Saturday, December 20, 2014

More herbal preparations

 I decided to work with elderberry a bit more, and I ended up with a simple elderberry syrup and an oxymel (that also includes ginger and elecampagne) that's doing it's soaking magic.  Oxymels are distinguished by their mix of apple cider vinegar (just the good stuff like Braggs) and honey (just the good stuff like raw, local).
 Above is the chai mixture I made from a bunch of different herbs like your typical chai spices but also burdock root.  It was simmered with astragalus and reishi mushroom.  (I made a bulk amount of the original base spice set so I can do it more quickly next time.)  All I do is heat this concentrate with some almond milk and add some honey.
 I have here some elecampagne honey (lungs, cough) and rose/sage honey (throat).  You can see the old fire cider above before I strained it, and below is the ready-to-slurp form before I added honey.  I have gone through some honey today!  I'm glad I tend to get a lot.  I've probably used a quart and a half today.  Fire cider is often a preventative (like an oxymel), but it's also good with a cough (like that oxymel!).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Learning to Walk in the Dark

One of the best books I've recently read is, hands down, Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor.  She's also fairly local to our area.  Once I saw her in a restaurant we were having dinner in, and I felt like such a little fan girl.  (I've read a couple of her other books.)
This book is about faith when things don't make sense anymore and when the traditional Church answers just don't suffice.  It's a beautiful exploration of the important aspects of senses, vision, belief and obviously what darkness is.  She looks into caving, moon cycles, blindness, you-name-it.  We're reading it in our Sunday School class, and we're supposed to spend five more Sundays on it--I really hope we do.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Origins Film Premiere

I am really excited about a new documentary that pulls together a range of concerns and ways forward!  It's called "Origins," and they're allowing online viewing for free until November 22nd.  I found it to be extremely illuminating, and it's not all doom stuff.  The problems are vast and are addressed, but they are linked to a core issue.

I was very taken with certain documentaries like "Dirt," "What Would Jesus Buy" and "Hungry for Change"--they still rank high on my list.  In person, I'd probably tell you that you NEED to watch them in all my excitement.  Online, I'm unlikely to do that. :)  Still, I'd go so far as to even request that you watch Origins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cold/Flu Prevention

There are so many things we can do to ward off germs in terms of our lifestyle, but sometimes it's worth taking the extra time to beef up certain vitamins and other whole foods/drinks.  I took a class from Learning Herbs and Rosalee de la Foret called Herbal Cold Care.  It was so very instructive--truly wonderful!  From her recipes, I've been playing a bit in the kitchen and have fire cider creating its magic and then herbal vitamin C pills.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Big Christmas Gift Decided

We tend to get shopping done early and spread it out for the girls.  Christmas isn't that close, and yet with all the wonderful Fall festivals and holidays, it's closer than we think.  Time passes quickly these days.

We decided on the Yogapeautics aerial yoga hammock.  It's costly, but it's a sharing gift for even us.  We already know they need swings like this in their lives.  They have a little hammock seat on the front porch and really do enjoy retreating there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Traditions

People often ask us where we draw inspiration from as regards our family traditions, home rhythms and small rituals.  Certainly there are many sources in addition to our own eureka moments.  A lot of the Waldorf tradition in general gives ways of marking the year and of creating simple points of connection for our family.  In that tradition, there are many precious resources.  To list a few: Seven Times the SunHeaven on Earth, All Year Round, Festivals, Family and Foods, The Birthday Book, and Amanda Soule's latest--The Rhythm of the Family.  While they no longer publish new material, there is a lot to be found at Rhythm of the Home blog.

More recently, I found a couple more! :)

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions (by Sarah Ban Breathnach) celebrates Victorian families and sensibilities, but the activities mentioned universally appeal to children in particular.  She has clever ideas for rainy days, holidays, preparation parties etc.  Because of our prior exposure, the festivals mentioned were not new to us.  (I'd still say they're novel for most folks though.)

The new find is The Book of New Family Traditions (by Meg Cox).  I'm not even finished with this one, but it deserves mention so far.  I like how she looks at even simple transitions like meals or greetings and goodbyes.  She has a ton of suggestions to knit a greater thread into our attachments.  These threads really assist greater simplicity since those rhythms are things we count on and rest in.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moon Time

I just finished Moon Time by Lucy Pearce.
It had many issues covered about women's cycles and health--it was a pretty exhaustive touch on all areas that seem to come up.  For a while, I read things here and there about aligning our cycles to those of the moon, and this book reinforces that principle.  Many women claim that they suffer less and feel more attuned to relevant connections.

I like that this book has possibilities for women of all comfort levels in terms of honoring themselves, taking care of their needs and seeing our natural progress as quite special.  I can definitely recommend this one.