What is Reiki?

Japanese symbols for "Rei" and "Ki"

Japanese symbols for “Rei” and “Ki”

The word Reiki means spiritual wisdom (Rei) and life energy (Ki). It is a Japanese method of the laying on of hands which promotes stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. It’s a divine gift that was “discovered” in the 1920′s by Dr. Mikao Usui during meditation. It is important to note that the practitioner is not the one providing the energy that relaxes and heals; the practitioner is simply the pathway or channel through which the Reiki energy flows. Reiki is sometimes thought of as white healing light. It is available from the Infinite Source to anyone who seeks it. Reiki is not a religion and it blends with any healing modality, practice, or religion.

Hand Positions?

A set and order of hand positions is taught at the Reiki I level, but Reiki is effective when the hands are placed anywhere on the body, even if the hands are hovering a few inches away from the body. Reiki is based on intention, so Reiki can even be given at a distance. Long distance Reiki is taught at level II.


During each Reiki training session the teacher passes attunements to the student to “turn on” each level of Reiki. No one describes this process better than Reiki Master/Teacher, William Rand, so let me quote him here:

“Reiki is not taught in the way other healing techniques are taught. The ability to channel Reiki energy is transferred to the student by the Reiki master during an attunement process. During the attunement, the Rei or spiritual consciousness makes adjustments in the student’s chakras and energy pathways and also in deeper parts of ones’ consciousness to accommodate the ability to channel Reiki energy; it then links the student to the Reiki source. These changes are unique for each person. The Reiki master does not direct the process and is simply a channel for the attunement energy flowing from the spiritual consciousness.” – Reiki The Healing Touch by William Lee Rand

Does Reiki Work?

I personally have had multiple experiences that I would define as miraculous when both giving and receiving Reiki. There are countless stories of people experiencing healing, knowing, profound shifting, and downright miracles because of Reiki. In fact, a book has recently been endorsed by Dr. Oz which gives first hand accounts of Reiki miracles and healing. This healing can be physical, emotional or psychological in nature. In fact, when a person receives Reiki for one issue, others can be healed as well. Reiki heals what needs it.

Why take Reiki training?

Even if one doesn’t intend to become a Reiki practitioner, there are still wonderful benefits from taking Reiki classes. If you are in a profession where you are touching people – massage therapists, nurses, doctors, yoga instructors, martial arts instructors, aestheticians, etc., having a “Reiki touch” is extra special. Even for moms and dads, knowing that you have love and healing in your hands when you touch your children and those you love is a great feeling.

Reiki is a joyful way of life

Reiki encourages you to give self treatments, to meditate, and to be mindful of kindness and gratitude. It permeates your life to the extent that you invite it and practice it. It’s a joyful way of life that brings a song to your heart. It can cause no harm. If Reiki has been reaching out to you, sign up for a session or a class. You’ll be happy you did.

How to locate a Reiki practitioner or teacher near you

Here are a couple of resources if Reiki seems to being finding you:

International Association of Reiki Professionals

Reiki Membership Association

I recently retook my Reiki Master/Teacher level from Deb Karpek in Sedona, AZ. I am currently offering Reiki sessions and classes in Central Texas. Feel free to contact me by clicking “contact me” at the top of this page.

Easy way to change top bunk bed sheets

For Cheryl

First you need to put a clean sheet on the mattress the hard way. That one is going to stay a while, so it needs to be one you don’t mind seeing the side of.

Get a mattress topper

Then you need to get a mattress topper of sorts: an egg crate, a memory foam pad or something of the sort.

Put the mattress pad on top of this smaller topper, and voila. Easy changing of sheets. You can either lay up there and bend up the corners or you can pull the whole thing down if you prefer. The top sheet and bed spread are still difficult to make look nice, but that doesn’t bother me.

There you go. Cheers.

How to get rid of furniture smoke funk smell odor – essential oils

From me to all of you. It ‘s been a while since I’ve posted and I know you all expect LIBERTY from me, and I’m still there, deep in that indulgent state of freedom that those who have died for it would expect from me. But for now, just call me the homeschooling Martha Stewart of Liberty. Today my post happens to be about those nasty stubborn furniture smells. :)

I never knew why the concept of “from a smoke-free home” meant anything until day before yesterday. We bought a loft bed/desk off of Craig’s List for my son and had no idea until we had it home and assembled, that it REEKED.

Unbelievable. Every time I walked past my seven-year-old’s room, it smelled like those dank, face-mask-inducing, wrenched-away-from-hoarder houses that my husband and I rehabbed ten years ago before the housing bust. It’s a combination of cat pee, roach excrement, cigarette smoke, and depression that pervades deep into the sheet rock. How do you get rid of the smell? Do you just put it back on Craigslist and pawn it off on the next guy?

Here is the answer: a cotton ball and essential oils. Specifically – lemon, orange, and patchouli oils. Yeehaw! I found it! Wood loves oil – lemon, etc. So go for it!

I had burned incense and sage, all the time thinking – how is smoke going to cure smoke? I had squirted Febreeze (gag) in all the drawers. I had wiped the entire massive piece of furniture with disinfectant. Nothing helped. Not until I pulled the lint out of my dryer, rolled it into a ball, and decided to drop 4 drops of lemon, 4 drops of orange, and 3 drops of patchouli on it. I wiped down the inside of every drawer, frequently adding more oil. Now, every time I walk past my son’s room it smells like goddess fairy heaven.

I didn’t want to keep him awake all night, considering all of these oils have stimulating qualities, so tomorrow I will continue the mission. I will take these same oils and anoint the entire outside of the behemoth.

Soon to come: how to make changing a bunk bed a breeze. (I’ve got it figured out!)

Mwah! I love everyone, that includes you!


Questionable Arguments Against Homeschooling

 A Guest Post by Allison Foster

As more and more parents are keeping their children home in order to educate them, opponents seem to perpetuate accusations as to why it’s a bad idea. Apparently, studies are conducted on less fortunate families without including those that are able to sustain themselves financially. There are many questionable comments that have been put into print since early 2000 in order to make homeschooling seem impractical. What are some of the comments that are made that don’t seem to add up to many homes?

1. Fewer Resources - According to OnlineCollege.org, homeschooling parents have fewer resources available to them as opposed to traditional classrooms. Aside from the actual textbook that, thanks to the Internet, any parent can purchase, what resources are they referring to? For many school districts, teachers are using grossly outdated software and materials because the funding simply isn’t available. In most cases, conducting a Google search of the intended material will reveal far more value that what many classrooms have today. In many districts, schools are awarded technology grants to purchase equipment that isn’t used to its potential because the district doesn’t put time into teaching the staff how to use them. Where was this study completed?

2. Poor Curriculum - Studies seem to suggest that parents make poor teachers which in turn creates poor curriculum. In many cases, this statement is completely false. In today’s world, all a parent really needs to do is know how to use Google to find materials suitable for virtually any age group. Since most of the materials that homeschooling parents use are from valid sources of education, these studies would suggest that our educational system as a whole consists of poor curriculum – which is why many parents are pulling their children out of conventional schools.

3. Insufficient Knowledge - Many people in the world assume that homeschooled children are less likely to develop as a productive member of society. In contrast, studies show that children who are homeschooled are 31-percent more likely to understand politics. Did you know that homeschooled children are 30-percent more likely to read a book inside of six-months? What about studies that show that homeschooled children are 34-percent more likely to join community services without a court order to do so? With these numbers as they are, how can opposition try to sell that homeschooled children are suffering from a lack of knowledge?

4. College Degrees - Some parents are under the misconception that colleges today don’t accept homeschooled students. This is far from the truth. In actuality, homeschooled students graduate with a college degree at a rate just over 9-percent more often than the traditionally educated student. This isn’t including the fact that homeschooled college students earn a grade point average that is .3 points higher than their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts.

One fact to consider when you read anti-homeschooling propaganda is the fact that each individual school is allotted a specific amount of money for each individual student that attends during specific times of the year. Although this money is used to improve teaching through tools, salaries and food preparation, it’s also added motive to keep students in the chairs of a classroom. In reality, homeschooled students outperform traditional ones in every category of education without spending the thousands of dollars per year for maintaining the student body.

Author Byline:

Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

Allison’s sources for the article:

Save Money On Groceries By Re-Growing Food From Kitchen Scraps

A Fun Guest Post by Alex Goodwin

I have not tried all of Alex’s suggestions here, so I can’t vouch for them, but I certainly will try them. Ginger is the one I’ve done – what a beautiful edible plant. Also, when I was a kid we used to sprout avocado trees from the pits by hanging half of the pit in a cup of water by suspending it from a trio of toothpicks jammed into the sides of the pit. But avocado trees get enormous and you better live where it doesn’t freeze if you want to grow one. Here’s Alex Goodwin for y’all folks.

Save Money On Groceries By Re-Growing Food From Kitchen Scraps

If you’re anything like me and my wife when it comes to looking for ways to save money and lower our bills, you’ll be happy to discover that one of the easiest and really fun methods of doing this has been lurking in your very own kitchen!

After we purchase, prepare, and consume the food we buy, there are almost always little bits of food left that just get thrown away. Why do we do that? Some of these scraps of food can actually serve another function. They can be replanted and grown again.

While it isn’t possible to do it with everything we consume, most vegetables and some fruits do have the capacity to regrow themselves from replanted scraps. Let’s take a look at some of the common foods you might have in your home that you can start with now.


Onions are the easiest of vegetables to regrow because they have the highest success rate and only require a little bit of work to replant. First, cut off any part of the onion that remains about the roots except for maybe a half inch. Then, plant the roots in a sunny area in a raised bed garden so that they will have plenty of sunlight.


Pineapples are a fun food to grow because they are so delicious! You need to start by taking the green, leafy area that is located at the top of the pineapple. Make sure that all pieces of actual fruit have been removed. It’s necessary that all of the fruit is removed to keep it from rotting and killing your plant. This only leaves the part of the pineapple that nobody eats anyways.

When you first plant them in your garden, you should water them regularly. After a few weeks you can cut back to watering your pineapples just once a week. A few months later you will begin to see growth. It may take up to a couple years before you can actually eat the pineapples, but you will have a permanent plant that will continually bear fruit every season.


Garlic is also another type of plant that can be easily regrown from scraps. This can be done by planting a single clove root-down into the soil. At first, it will grow new shoots, which you will want to cut off. After they have been cut, the garlic will put all its energy into producing a new bulb, recreating the original garlic plant that was consumed.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are capable of re-growing their eye-shoots, which allow for more potatoes to grow off of them. This can be done by planting either a whole, or even just a little piece, of a  sweet potato in a jar of water. After a week, new shoots should have sprouted out by now. Remove the side sprouts and leave the shoots forming near the top of the potato.


Ginger isn’t as commonly used, but it can also be regrow from just a food scrap. Take a piece of ginger rhizome — the part of the plant you cook with — and have the newly sprouted bud areas facing towards the surface. Ginger likes stay out of direct contact with sunlight but still be able to reach it. You should also keep the area around your ginger moist. The plant will sprout a whole new set of roots and shoots, which then will begin growing duplicates of the plant. When harvesting, pull the whole plant out of the ground and cut off more pieces of rhizome. Use what you need and then place the rest back into the ground so that you can repeat the process.

Other tips and considerations

Many of the food you can re-grow from kitchens scraps do not require a lot of space and can be grown indoors with mason jars if you don’t have the space for a traditional garden. Large planting pots are good for high-rise balconies because they are less likely to blow over and they require less water. To add style and an extra touch of sustainability, you can try using bio-degradable planting pots that are been constructed from renewable plant by-products.

About the author:

Alex is a blogger, husband, father and aspiring slipstream fantasy novelist. When he isn’t writing for HomeDaddys or completing chores from his “honey- do” list, he’s most likely spending quality time with his wife and kids or working on his novel.


What is Geocaching? My latest total geek out obsession and karma builder.

Treasure Hunt

Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunting game that anyone can play. Kids LOVE it! (So do adults.)

Download the app on your phone, which becomes your GPS device. Join geocaching.com, which is $10 very well spent. This hobby is apparently only for people who have totally given in to the NSA already knowing where your phone is. I thought briefly about getting rid of my smart phone recently, but that was before I picked up a healthy addiction to this new treasure hunting hobby. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can use any GPS device from what I understand.

To set up your account, go to the website on your computer and pick a cool name that you might just have for the rest of your life. You can always change it, however.

Educational Fun for all ages

My first geocache (GC) hunt was with my 11 year old friend, Gabe. I wasn’t really aware of what we were doing. He was just staring at his phone and walking toward the center of a field, saying things like, “It’s supposed to be 16 feet from here. It’s supposed to be right here.” I didn’t even know what was going on, but I looked down and saw a brick with a film canister stuck in it. The kids called out, “Miss Betsy found it!” We opened it up and inside was a rolled up pad of paper which had been signed by many people. We didn’t have a pen with us, so we just rolled it back up and placed it back just as we had found it. I had found my first cache.


That translates from GC slang to “Took something, left something. Signed log.” The best caches are the ones that are big enough to house prizes. The etiquette is that if you take something, you should leaves something of equal or greater value. It’s usually little toys, but you never know what you’re going to find. So take a pen with you and a pocket full of little tradables, just in case you come across something you can’t live without.

Travel bugs or Trackables are a blast when you are traveling

Our favorite thing on our recent trip  was to locate TBs – travel bugs or trackables. Before you leave on a trip and while you are traveling, pick up a few of these in some local caches. Be sure to log them. That means entering the unique tracking ID in your GC app, and logging that you picked it up and where. The bugs always have a mission. We  picked up one from the UK which is in a race to make it back by going the longest distances possible. We picked up one from Germany that’s been traveling for over 2 years. It’s mission it just to get back home. We picked up one from California whose mission is simply to travel and land as many places as possible. We traded that one for one that had just started in France 3 weeks prior as a D-day commemorative and has the mission to travel through all of the countries that were affected by WWII. There are over 2 million geocaches all over the world. You can even start your own cache and look after it.

You are a muggle

Geocaching has borrowed the term “muggle” from the Harry Potter series, in which it means people without magic. In GCing it means non-geocachers. Muggles see you when you’re poking around looking for something and it can be a little strange, but they are usually harmless. Now and then a cache gets muggled, or stolen or destroyed by an unwitting muggle. Once you are a Geocacher, you’re no longer a muggle.

The Karma of caching

Geocaching provides a fabulous opportunity to build up good karma. The entire phenomenon is on the honor system. If you take something, leave something better. If the log inside the cache is in tatters, leave a new one. If you pick up a TB, be sure to move it toward its destination and be responsible about it. Leaving cool things for someone you don’t know is really a lot of fun.

Geocachers are characters

We’ve ended up in several cemeteries, and once we found the “John Candy cache.” It was behind a tombstone with the surname of “Candy.” Some caches are hard to find, others are easy. Some you never find. Some have mysteries involved. Honestly, we’ve pretty much stuck with the standard kind for this early jaunt into geocaching, so I’m sure I’ll be posting again when we get deeper into the game. If you have kids, if you love treasure hunts, if you love getting out and about, and if you don’t already know about Geocaching, you need to check it out.  As homeschoolers, it fits perfectly into our get-out-and-see-the-world lifestyle. My seven-year-old and I are completely hooked.



10 Day no cell phone check update

Day 1

Well, I made the apparent mistake of emailing my local homeschool yahoo groups and my neighbors the night before Day 1, offering them a piece of my sourdough starter. I had only expected 4 or 5 responses, but the emails started pouring in instantly, requesting the starter – 33 in all. So day 1 got kind of goofed up. I had to respond to them and let them know that it will take months for me to give them all a piece. So even though I had a little date with my email on Day 1, I managed to not check www.drudgereport.com for news. Not even once. The urge to pick up my phone was enormous all day, however. Here’s hoping I can actually go tomorrow without any email.

Day 2

Much better today. I figured out I could check emails while taking care of my, ahem, business, so I got a check in during the a.m. Otherwise, who needs a stinkin’ cell phone? I LOVE not checking Drudge report every 2 hours, but I fear becoming a low-information voter, one of the ostrich masses with my head in the dirt, blissfully singing preschool songs and making art, all while our guns are being confiscated and our country run by the UN. I guess in the end I’ll still know well enough to vote Libertarian, so no loss. I did find that I had 50 emails awaiting me after the kids went to bed, so here I am. I just checked them, I’m writing this, and I do not have the energy to read any of the links or to respond. Hmmm.

Days 3-10

A royal failure. What really did me in was needing to check email to communicate with people coming over to pick up sourdough starter. I had to stay by my phone all day every day. I did become much more sensitive to not “missing my childrens’ childhoods.” Just that little bit of consciousness sure goes a long way. I’m taking a much needed break from current events and it’s lovely.

Also, my friends apparently had read my post and figured that I wouldn’t be checking my phone, so they started texting my husband telling him to tell me things. Pretty funny.

As soon as this sourdough craziness is over, I’m going to make another 10 day gallant attempt to check my cellphone once a day before bed. Honestly though, you can have more communication than that and not sacrifice any childhoods. Even Rachel agrees. Right now the neighbor kids are over, so my kids are totally engaged and I have a minute to get my “screen time” in. Trying to break the addiction does prove to be a doozy. I highly recommend it.

How to teach your kids to write essays

A guest post by Lois Weldonwriting-13931299342873AvD

Many kids have difficulties in writing essay assignments, but essay writing skills are very rewarding and important throughout their entire educational process, so you should do your best in order to help them develop those abilities. It can be difficult to teach kids to write essays and find this activity interesting, because young people tend to express themselves on a more personal level, which causes them to struggle with crafting the essay structure with strong academic sentences. Children can learn and develop this skill, but they require methodical approach and a patient teacher. This process is much easier with kids who have creative inclinations, but the others require more attention and patience.

Introducing essay writing practices to the child  

Before you start hoping for your children to develop strong essay writing skills, you have to make sure that they have a good grasp of spelling and grammar concepts, appropriate to their grade and age. If these building blocks are left behind, this teaching project will fail before it even starts.

When you have the spelling and grammar aspect covered, you should start introducing the thesis concept to your kid. The biggest difficulties children have when writing essays is focusing and directing their writing in order to develop the thesis. You can provide your kid with thesis prompts or a thesis statement if you notice any struggles with the writing concepts. If your children have decent writing skills, simply explain the concept and allow them to express their creativity by coming up with their own thesis statement.

If you are wondering how to explain the concept of a thesis, you should think of it as the main point around which the entire project is being developed. Each page, paragraph and even sentence of the essay has to be in relation to the thesis; otherwise it would be unnecessary.

Creating an outline

The development of an outline is another essay writing aspect that is problematic for many children. They have troubles in developing logical progression throughout the sentences and paragraphs. If you managed to teach your children how to develop strong sentences, the next step is teaching them how to relate those sentences to one another.

Children also need to be taught how to construct paragraphs and create a logical connection between them. Make sure to explain the importance of the introductory and concluding paragraph, because these are probably the most important aspects of the essay structure.

Examples and practice: the most effective tools of developing essay writing skills

Abstract explanations will never result with success when it comes to children and learning. They really need to see examples of what you are trying to tell them. You can find plenty of great essays online, so make sure to use some of them as examples and show your children what works and what doesn’t work. When the children see good and bad examples, they will instantly get their own ideas and they will develop confidence in their abilities. Make sure to teach them that these essays should serve only as examples for understanding how this type of writing works, and don’t allow them to fall into the trap of copying someone else’s work. One of the most important things they need to learn is that creativity and uniqueness should be constantly present in their writing.

When it comes to achieving great skills of essay writing, you cannot expect them to be delivered with the first assignment. Practice will make your children much better thinkers and writers, so you should find the time to practice these skills with them over and over again. When you think about it, perfection is not exactly necessary, and the main thing you should be focused on is developing an increased vocabulary and better grammar skills. Essay writing can be very complicated even for adults, so don’t terrorize your children with your demands for perfection.

Lois Weldon works at dissertation writing services Uk.bestdissertation.com. She moved from Liverpool to London with her family. Loves writing helpful articles for students. She is a great Star Wars fan.


Teach Your Kids History, Say “no” to screens, and voila…

I am amazed every time I say “no” to screens. The kids come up with something to do. They get an hour of screen time every day. And even that almost sickens me when I do the math. If they spent 365 hours a year doing anything skill building, they’d almost be a master. Screens have nothing to show for the time spent.

Anyway, earlier today when I said “no – you’ve had your screen  time,” the boys proceeded to find a plastic pipe about 12 feet long and drop all kinds of things through it. It’s physics, it’s psychology, it’s cause and effect.

The Battle of the Crater

Battle of the Crater

Battle of the Crater

A couple of months ago, my mother and I taught my seven year old about the Battle of the Crater. It was a Civil War battle that was fought on my ancestors’ land in Virginia. It’s a great story. My great great grandfather, Jesse Bignal Payne, was only 11 years old when General Beauregard’s men came and told the family they had to leave because a battle was about to ensue on their property. The family took sacks of peas and headed to Colorado. The tactic of blowing a huge crater backfired on the Union and they lost the battle miserably. You can still see the crater today.

I was just washing dishes after having told the boys “no” to screens. It takes will power, you know? They got out their beyblades, which are basically tops on speed that battle one another. From the other room I hear the yelling – “Battle of the Crater! Battle of the Crater!” They were battling the tops in a trash can lid.

Happy happy moments of homeschool mothering. I know I’ve done something right, wait, several things right, when my children are playing Battle of the Crater.

As an aside, one of my Waldorf method homeschool friend moms told me recently that about a year ago she nixed screens altogether. In about a week she never heard the “may I play or watch” this or that again. Kids will find something to do. And if it doesn’t involve a screen, it most likely is enriching their lives.

Cleaning with Kombucha Vinegar

The cleanest my floors have ever been

Tea Tree Oil and Kombucha Vinegar

Tea Tree Oil and Kombucha Vinegar

They feel totally different under my bare feet. Squeaky squeaky clean. Wow. 48 hours later, wow.

I was ready to mop and didn’t realize that I’d run out of vinegar. I had heard that if your kombucha had ever gotten too ripe and had turned to vinegar, that you could use it to clean your house or anything else you would clean with vinegar. So months ago, when a batch had gotten too far gone, I put it away and kept it. Day before yesterday I bravely gave it a try – about two dark brown cups of super old, scary kombucha to half a bucket of water. I also added 20 drops of tea tree oil, one of my favorite essential oils, to help disinfect and add fragrance.

The results are unbelievable.

This makes me want my kombucha to get a little too ripe. I’m excited. Wow is all I have to say.

Funny thing is, 30 minutes later I found my gallon of commercial white vinegar. It had gotten put away in the wrong place. I am so grateful for these serendipitous times in life. Wow. I won’t be going back.

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