Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter Walk Day 18

Snow day in the Ozarks=No school. Far from the way you northerners live:) Ben earned an award at school and today was the day to receive it. But I dont think he is too hurt by it...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter Walk Day 16..special gift for you

My favoritest ever Herbal Magazine is offering a free download just for you! Tina Sams puts together this fine grassroots everyday type of herbalist magazine full of articles, recipes, ideas, crafts, and more. I love this magazine and the people that actively participate in it. Come see for yourself

Essential Herbal Magazine Download


Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Walk Day 15 Happy Anniversary

Phew...we made it through year 7. It was very difficult indeed. Today is our 8 year anniversary and Ray found something I have wanted for 4 years now, but could not locally find. He found it!
Damiana Liquoure.

I am going to copy an article here I wrote about this very thing when I was pregnant with Olivia in 2004
A Fun Herbal Story that happened at a Restaurant

My husband and I decided to spend some alone time and go errand running and have
a nice meal at a new restaurant in the next town.
It was so wonderful to be alone with him as I am 9 months pregnant and really in
need of just him these days. His work ahs been slow and we have been stressed.
HE got a small job so we celebrated. It was wonderful.
We were seated and the hostess handed us our menus and placed a drink menu on
the table. We drink rarely so we ignored the drink menu for awhile. We were
served and ate our food and had a wonderful time of being together.
As our meal was finished we noticed how lovely the drink pictures were. On this
drink menu, one in particular stood out as I could have sworn I saw the word

Of course I had to snatch up the drink menu to see if I was seeing things
correctly and sure enough there was a margarita with damiana in it.

So the next time the server came to our table I asked her about the damiana in
this drink. I was curious, was it like a tincture, dried herb, WHAT????
She thought I was crazy- so I then explained I am an herbalist and that we
typically know damiana as an aphrodisiac or a fertility herb.
My husband is really enjoying this because he knows this girl thinks I am crazy,
and yet I am about to learn something about this damiana drink so my interest is

She returns to us later and says, "you have just educated me. Go see the
bartender when you are leaving."

So after we paid, we go to see the bartender and he immediately knows what we
are after.
He pulls out this bottle in the shape of a pregnant lady and tell us about this
liquor they use in the drink is made from damiana. He shared that the Aztecs
made Tequila originally with damiana. WOW. My husband and I were so amused by
this guy that was just as interested as I was in this herbal potion.
Makes me curious to try this drink, now. And my husband had so much fun watching
this girl think I was crazy to having a two sided educational discussion with
the bartender.

And being big and pregnant and seeing this pregnant shaped bottle was just too
I know he will find a way to get me one of those bottles. It was just such a fun
experience.We asked the restaurant if we could have an empty bottle, but it is against the law in Arkansas.
But what a way to confirm the fertility/aphrodisiac properties of the herb. She
goes to tell the bartender about this crazy pregnant "so called herbalist" telling
her about this stuff and he pulls out a pregnant lady bottle:) PERFECT!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter Walk Day 14

Tommarrow is our anniversary and on a fluke we ended up with our Special friends in Eureka Springs. O HOW WE NEEDED some time with friends.
This is Patrice and Karen Gros family. Patrice runs which is an organic farm that serves the community in 100 mile radius.
Ray and I aprectice there plast year and plan to this year. I say "apprentice" because the definition fits, however a true Foundation Farm apprentice does more days and has the opportunity to stay there in a cabin type dwelling and earn some money. That is a pretty nice deal! If I did not have a family I would do that.
I AM an apprentice tho in my own mind because I am learning from a passionate master of organic gardening and I treasure not only the friendship but the teacher/student relationship. I need the guidance, and as a woman desiring to dive deeper into herbalism, this is something I want to incorporate into my dream of an herb center on a larger scale.
Karen, is a french gourmet cook and does all sort of neat things with cooking and classes. I may be her apprentice one day too. I plan on attending classes. And really Karen can probably master anything she prepares, but her spread on french cuisine is really amazing. Look at her Valentines Soiree'

Menu “Saint Valentin” 2008


Homemade duck foie gras on rye crostini
sprinkled with coarse sea salt
Foie gras de canard au pain de seigle et du gros sel

Savory cheese & parsley profiteroles
Profiteroles au fromage et persil


Celeriac velouté with roast beet garnish
served with horseradish butter on crostini
Velouté de céleri rave à la bette rave et croûte beurre de raifort


Duck confit and sausage pastry ramekins with light cream sauce
served with assorted vegetables
Bouchée a la reine au confit de canard et saucisse crème léger
servi aux légumes variées
(Vegetarian option available)


Assorted classic cheese board & salad with walnut vinaigrette
Plateau de fromage et la salade vinaigrette à la noix


Traditional Brittany crêpes
Choice of sauce chocolat or sauce caramel au beurre salé
with freshly whipped cream & vanilla ice cream
Served with cider, as is tradition in Brittany
Crêpes au choix sauce chocolat ou sauce caramel au beurre salé
servi à la chantilly et glace vanille


French coffee served with a dark chocolate truffle

$100 per person

Price is all-inclusive & covers: 5-course menu, freshly-baked bread, champagne or wine with each course, cider, coffee, service, taxes & tip.

You can see Karens Work at

So today I feel refreshed in having had some wine and conversation with 2 special people we know and love in Eureka Springs.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter Walk day 13

Made by my Ben. This is what we all need, isn't it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Walk Day 12

This is why my children do not mind going to the dentist.
Even with Ben's extensive nerve work done, he was never nervous becuase the atmosphere is so fun. ANd they gave him a good amount of nitrous I am sure.:)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Walk Day 11

Working in the studio

Ben needed to earn extra money so I paid him to put together my shippig boxes. When he was done he stacked them into a hugetower that crashed to the ground before I could snap a pic. This is what they built next.
Ben, if I have never shared before is my creative genius. I will adding his work to my store simply becuase all he thinks aobut is crafts. He is not interested in the Playstation or much Tv like his older siblings.
Olivia, she is my budding herbalist. She preaches herbs at her tender age of 3. It is wonderful to see our children blossoming int he things we love, but also I ahve seen in my olders that they often vary away from these things as they age. So I am treasuring this time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter Walk day 10

A blissful morning with my sweetheart Livi and a cup of Rosemary Tea
Rosemary is a blissful tea, and so thankful my herbal friend Kiva Rose suggested it to me.
The effects of rosemary are quite alot actually.
Rosmarinus officinalis
Dew of the Sea

Rosemary acts as a digestive tonic, promoting the flow of bile, easing stomach discomfort and gas.
Also a great energy tonic. Rosemary can lift depression and strengthen the nervous system. This is a great ally for women under stress. I know for me, when battling with low thyroid, this tea and a lower carbohydrate diet has renewed me about 85% which is pretty damned good-I expect to continue getting stronger too.

Ciculatory system can be strengthened with this herb. It has been known to lower high blood pressure with 1 to 2 cups infusion each day. This action also helps the mind helping memory and focus. Even the scent of rosemarinus helps me.

Modern studies are showing that rosemary is a cell protector, which may prevent some cancers.
Rich in antioxidants, rosemary may help one age more gracefully.

Rosmarinus also have pain releiving properties if infused in oil or made into a rubbing alcohol liniment.
Rubbing deep into the tissues has been known to releive many aches, pains, gout and also said to have cured the paralysis of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary.
Here is the recipe Rosemary Gladstar shares in her book Herbal Healing for Women

Queen of Hungary water
6 parts Lemon Balm
4 parts Chamomile
1 part Rosemary
3 parts Calendula
4 parts Roses
1 part Lemon Peel
1 part Sage
3 parts Comfrey
Witch Hazel to cover or part vinegar and witch hazel to cover

Place all herbs in a wide mouthed jar and cover with witch hazel or vinegar and witch hazel
Be sure there is about 1-2 inches of witch hazel above the herbs. Cover tightly and allow to sit in a warm spot 2-3 weeks
Strain and set the liquid aside adn compost the herbs
To each cup of herbal extract add 1/2 cup rosewater
a drop or 2 of essential oil if desired

Should not need refrigeration as it is naturally can thank rosemary for part of that!
This recipe is mostly for skin cleansing, so you see that there are many vaiations to Queen of Hungary water being passed down as well, but all with good results for the intended use.

Rosemary has been touted as part of the 4 thieves story. This story has many versions so I wont tell it, but can share a recipe that goes along with whatever story you may run into which basically states that the thieves never succumbed to the black plague due to the plants used.

Original Recipe for Four Thieves Formula
3 pints white wine vinegar
handful wormwood
handful meadowsweet
handful juniper berries
handful wild marjoram
handful sage
50 cloves
2 oz. elecampane root
2 oz. angelica
2 oz. rosemary
2 oz. horehound
3 g camphor

Lice-YUCK we mothers HATE THE WORD and any of us that have dealt with severe cases know how disturbing they are.
One of my daughters had lice so bad and continued to be reinfested for months that we cut off all her long hair into a military cut.
This finally eradicated the littel buggers since we could actually see what was going on with my dear Rachie. She was glad they were gone so the haircut was not too sensitive of an issue int hat time of her life. However, once we heard about the lice outbreak, we may have been able to ward it off with rosemary oil massaged into the scalp or dried ground herbs dusted and brished through. this is preventative, not a cure. But good to know now.
And speaking of head and hair, rosemary promotes healthy follicles of the hair, may prevent hair loss and dandruff. Usually a good strong infusion is applied over the scalp and hair while catching the liquid in a large container so you can continue reusing over and over for several minutes. I am currently using Rosemary Verbenone Essential oil in jojoba oil and warning on the woodstove a few minutes and massaging into my scalp every few days this winter. This action along with adding humidity into our home has been keeping a difficult skin issue at bay. This has been a long battle for me, so I cannot rejoice enough in the relief of my suffering and public embarrassment.

Gail Faith Edwards writes in her book, Opening our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, that the old saying goes,"where rosemary flourishes, there a strong woman rules."
I have a little problem with that in that I have never been able to keep my rosemary plants flourishing in my Ozark property. Maybe this year....I try every year.
I am strong though;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Walk Day 9

My latest creation. I will be working on some to sell on my sight. Great kids room or homeschool room display with that cheeriness that beeswax brings:) And the scent of citrus and spices is a nice addition
This is in the corner of our living room next to glass balls by Brody Shaw Glass.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Winter Walk Day 8

recycling...on one hand it is wonderful that we can at least attempt to do something else with the crap we have polluted our world with.

There has got to be a better way though.

Look at how much we have used in 1 month. This is only recycling. Garbage is thrown in another area.

I'd say its about time to haul it down to the center, don't you?

Happy Martin Luther King everyone. Thank goodness someone took a stand for the black community.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter Walk Day 7

What do you get with sesame seeds and raw honey? My family is enjoying them

2 cups sesame seeds
1 1/4 cups honey

In a heavy pan, cook the honey and sesame seeds together gently for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is golden brown. Test in cold water - when a soft ball is formed, the sweet is ready. Pour onto a marble slab or greased pan. Use a rolling pin to flatten mass to about 12-inch thickness. As the candy cools, cut into sticks about 3-inches long and 1/2-inch wide. Wrap the sticks individually in waxed paper and store in a tin box.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Walk day 6

This may very well be the next pic I use for my blog. This was on the side of the road during a walk in our neighborhood and I fell in love with it. It is a log and looks liek a home for something too.
2 days ago there were 2 fox and also last night I ran down to my shoppe and I hear running in the woods of soemthing quite large sounding. Maybe the animals are hungry? It has been brrrr lately.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Winter Walk Day 5

I am almost done! My poor kitchen has been tore up with my painting projects. I am not the best painter for sure. I am trying to revive these old trunks my Grandmothers husband made when he worked in the carpenters union many years ago. He hauled his tools around in them.
They are UGLY-but functional and suited him well I am sure.
They have been buried in stuff for awhile and now I will be putting them to use. But trying make them look nicer first. They are special because they came from Grandma who has been gone for 5 years at least.
Maybe the completion will be photo'd this weekend I hope:) We ahve been WAY busy, Ray working late to meet deadlines and hopefully there will be work after this job....the life of the self employed is stressful indeed!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Walk Day 4

Jsut as I had met the needs of Rachel, here she is meeting the needs of Megan.
My daughter is only 17, and has had soem issues with nursing, but she has hung in there and I , as the mom and grandma have attempted to give a helping hand but in an as hand off approach as possible.
The look of Meg looking at Rachie's face jsut warms me to the core of my soul

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Walk Day 3

I often think of mothers in war stricken countries or those with terrorist threats. My heart grieves for the devastation of people over religion, power and greed.

The young girls that are taken from their families and put into prostitution rings.
Do we really think we are above this happening to us in the US? or in any modern country.

How another human can decide the destiny of another for their own personal gain or sexual fulfillment is evil. And there is no pain on this earth deeper and more difficult than a mother losing her child.

This is my prayer continually

This stake is made by a group of activists in nearby Fayetteville. I want to create a peace garden one day, but until then, this is what I have to remind me of my greatest desire. World Peace

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter walk day 2

Why keep rabbit droppings in a jar? Well you see my friends, they are magic pellets. Pop one in your mouth and help your dry throat and lungs. They dont taste too bad.

These are elecampane, slippery elm and a wee licorice root balls. lol

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter Walk to Valentine Day 1

It is an interesting thing.....winter cold with Valentines day on the heels, the typical hot and passionate overtones that holiday conveys. It almost seems more like a spring holiday, do you think so? lol

The post I share today will be a few pix simply because it needs to be seen with a few pix.
It is the creation of my studio-it happened kind of out of the blue and random, yet I have needed this space for so long and now have a place to create without being shoved outside, in the basement unattached from the household, or covering the kitchen table with cloths and then my work everywhere.

The thoughts that come are from a heart of gratitude to my sweetheart for building me such a sturdy table, all the painting he did this weekend and allowing me this space.
But the strongest is that you have to beleive for what you need as well as taking steps to make it happen. And when you cannot take those steps, for whatever reason,
keep beleiving things will work out....quite often it will when you do not expect it

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Winter Walk to Valentine day 0

Taking care of my girls. I am a blessed soul.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Studio-the evolving room of questions

The studio. An exciting place to store my stash so that my family can continue functioning in our tiny space.
It will be a work in progress
I need a table! lol

Here are the old trunks my Grandmothers husband made years ago when he was working for the carpenters union.
I am trying to get them revived. Difficult being able to make time to get all my tasks done, but it is fun even hto things are tore up right now in the process.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Herbalism at the Core our Souls

It's 3:30 am and the house is still. Complete darkness sourrounds me the only sound comes from the rythmic breathing of my family.

I question why I am up at this time of morning.
The holidays have left us slightly worn and exhausted. The stepkids came for the holidays and mid trip one battled the flu and the other one progressed into strep throat after returning home. My youngest broke out in chicken pox. A week before that, the flu was making its way around and one child missed his Christmas party.
There have been things creep up very near to me and I can feel its grip trying to enter in. Immune boosting herbs have been my allys. Warming teas daily which I keep warm all day on my woodstove for a sip anytime I need. Garlic and ginger abound in our meals. Socks on my feet and stocking cap on my head if needed.
When you are the one who admisinsters the healing, there is no time to get sick.
So many depend on your hands to be their loving channel of light in the grey of illness.

Sleep is an essential health care need in the winter. Many animals we see in nature hibernate at this time. The daylight hours are not as plentiful in the season. I often wonder if electricity were not an option for us, would we sleep more in the cold winter?
My body naturally wants to sleep and when the alarm goes off each schoolday, I find it difficult to arise.
So why am I up now?
I beleive the instinctual herbal voice inside knew the call to action this morning. My 7 year old has the worse case of chicken pox I have ever encountered, and he, such a tender soul in nature, would struggle with the discomfort.
I lightly crawled out of bed to put my love into action. No logs were needed for the woodstove this morning, as a slow fire burned all night long. I began a pot of delicious fair trade arabica coffee as a wonderful treat for myself and my sweetheart.
A chicken was ready in the fridge to be used in the care and nurture of my sick boy.
The sounds of home now were of washing and slicing vegetables and opening jars of astragulus and kale. Garlic was pressed and all the scraps I have saved all week were brought to the pot. A litle turmeric was added to add immune stimulating abilites and antioxidants in the cold weather we are experiencing.
This is the foundation of everything we do. Preparing nurturing foods to help the body and soul using herbs and spices to support our intent.
Throughout the day I will admister other herbal helps to address the symptoms of my little man's sufferings as well as keeping the rest of my family strong and vigorous against the foreign invaders that try to creep into our bodies and take over.
Herbalism is at the core of my being. An intuitive voice that speaks inside to guide me on what to do and how to do it. And this day I find that it speaks even as I sleep, waking me to the labor of love needed before the busy world is active.
I am humbled and greatful that I heard the voice. I am better prepared for the work ahead for the sake of those I love. Influenced by the traditions of old. Embracing the wisdom of new information we have available in these modern days. Weaving lore and fact in a daily common sense approach to life. The journey for me always begins where my heart beats strongest. That is caring and nurturing my family.
The task for the day has begun to support health.
Now the laundry must be done. And breakfast made for those that will leave our sacred space on planet earth to learn or work.
An ordinary person I am with an understanding of something magical and wonderful. I am an herbwyfe. It is a river that runs to the core of my soul.