’ll explain in a bit.
Instead of painting, I focused on another of my favorite passions: genealogy. It’s so easy for me to become obsessive when doing something I love. I find myself frequently getting lost in the weeds for hours. As my mom says, I’m “like a dog with a bone.” I always knew that I’m 100% Polish on my mother’s side but my father’s heritage has been more of a mystery. And with both of my paternal grandparents deceased, answers are hard to find. Luckily my grandma left some records and photos when she passed years ago. With these and some information from my dad, Ive been able to piece together a robust family tree.
I’ve traced several paternal generations and uncovered my relatives from multiple Southern states — some I can follow back to England and neighboring countries. I also had my DNA tested with both Ancestry and 23 & Me. As a result, I have been in contact with a few distant relatives, able to add several “cousins“ to my family tree, and most interestingly, resolve an old family mystery.
In addition to filling in my family tree, a friend introduced me to essential oils and I quickly became enamored with these plant products. I bought several books on the subject, scoured the Internet for credible and unbiased resources. I purchased several diffusers and filled our house with citrus’ for pick me ups, lavenders for calming, and Clove blends to fight off germs. Eventually, I began concocting blends for stomach/headaches and made foaming hand soap and face cleansers. My blends worked very well and smelled amazing. I wanted to understand more thoroughly how exactly these tiny, powerful essential oils worked.
Eventually, I discovered Andrea Butje’s online course at Aromahead Institute. You pay one fee and have access to hours of credible course material, online webinars, videos, and a forum to interact with all other past and present students and instructors. The best part is I can go at my own pace. Some people take a few months while others may take a couple of years. At the end I will earn a certificate that is acknowledged both nationally and internationally or I can go on to become a certified aromatherapist if I want to start a business. I’m currently about 50% done, but have taken a breather for a while. Looks like I might be on that “several year plan” 🙂
Over the July Fourth holiday we took a family vacation to Cancun, Mexico. On the 2nd of July (which happens to be my husband’s birthday) I had an awful fall. We were walking back from the beach, arm in arm, near the pool when my right foot caught some water and slipped out from under me. My knee buckled and I swear the tendon/ligament stretched like a rubber band. It was horrific.
I fell to the ground crying and yelling. In that moment, it was worse than pitocin-induced labor!! See the picture below? That’s my knee! I couldn’t really walk on it for a couple of days. I iced it, took my anti-inflammatories, and the following day I wallowed in misery in the pool and drowned my sorrows in way too many cocktails at the swim up bar — but that’s a tale for another day 🙂
Come Fall, I signed up to take an art class at the BBAC. Two days before the class began, I was purchasing a bike for my son. I took the bike for a quick ride to test it out. As I was getting off the bike, my foot caught on the bar and I fell hard onto the pavement. Because of my messed up joints and arthritis, I can’t put my hands out to break a fall like a normal person. My bad knee hit the ground first, then the back of my upper right shoulder and then my head hit the pavement really hard. I had a major goose egg for a long time!
I didn’t know it at the time, but I actually fractured the end of my clavicle. The bump on my head took a long time to heal and as such I had a black eye and my chest/shoulder was black and blue and sore! Needless to say I couldn’t really start art class in two days. I talked to the program director and was able get a credit to use in the future.
For the month of November, my Indian family came to stay with us. We had a family wedding to attend in Florida at the end of the month and decided we would all fly down together. My son Dylan was 14 at the time, and had met his Indian grandparents and aunt only once when he was just a baby. My younger son, Ethan, age 11, hadn’t met them yet in person; only through conversations via the Internet.
(I went to India with my husband back in 2000. He is from Mumbai or Bombay. We spent about 10 days in the city. The trip was one I will never forget. I can’t honestly say that I liked it, nor can I say that I disliked it. It was such a different experience than anything I knew; every sense is bombarded, constantly — it’s overwhelming and exhausting! But I am digressing.)
Probably due to stress, my colitis was acting up again. Thank goodness for medical marijuana; for which I had recently acquired a license. It really helps with my arthritis flares, headaches, G.I. issues, and for just plain chilling out.
All in all it was a great visit. I made lots of homemade Indian food – thanks to my Insta pot it was easy and delicious! We did some fun shopping, visited family and friends, and the best part was that the boys got to meet/know their Grandma and Auntie.
Near the end of November, we all flew to Florida. My husband’s cousin was married in Boca Raton. He was also born and raised in Bombay. In fact, the two boys went to school together as children. His Bride is American, like me. They had a predominately Indian wedding; since it was his first and her second. The ceremony and reception were just beautiful and we all had great fun; especially my youngest, who was gobbled up by his new extended Indian family!