Monday, December 30, 2013

Folk Medicine: A New England Almanac of Natural Health Care From A Noted Vermont Country Doctor

DC Jarvis' book is like a bible to our naturopath.  (She picks it up and references it almost every visit I make.)  It's practical Vermont folk medicine essentially, and there's plenty of examples of certain protocols.  I will say, as a simple take-a-way, that you could just add a few things to essentially be in the proactive clear as regards much of what he talks about.
Local raw honey, apple cider vinegar (the good stuff like Bragg's), lugols/iodine, kelp and castor oil are the main things.  I kinda like the ACV combine with the honey with hot water poured in.  It's a bit like warm apple cider.  We're already doing the lugols in a juice from time to time, and fortunately I have castor oil around (for remedies and soap-making reasons).  I guess kelp is next.

The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

William Martin wrote this amazing book.  I saw a page on a facebook meme passed around from amazed person to person and decided to find the source and read it.  It's not long at all.  Martin took what Lao Tzu taught in the Tao Te Ching and set it into simple words/verse on the area of parenting.  The actual Tao Te Ching is super simple, and Martin didn't want to take away the essence by making it a typical theory/practice/parenting book.  For a parenting book, this one is very short/simple.  There's tons of meat to it though.  I could feel the transformative aspects almost coming off the page, wow.  It felt a little like the effects of meditation.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Preparations

Each night, we've been working on things for our friends and family.

Last night was Eric's fudge and a sleep shirt with art.  From E: a puppy dog (back side of shirt, using iron-on transfer stuff).
 From Z: The gals from "Frozen" since Papa's softest-sweatshirt-ever! was a nice icy blue.

Tonight, it's peppermint bark and another sleep shirt with art.  For another Papa, the favorite team.  I'm quite impressed with Z's artwork here!
The girls made lots of gift bags this year.  We got plain white ones from Michaels, did chalk pastels and marker drawings and text on many plus attached items like dried oranges with cloves, candy canes made from pipe cleaners, trees decorated from any art medium you can think of and doilies that had the watercolor treatment a la snowflakes.

We painted a lot of wooden ornaments and ceramic ones (also from Michaels) to gift.  Some of our dear ones have some of Cliff's Jarhead Jellies (with hot peppers in some cases).  We utilized Taproot's Print Shop for a gift or two.  We're huge fans of Phoebe Wahl, and we know that some of our friends are too.

Gel sniffers are a new one this year.  They won't look like anything special; but with the high quality doTERRA essential oils, they'll smell like a million bucks (and have healing qualities).

We have plants to give too.  They're little offshoots of some of our favorite air-cleaning, oxygen-giving, indoor plants.  This has been a fun endeavor in that we got to see the roots grown of most of these in water when we clipped them.  They have been beautiful decor, if you will, while we got them ready to share.

I have just recently ordered my soap-making supplies (and candle making supplies, woo hoo--new project).  I'm sure they'll be a happy addition to a normal Winter day.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Anna Breytenbach

I just wanted to share an interesting resource and experience from South Africa.  It touched me deeply that our world is so connected and communicative.  This video is an exerpt from the larger documentary about her work.
Anna Breytenbach does a lot of healing work for and with animals (and even plants I think).  I was really struck by her experiences.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

In great news: Arcade Fire!

I feel like my 20-something year old, music-obsessed fan self again.  Can't get enough Arcade Fire.  Now, the other three albums rock, no lie--each one is fabulous.  And as this fourth came out, I wondered if they could keep it up?  Yowzah, they can.  Whoop!  They shine live so here's a taste:
The thing that just gets me over and over is how versatile each member of the band is--how many instruments they play, their rolls in writing, recording and producing music, their vast array of odd past training that makes them who they are.  You have all "sorts" of student artists among them (film, contemporary dance, orchestra, literature, religion), and they end up a great indie rock band.  There's amazing fusion in their work.  I think synthesis is one of my greatest joys in the arts (and really anything) so when Regine pulls out a hurdy gurdy I just get excited.  When the bassist becomes the drummer or a violinist switches to keyboards, I get excited.

Their video for Reflektor (the title track) is pretty interesting given all those thoughtful lyrics.

And they've been doing SNL appearances too.

If you haven't had the pleasure of the former work, check out some of their live shows:

Food Allergies, Wow

I found out Oct 30th that I'd have to drastically change my diet if I wanted to deal with a host of problems that seem to pop up.  Psoriasis was my main reason for seeing my naturopath, but I do still get heartburn and other issues here and there.  Because those digestive things pale in comparison with a former ulcer and diseased gall bladder, I never thought much of them.  It's like when I was told I needed stitches for a cut on my knee that I considered a "scratch" (since compared to child birthing, it didn't do much to me).

So I'm sensitive to wheat/gluten, dairy and tomatoes.  There goes a lot of the foods I traditionally enjoy and eat (which could explain becoming sensitive to them as allergies go).  For ten days, I have avoided them faithfully.  Tonight I unwittingly wound up with some since we ate out (and you just can't trust people to make sure unless you deal with managers/owners and threaten 911, ha!).  My otherwise-safe salmon was marinated in a tomato-pepper vinaigrette which I didn't realize until the end of my meal.

So, my entire abdomen is swollen, my nasal stuff is swollen and I can now tell I'm reacting to something.  I've been feeling so good for the last ten days or so that I now have something decent to compare the reactions to.  Wow.  I feel horrible, and I wouldn't have noticed this before now.

I'm also avoiding all sugars, carbs and even fruit for the month to get my candida under control.  I'm pretty sure that balsamic vinaigrette had some sugar (even though it was homemade).  I did ask the waitress, but I'm starting to feel like you have to be such a proactive advocate for your health EVERYWHERE that it's almost easier to bring your own stuff to restaurants or just not eat out.

Avoiding these foods means I have to be very intentional and creative about my meals.  But it also means I'm getting great nutrition, like it or not, and that I'm beyond those cravings I used to get.  It's quite wonderful.  I really do just eat a meal and move on--I feel full until I actually need to replenish.  I don't have the lulls, needs, snacks etc.  So I actually don't plan to reintroduce the sensitive foods one by one anytime soon.

I also wonder if gluten is partly to blame tonight since they make so many pizzas in the restaurant we went to?  My wheat sensitivity is likely the strongest given its connection to autoimmune disorders like my psoriasis.  Seven in ten people are gluten sensitive at least and have no idea.  Only severe celiac folks really know and come to grips usually since the testing has been poor.  When I was tested a year or two ago, you had to be in a state where your villi are so beaten down and essentially gone for it to show up.  More recently, they're working on tests now that show sensitivities earlier on so we can potentially avoid that level of danger and illness.  Naturopaths have their own tests, though, if you trust them (which I do given research I've already seen long ahead about their methods--otherwise, I probably would've thought mine was doing quackery).

There is a great book on food allergies called "The Virgin Diet" by JJ Virgin. Of course you have to have "diet" in the content to sell books, but her book and other body of work are great for isolating where offending foods are hidden and then possible substitutions for things you like and would miss by eliminating typical allergens.  My friend, Lindsay Wilson, does a 21-day program of elimination to help people's health in general.  Wheat Belly is another great book (that I've already mentioned here) on the subject of gluten.  Dr. Tom O'Bryan is doing a free Gluten Summit this next week where he interviews the top doctors and researchers on the topic.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Autumn Offerings

There is a North Georgia Heirloom Squash that seems to have no name that our CSA gave us.  It's somewhere between a butternut squash and pumpkin.  I roasted in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and maple syrup.  Then I added a wild rice mixture that incorporated a lot of other CSA offerings, too much of the oil (tee hee) and a few grocery-gotten items.  From our CSA: parsnips, red bell pepper, various eggplants, shitake mushrooms  Grocery store: sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, pecans (which I soaked and roasted prior).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Artful Parent

If you are feeling a little uninspired about incorporating more art into life with young kids, Jean Van't Hul has a great resource available (aside from her already wonderful blog The Artful Parent.
I have earmarked the heck out of that book, and we've hardly gotten started.  Her ideas aren't absolutely crazy-out-there, but they are things we just don't think of on a regular basis.  I really like that she also addressed how to talk about kids' art with them and how to display their work.  I made a pretty long list of either the projects or materials she referenced that we'd like to incorporate.  Her book also made me feel affirmed in terms of some of the things we are already trying to include.  

We also have three of her four e-books that are seasonable.  Summer is the only one we haven't downloaded.  The other three have fabulous ideas.  I was encouraged to see that the physical book is definitely far from a repeat of either her site in general or the ebooks.  I'm sure there is some common information, but it was still worth it to me to have purchased the book as well as those ebooks before.

I also recently took time to reread Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.  The contents are ever like a balm to our days.  I've considered buying several copies to just have on hand for gifts as friends and families have sweet babies or even when those great conversations that reference the book and where I feel like I can't say or explain enough as well as his book does.

One of these days, I'll get around to his new book on Whole Child Sports.  I had the good fortune of being part of his Soul of Discipline course online (for 0-9 years).  As a parent and teacher, I'll likely do his course for older kids too.  I'm contemplating in the long run trying to do the group leader training for Simplicity Parenting and starting a little group around here.  I think we all need this kind of encouragement.  The idea of simplifying resonates so much in our complicated world anyway, and I'm sure Eric and I aren't the only parents who are concerned for our children's systems and hyper paces.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Christmas for the girls

We decided on our main gift for the girls: play stands.  There are many ways to use them--it's a truly open-ended "toy" that doesn't have to even be stored in its full form.  I've wanted to get these for a long time.  I think some grandparents might get a silk for the top.
Waldorf Playstands 24 hour SALE!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Financial Reading

Finances are often a taboo topic in our culture, and I decided that since I’m not comfortable with money per se that I ought to spend some time with it educationally and intellectually to get stronger bearings on my own relationship to it.  Confronting fears is healthy.

I’ve mentioned in a previous entry that a conscious economy (Ben Hewitt’s term) will replace the unconscious myth of separateness.  Our current systems are doomed to fail.  Continuous growth is no longer sustainable on our planet.  90% of what we make we throwaway (except there is no “away”…).  We have serious survival reasons to adapt more sustainable practices, communities and mindsets.  We must evolve or cease and desist, as it were.

Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became theRichest Guy in the World (Ben Hewitt) is a book that interests me greatly.  Ben Hewitt is a writer that I keep up with books and blog-wise, and he has a straight-forward manner of addressing issues like food safety/autonomy, local movements, sustainable living, authentic living etc.  I keep looking for that silver bullet idea in the book, that insight that would change everything.  I don’t think there is one even though the gist is that we need to shift to a conscious economy since our current system poisons us and the Earth.   The book does examine the lifestyle of someone living off of what we can’t imagine and living what he considers a rich life.  But he’s detached from what most of us are still plugged into.  (Next I’d like to read Sacred Economics:Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition.)

We need to have real value to offer the world regardless of inspired motives for change.  Generally, our lives become compromises of ideals to live whichever we deem authentic or full.  The main guy, Erik, depends on the generosity of many people.  There’s nothing wrong with interdependence (since he obviously inspires and gives of himself in many ways), but many of the people assisting him in his detached life earn money from within our current system.  So no one is truly detached.  The cast-offs that he finds in dumpsters were also made in this system.  So while Hewitt and his subject offer a wildly different perspective and way of living, I can’t imagine it working for EVERYONE.  If everyone unplugged, there wouldn’t be sources to pad those tough choices (with autonomy still in place)--no wasted resources to find in dumpsters, no cars to borrow and what-not.
 a book that is supposed to give insight into generating more wealth.  There is an unflinching idea that while he regrets the gap between the haves and have-nots, it’s due to an unenlightened, crowd-following, misinformed flock.  I have some news for him: if the flock were hip to his jive, he wouldn’t have the microphone (or any song for that matter).  Corporate maneuvers and “smarter” financial choices and loopholes still work out to cost people somewhere.  Perhaps those externalized costs don’t keep him up at night, but I’m afraid my conscience does not escape them.  To be sure, only a few can be rich the way he advocates being rich—letting money work for you, being smarter not working harder, being the great employer rather than the employee.  Resources on our earth and people’s lives (via our time and efforts) are very real even if what our currency represents is _not_ given the eradication of the Gold Standard.
And yet I banter with myself.  So often I feel connected to negative thoughts and judgments.  I'm not sure I'll effect the world for good Marching AGAINST Monsanto and launching campaigns with the Badass Teacher's Association (both of which I'm generally a part).  Those types of group (and the type of thinking that disregards our current financial system) are in essence negative or reactive.  We educate the public in many instances; but once we/others have some education, what do we do with all that rancor?

What I did take away, still, was that mindsets about assets and liabilities vary for middle class and wealthy folks.  That was an interesting notion to ponder, and ponder it I will.  I don’t regret wanting to be more savvy with money.  Wanting to be in the proper flow of wealth gives much to many; and as Wayne Dyer says, “you will never be sick enough to heal the sick.”  Essentially guilt does not help people out of predicaments.  But innovation, ah, the creative spirit: humans are amazing this way!

I’d like to go on record to say that I can’t imagine concrete socialism either.  Given our current state of evolution, such ventures seem bound to fail.  But what if humans are changing?  What if we do manage to save our skins and really have a go at sustainable communities?  Perhaps we will emerge different.  What if people really tapped into their deepest Source and united?

Another thing worth noting is the importance of sales/marketing whatever special thing you have to offer.  Too often we feel this is beneath us, but Kiyosaki points out that it's necessary to reach more people.  I also took away the idea that your own learning and growth are ultimately more important than (a false sense, really, of) security.  That’s pretty powerful, regardless of our views about systems, finance and the world’s progress.  To keep learning in a huge variety of areas is essential for his view of success.

Good reads even if I was still left without a more concrete “solution” from either book.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carol Tuttle

I want to mention a resource as much as to talk about one of the books I've finished recently.  Originally, I thought about just putting my normal book reflections here;  but the ideas are woven with others that are highly valuable.
The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children
The Child Whisperer is a fantastic book about raising kids and looks deeply at four energy types and how they think (at various ages) with lots of examples.  I THINK I have it down to ZoĆ« being a 4 (not sure about secondary) and Eleni as a 3 (secondary 2).  I need to study their faces more because the energy types are traceable in our features even.  (Here are videos that help with that.) There was a lot of discussion in this book about how to support our kids true to their type and needs.  It made me think a lot about various expectations we have that might or might not be necessary but because we were raised this way we assume it's good for all kids etc.  It's interesting.  Lots to ponder.

First, I should talk about who Carol Tuttle is.  She is an energy healer and a spiritual teacher.  In her grounding beliefs, we see a lot of familiarity since she's a Christian and is very interested in serving God.  I think she's a perfect bridge for a lot of people who worry about dabbling in the uncomfortable. I first heard of her because of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or "Tapping," as it is called) which is a wonderful way to sort of hit the resent button on your nervous system (very helpful as regards stress).  (There are many sources for EFT, but The Tapping Solution stuff by Nick Ortner is where I started.  He holds a tapping summit each year where you can hear talks and practice tapping for free.)  Then I realized she had her own very comprehensive body of work.

She offers quite a lot free online--I did the Energy Profiling tutorial stuff for free and found where I fit very easily.  It's harder for me to nail where my girls fit, but I'm getting a clearer picture these days.  The energy typing is different from personality types etc.  It's about the type of movement you have/express more than personal quirks so much.  (I'm a Type 2, by the way.)  Her book on the subject is called It's Just My Nature.

Then I explored her Dressing Your Truth work which has free components too.  It might be odd that I took any plunges there and actually spent money since I can be low on the frill factor this way, but I did.  I did the tutorials there and have guides/info.  I'm sorry to say I haven't read that accompanying book (yet) and did pass it on.  One day I'll probably revise things that way.  This program is so very freeing--to understand beauty as part of your natural expression rather than trying to fit with all the fads, fashions and body imaging world.  I'm not sure if this is true for me, but many of the women I see who dress according to their energy types look much younger.

It feels so much easier to put together my outfits for work, and that has all become a lot of fun for me.  (I confess that I'm lazy about it at home.)  She has club nights that are recorded each month so we get to learn new stuff as we go along.  There is all kinds of support--even down to hairstyles and accessories that seem to jive with types.  The Carol Blog is a good resource for a lot of her material and different areas too.

They have other programs too, but these are the ones I am familiar with.  Her reach and that of her team is pretty prolific, and I think she is so successful because so much of what she teaches is necessary these days. So many of us are very wounded and out of balance.  I'm curious to read her earlier book Remembering Wholeness.  I'll get to that one probably next.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spicy Asian Salad

I can't tell you how much we're enjoying flowers lately.  Here are some of a friends' from the farmer's market.  What a show.
 The Forks over Knives Cookbook isn't disappointing!  We made their Spicy Asian Salad from page 63, and Eric liked it so much he got seconds.  (I used red quinoa because I like variety!, and I didn't do as many green onions as they call for.)  We had enough for leftovers and some for the freezer.  We ate it over spinach and also had some roasted okra to accompany it--purple/red okra from our CSA bag.
 Here's some dried feverfew from our garden.  To think, I could have three times this amount if I had harvest it all and not been overwhelmed with all three large stalks.  The compost is might anti-inflammatory these days.

Parts of the garden

 This is Eric's basil and pepper patch. :)  We have only three varieties of basil in this box (sweet, Thai and lime), but in my other herb boxes we have tulsi (or holy basil) and pineapple basil.
 Cabbages and brussel sprouts share a box with cauliflower and broccoli.

Tomatoes, pinto beans (just a few for experimentation) and strawberries (same, few for experimentation) are the raggle taggle gypsy box.
 Here's one of the herb boxes.  I have a lot of new seedlings scattered in both this box and my less populated one.  Our larger plants are lemon balm, sweet mint, spearmint, feverfew, foxglove, holy basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano.  (I haven't checked to see if the bee balm survived?)  Seedlings I'd like to grow aside from various flowers are echinacea and calendula.  It'd be cool of the purslane/shiso made it or the chamomile.  We're trying to sprout more holy basil too--the scent of that stuff is amazing.
 We're growing a fig tree, black berries, rasberries and lilies in this corner of the yard.
 And then our bean tee pee for fun needs some wedding so it can keep growing.

Sauerkraut and Kefir

 It's great to make kefir--much cheaper than buying it!  We have sourdough going and made some delicious sourdough chocolate chip cookies.  We're also brewing kombucha as ever but having a hard time creating a new mom this time.  Ah well, hopefully it's still a good batch?  There can be cross contamination especially with kefir.  Even though I think we kept them far enough apart, it's a possibility.
 Chuck and Michelle's (our farmers) cabbages and carrots will make some yummy sauerkraut!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spring Samosas

I found a new fun site called My New Roots.  The recent blog on samosas looked so good that I had to try them.  I waited to make them just for myself since they didn't seem to resonate with the rest of my peeps, ahem.  I ate every morsel, oh my (at various meals/days of course).  As you can see, I ended up using egg roll wrappers since I couldn't find rice paper.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

March against Monsanto in Cleveland, GA

 This could be a very long blog post indeed.  I'm going to try for it not to be since information is so readily available if you type in "Monsanto" and "no GMOs" or something like that.
 We marched in 55 countries--over 400 cities.  It's rare that I put out the energy to be against something (rather than for something), but in the case of Monsanto, it's worth every minute and chant.
 They're responsible for the horrors of big ag monoculture, monopoly and utter colony collapse (of bees) that effects most of what we eat.
 They're behind the huge cancer epidemic plaguing our nation.
 They're the source of the suicide gene and the attempt to patent life itself.  What greater arrogance to put oneself above God Himself, I can't imagine.  It's simply the buying and selling of it, the destruction of biodiversity to line pockets.  Jesus himself would probably overturn their table.
 They go against what a lot of Americans stand for and the freedoms we cherish.  They trick and then swindle small farmers out of their livelihoods for dictatorial and fascist gain/reasons.
 They are the plague of our earth currently, and they threaten our chance of survival.
Monsanto is a corporate sociopath, and millions of people stood up to them Saturday (including me).  If you want to make sure you don't end up buying their products, download the free app called "Buycott."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big Changes

Do you ever wonder why things don't really seem like they are economically improving?  Every time I do, I try to realize that we're still not hit as hard as other places like Spain (27% unemployment).  There are people who believe our institutions will ultimately fail (even our governments).  I see it in education as well as the financial world.  There is real concern about global warming and the wars for resources.  I don't think the US really understands just how many people in China and India are getting to a place to be able to pay for those resources, and since we owe so many people money I'm afraid they'll get those resources.  That means that the 20% of the world eating up 80% of the worlds' resources will have to learn how to get out of the consumerist hamster wheel.
This kind of collapse leads some to believe that it's a blessing, that it's just the coming apocalypse and that the earth was never our dwelling place, not really.  The Christian Bible says we'll neither know the day nor the hour so I don't entertain all that.  I'd rather look at things the way the Mayans did in terms of that tumultuous 2012.  To them, the point wasn't destruction, it was the ushering in of a new era a human brotherhood.  What does it look like in my community, my neighborhood, my home?  I actually don't see my domestic hobbies as simply hobbies (even though I really do enjoy learning all of this good stuff)--I see them as eventualities.  Perhaps things won't show up until the girls are in their hey days, but they're learning along with me.

It's good to need each other.  I'm not talking about codependence or dependence; I'm thinking more along the lines of interdependence.  That would actually solve some of our current problems.  Sherry Turkle (author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other") talks about our needs not being met socially and that we don't really know how to have a conversation anymore.  Working together on need-based projects in our local areas certainly might give us that opportunity back.

There is a sinister concern here too.  When people find themselves in great need, ever do opportunists see room to appoint themselves caretakers and to control us.  Fascism is a possibility when collapses come.  Dystopic stories like "The Handmaid's Tale," "Farenheight 451" and "Brave New World" (along with the more modern movies like "Equilibrium").  You can halfway see it, right?  We're already addicted to tons of pharmaceuticals, and we don't even have touch with the basic skills and knowledge about living and working in nature.  Media tells us what to think and essentially lulls us into a kind of static at times.  I'm not a doomsdayer over all, but I do think we need to be aware and extremely thoughtful.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Taking back our Health: Digestive Stuff

I started down this path of taking care of myself without taking dangerous pharmaceuticals, and I have dropped down from a PPI each day and two zantac to half a PPI every other day with a little zantac off and on for trouble shooting.  I learned that you can use slippery elm lozenges and a safer antacid called briochi (brand name I think).  I read various places that taking aloe juice/water helps and that supplements like L-glutamine and Colostrum would be beneficial.  I read that some people use traditional bitters etc. to aid in digestion.

Before the gallbladder surgery, I heard about DGL as a protectant in the stomach; and after surgery, one friend recommended some kind of daily essential enzymes since I wouldn't have a gallbladder to break down fats.

I've done a combination of some of things, and as you read, I've been dropping down.  Now I'd like to get rid of that detrimental medicine all together (search the dangers of PPIs like nexium and protonix to see what I'm talking about).  There are several things I learned I could do (from Naturopathic Practioner, Donna Ritter, at that workshop I recently attended) to address digestive problems related to reflux, my gallbladder being taken out and general acid discomfort.

Donna recommended the aloe juice/water for sure, and she added aloe capsules.  There's a blend (Traditional Chinese Medicine I think) called "Liv/Gall Calm" to take, and she'd like me to use another blend (likely also TCM) called Fiber Cleanse (mainly for the Cascada Sagrada included).  To help further alkalize the inner body, I'm doing a green drink called "Life Source."  Obviously, I'm incorporating the Essiac Tea as a general health preventative, and it too helps those organs/systems.

Several of these things were found at a little company out of NC called "New Sun."  I need to brag about them a bit.  The stuff I ordered got here in two days.  They are accessible online or by phone.  The Life Source green drink is the main thing I'd like to mention.  Oh my: we're talking spirulina, wheat grass, and chlorella (along with a bunch of other really healthy stuff).  Those drinks usually don't make it down my esophagus without severe gagging and nose-plugging, but I handle this one just fine!  What a relief.  (It does come in capsule form if you're not up for the drink.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Essiac Tea Workshop

I have no lovely photos to post especially since my attention was so focused on my workshop today.  I learned so much!  We were there to learn how to brew the "original" Essiac Tea (don't be fooled by all the variety on the internet purporting to be the right blend).  Donna Ritter is a naturopathic practitioner, and I got as much from simply talking with her and listening to her general perspective as I did in learning how to do the tea (and acquire materials).  It was eye-opening, and she talked with me about my own health for a while.  She made suggestions and didn't charge a thing.  The thing I really enjoyed about her was her down home feel and way of being honest and hilarious.  I'm going to ask her to present a workshop or two up here also (the tea and making your own kefir).


In last two years, I have been gathering vintage linens for the girls' bedding.  We have lovely mismatched sheets and pillowcases.  Only this year have we sought the embroidered cases.  Part of my reasoning for loving them (besides the obvious) is because usually they are made originally of this awesome, thick, soft cotton.  These two pillowcases I found today are so nice to touch!


This is almost a thrift store find since I paid so very little for this handmade quilt, but I found it in an antiques booth.  It's for a twin bed.  There are no holes or stains.  It's soft and lovely!!!  I took pictures close up of a few of the flowers so you can see how the maker had to get creative with relatively close fabric to finish up.  Most flowers are consistent all the way around.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bird's Nest Cookies

After finding so many food things we wanted to try from Jean Van't Hul's The Artful Spring (e-book), we decided on these dandies: Bird's Nest Cookies.  They weren't challenging to make in terms of steps, and it was nice to have multiple steps that both girls could help with.  If I had been even more patient, they would've helped me add the initial ingredients and measure perhaps.

Still looking good after a few days sitting in that pyrex...